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Topic: Which card magic book should I read next?
Message: Posted by: Schlawiner (Jan 30, 2021 04:54PM)

I'm now learning card magic since 1 - 1,5 years (just as a hobby and performing for friends/family). I read the following books:
*) Royal road to card magic
*) Expert card technique
*) The expert at the card table
*) Card control
*) Second to None
*) And a pack of cards

I learned most of the stuff from youtube, but also tried to read all the books (at least partially). I can currently do the basic sleights and I'm currently working on 2nd deal and snap dealing.

I'm especially interested in sleight of hand techniques (so no self-working trick books or books on theory how to create tricks). I'm also not "that much" interested on tricks. I want to first learn a lot of different techniques (and get good with the few which I find useful) and then create my own tricks or learn "strong" tricks (so I'm interested in books which explain just a few but very "strong" tricks and not on books which explain 500 tricks which are all just average).

I'm also interested on improving my current techniques (e.g. make a better double lift) and especially on getting better in palming cards.

I would prefer a book which teaches just a few techniques but which teaches them "in depth". For example, some of the above mentioned books explained the 2nd deal in ~1 page. I'm more interested in books like "second to none" which explain just one basic move in great depth (so that I can learn a good technique and get lots of tips for this technique).

I also don't want to read a book which just explains the techniques again which I already know from the other books.
I also don't want to learn a card stack yet (like Aaronson or Mnemonica).

Via the search functionality I found the following book candidates:
*) relaxed impossibilities
*) drawing room deceptions
*) by forces unseen
*) carneycopia
*) revolutionary card technique
*) magic by misdirection
*) The Secrets of Brother John Hamman
*) Out of Control by Kenner
*) The Complete Walton
*) the art of astonishment 1-3
*) Card Craft by Hartman

Can someone recommend me one of these or other books? And maybe tell me a rough order in which I should read the books?
Message: Posted by: EvilClown (Jan 30, 2021 07:36PM)
Card College 1-5
Message: Posted by: Topper2 (Jan 30, 2021 07:52PM)
Judging from what you write I'd say you really should read 'The Invisible Pass' by Hugard and Braue. It's an entire book on one sleight and I've never seen the pass better explained:-

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 31, 2021 06:37AM)
Ever heard of Harry Lorayne?

Message: Posted by: Schlawiner (Jan 31, 2021 10:23AM)
Thank you all already for the recommendations!

*) "The invisible pass" by hugard nd braune sounds exactly like a book I'm currently searching for! Thanks! If someone knows similar such books (which explain 1 sleight in depth) I would be happy.

*) Card College 1-5
I think this are books with all basic sleights explained? So the book will be very long with a lot of sleights which I will never use and lots of basic sleights which I already know? At least I think I can already do all sleights from volume 1 and half from volume 2. So maybe volume 3-5 would help me?

*) I don't know "Harry Lorayne". After googling him I saw he wrote books in memorizing different things, however, I currently don't want to learn a card stack. Or did I misunderstand you?

My current decision would be to buy the following 4 books for my future studies:
*) "The invisible pass" by hugard and braue
*) relaxed impossibilities
*) drawing room deceptions
*) by forces unseen

Does something speak against these books? Or is there any reason why I should read "card college" first?
Message: Posted by: MGordonB (Jan 31, 2021 02:20PM)
Hi Schlawiner, welcome to the Café

Card College is not necessarily a “one and done” book series. Yes it is a course, but it’s also a resource that will help you as you move forward. Vol. 1 could be considered basic, but each subsequent volume builds on the preceding one and introduces more advanced sleights as you go. Giobbi also discusses important concepts on routining and presentation. I wouldn’t be so quick to write this one off.

There are several threads on this forun, including some pinned to the top of the “New To Magic” thread that discuss book suggestions in great detail. Look through various threads in the Workers section, you’ll find many valuable suggestions there.
Message: Posted by: jkr (Jan 31, 2021 03:41PM)
“The Top Change”-Book by Magic Christian
Message: Posted by: Julie (Jan 31, 2021 05:23PM)
You might consider FLASHPOINTS: Edward Marlo's Full Tilt and Compleat Devilish Miracle written by Jon Racherbaumer and published originally by L & L Publishing (1992).

This photo illustrated book will keep you busy learning both utilitarian applications of a single sleight and it's many variations/applications to proven real world professional card routines.

This'll keep you busy for a long time and just think how much money you will save because you won't need to buy any more magic books for many moons. :)

Message: Posted by: Lord Anacho (Feb 1, 2021 02:15AM)
The Paper Engine by Aaron Fisher
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 1, 2021 08:46PM)
[quote]On Jan 31, 2021, EvilClown wrote:
Card College 1-5 [/quote]
This. Most of the books you mentioned are older (e.g. Royal Road, Expert Card Technique, Expert at the Card Table) and teach obsolete techniques. For example, the method for The Glide in Royal Road is much inferior to the improved technique taught by Giobbi.

Giobbi's books are the modern gold standard for card magic. Even if you think you already know the techniques he covers in Vol 1-2, I'd still strongly recommend working through them carefully given the sources you've used so far.

You should also consider his video series, [url=https://www.robertogiobbi.com/site/product/card-college-12-personal-instruction-the-complete-course/]Card College 1 & 2 - The Complete Course[/url], which is a terrific companion to the first two books. You can download the [url=https://www.robertogiobbi.com/site/product/card-college-12-personal-instruction-the-fundamentals/]first lesson[/url] for free. I personally found the video course [url=http://www.playingcardforum.com/index.php?topic=12465]incredibly helpful[/url].

Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Feb 2, 2021 06:59AM)

Here are a few suggestions from me. (Still a relative beginner, but, like yourself, quite focused on wanting to improve.

1. Frankly I disagree with one aspect of your approach. It seems a bit silly (to me) to try to choose which sleights to learn without a meaningful context to make your choices.
Therefore my approach is to look for effects I want to perform, then analyse what techniques are required. Some I can do already. Some are way too difficult (at the moment). Some I can do if I change the handling. And SOME I can do if I learn a new sleight that I feel is achievable for me.

2. I like to watch videos as well as read books. You get a much better sense of how an effect plays. And it's much quicker.

3. Once I identify a sleight to work on, it may be fairly straightforward. But often there are lots of options and advice. I read the (existing) discussions here on the Café to expand my knowledge. And in particular to identify what resources to spend my money on. A good example is the Double Lift. I bought Double Take DVD by Gregory Wilson. It's old but a great resource.
Also CULLING - I bought RoadRunner Cull & CullFather, again after researching on the Café.

4. You need to look more carefully when you use Google! Harry Lorayne is famous for his memory books. But also has written many many books of card magic.

5. I am currently reading Magic By Misdirection (on your list). It is 100% a theory book. Very interesting - but not what you are looking for.

6. You sound like a very determined person. If you want to do amazing card magic, you would be crazy NOT to learn a stack. I did early on (the Joyal 6 Hour stack). It is much easier than you think. This will allow you to do effects that look amazing (which is what you want, right?) For me it is the ultimate secret weapon, because it is utterly invisible.

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: copperct (Feb 2, 2021 07:51AM)
It's not specifically a move book, but I recently picked up a copy of Charles Hopkins "Outs!" Precautions and Challenges. If you're presenting for friends and family as I am, there's a lot of nice little tips to keep in your back pocket in case you get into a bind. It's a thin booklet, but has a couple of interesting ideas in there.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Feb 2, 2021 11:35AM)
"You need to look more carefully when you use Google! Harry Lorayne is famous for his memory books. But also has written many many books of card magic"


Go to http://www.harryloraynemagic.com to see what's available --- and to be entertained
Message: Posted by: Schlawiner (Feb 3, 2021 07:00AM)
1) I didn't know that card college teaches newer techniques, so I will mayber re-consider them

2) I definitly want to learn a card stack at some point in time - however, I don't want to do it right now. (I want to first focus on my technique).

3) I'm currently also learning from videos & Books. And I can already perform a cull.

4) A lot of people say that you should first find an effect which you want to perform and then learn the required sleights. However, I like to first learn a lot of sleights and then create my own tricks by combining the sleights. That's why I first want to learn sleights and I don't want to be "influenced" by ideas of tricks from others yet. I can later learn tricks from others.

5) According harry lorayne: To be totally honest, I didn't know him before (but I'm also new to magic) and I also found his card magic books when I googled him the first time. But here are the reasons why I initially didn't consider his books:
*) The books are just available on his website and I tried to find reviews from others (but didn't found reviews).
*) Some books are just available as ebook and I want to have books in my hand
*) The books are quiet expensive compared to others
*) Some books don't have explanation text (e.g.: close-up card magic), so I don't really know what to expect from them
*) One of the books mentions that he doesn't teach "complicated sleights because he can't do them" and since I was looking for complicated sleights, I skipped his books.

After several people mentioned his name here I started to search him on the forum. I found several reviews of his books and all were pretty good. Moreover, I found his performance on Halo Aces & Numero Uno on youtube and I must say that these effects really look good!

So I'm now definitly considering his books. For example, I'm currently considering to buy classic collection 1-3 (However, I think volume 1 is not available as hardcopy?).

However, now I have even more books to choose from and I don't know which books I should read first...

edit: And I really like that you are active here on the forum!
Message: Posted by: copperct (Feb 3, 2021 09:06AM)
For what it's worth Schlawiner, my list of books and interests are pretty similar to yours. By Forces Unseen is a book I've been snooping around for awhile to find at a reasonable price. There was a reprint that just occurred meaning right now you can go to VanishingInc or Penguin magic and get the book for $50 instead of the $500 that some people were asking for it before.

Surely you shouldn't decide which direction to go based on price alone, but from everything I've heard of Mr. Minch's work, there would be plenty there to keep you occupied for some time.
Message: Posted by: Schlawiner (Feb 3, 2021 05:22PM)
Harry Lorayne, can I ask you a question?
In your other posts I saw that you recommended especially the "classic collection" for close-up card magic. And I saw that you always say that you don't have a "best book" and instead all your books are good. However, I want to buy just one of your books to see if I like it (and then I maybe buy the other volumes). Which of the available volumes (2 - 5) would you recommend because it has the "best effect"? With my current research I think I will be going for volume 3.

Haha, when I created the post the book was out of stock and was in-stock again by 3.2.2021. I already ordered the book (+ some others) 2 hours before you wrote your post ;)
Message: Posted by: MGordonB (Feb 3, 2021 06:49PM)
Schlawiner, re your point #4 above - even one of the greatest guitarists ever - Eddie Van Halen, started his career by learning and perforiming other people’s music. You gotta walk before you can run.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Feb 3, 2021 08:08PM)
Regarding that point 4, it's not like it's an either/or choice: EITHER you perform other's tricks OR you invent your own. There are advantages to both, so why not both?

The same goes for the superstition that you should never learn or practice a sleight outside the context of a routine you want to use it for. Magic seems full of dogmatic proverbs that no thinking person could take seriously in absolute application. Why not learn a new force or new control or other utility move, even if you don't have a specific plan for a routine to use it in? It's good to have in the toolkit. So to this extent I think Schlawiner has a point.

If I learn a new control, say, I re-think current routines and whether I want to substitute it for what I'm doing there. If not, then I just hang on to it and a use will present itself eventually in some new routine. I often tweak tricks I learn, substitute a force I like better here or a control that works better for me there. I can't have that flexibility without a decent toolkit of moves.

It's just like basically any other skill or learning in the world. We have kids do math problems, but also drill multiplication tables. Basketball players practice playing against each other, but also drill free throws. Powerlifters train their performance lifts (deadlift, squat, bench), but they also do accessory lifts, isolation lifts, etc.
Message: Posted by: copperct (Feb 4, 2021 09:02AM)
[quote]On Feb 3, 2021, copperct wrote:
For what it's worth Schlawiner, my list of books and interests are pretty similar to yours. By Forces Unseen is a book I've been snooping around for awhile to find at a reasonable price. There was a reprint that just occurred meaning right now you can go to VanishingInc or Penguin magic and get the book for $50 instead of the $500 that some people were asking for it before.

Surely you shouldn't decide which direction to go based on price alone, but from everything I've heard of Mr. Minch's work, there would be plenty there to keep you occupied for some time. [/quote]

That's awesome. My copy is shipping as well! Best of luck to both of us on what I read is some pretty grueling card work!
Message: Posted by: Topper2 (Feb 4, 2021 07:36PM)
Anyone unfamiliar with Harry Lorayne's Magic Book may care to check out this review which features three card effects from the book:-