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Topic: Recommended books for beginners
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Sep 13, 2001 01:51AM)
[b]Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic:[/b]

For those of you just starting out, this decent sized hardback has been called the magic bible by some.

Though it doesnít cover everything (what book does), it has enough to keep you busy for some time! :nod:

[b]The Tarbell Course In Magic:[/b]

Though a little out-dated patter wise, this eight volume set of books is a must for any magic library.

This course was originally released through the mail in monographs, a chapter at a time!

Arenít you glad you can get the whole set at once? :D

_________________

Life is not a problem to be solved...

but a mystery to be lived.
Message: Posted by: Doug Byrd (Sep 13, 2001 02:05AM)
Steve,

I'd like to 2nd the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic Book. I have had my copy for 14 years and still reference it to this very day. Top of the list. If you decide you want to be a card man then I'd go with the 4 Roberto Giobbi Card College Volumes. If it's Coin Work your looking to perfect then J.B. Bobo's Mordern Coin Magic Book.

Just my 2 drakma worth,

Doug :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Mike Giusti (Sep 14, 2001 12:19PM)
I would have to add the Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay. One of the best for both beginners and advanced magicians. :idea:
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Sep 14, 2001 10:14PM)
Bill Tarr's Now You See It, Now You Don't is what got me going with the real stuff.



Tom Cutts
Message: Posted by: kristel (Sep 21, 2001 06:56PM)
The Karl Fulves series of books on magic are affordable and a good reference on many aspect of magic.



Andre Le Magicien

From Quebec, Canada





:bunny:
Message: Posted by: Seanamon (Sep 25, 2001 11:16AM)
I'd like to suggest "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne as a great guide for beginners and intermediates. He teaches sleights down to the minutest detail, and it will give you a great foundation to build from.



Best,



Sean
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Sep 25, 2001 03:01PM)
My list of required books for the budding magician:

Amateur Magician's Handbook-Hay

Royal Road to Card Magic-Hugard & Braue

New Modern Coin Magic-Bobo

The Magic Book-Lorayne

Close up Card Magic-Lorayne

Stars of Magic

Mark Wilson's Complete Course



After these, get Tarbell, Greater Magic, and Card College. Follow with Ortiz' Strong Magic and the Tamariz Trilogy, and you'll have all you need to make a living in magic!
Message: Posted by: Magicman0323 (Sep 25, 2001 03:32PM)
I'm going to go with Mike on the Amateur magician's handbook, but also the Mark Wilson book is EXCELLENT.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan (Sep 30, 2001 12:47PM)
If someone needs visuals to learn, Michael Ammar's Easy to Master Card Magic and Paul Harris' stuff are great beginner videos. Max Maven also just came out with some good beginner mentalist videos.
Message: Posted by: Seanamon (Oct 1, 2001 09:29AM)
Iím going to second that on Ammarís Videos for visuals. He also goes a little into the routining and psychology behind a move or effect, which is an often overlooked aspect to magic. In addition, the effects themselves are very strong and I use plenty of them. Itís also nice to learn from a real pro in all aspects of the art.

While I am at it, I wholeheartedly recommend a beginner wanting to go into card magic, make one of their first purchases (if they are serious) Card College by Roberto Giobbi. Easily one of the best investments I have ever made in magic books. :wavey:

Sean
Message: Posted by: Jack (Oct 1, 2001 10:59AM)
Well, I was going to post my thoughts for magic young'uns, but you guys have covered it quite well. If you're a magic young'un, heed the above posts and you'll be well on your way. This artform can be very addictive and consuming of thought, time, and money. But there are rewards along the way.



Magically, Jack :cool:
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Oct 6, 2001 08:54AM)
I would like to second Mike Giusti's pick:

Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay. Put in the time and find this even if you have to haunt the used book stores. The beginning two chapters on theory are worth their weight in gold. Truly wonderful material.



On top of that the book has a wealth of superb magic sleights and effects. Get this if you can. Best,
Message: Posted by: CardTrix (Oct 10, 2001 07:28PM)
Can I add my 2 cents here. Every book you all have listed is excellent, great for beginner card magicians, but I also feel every magician should dabble in a little bit of everything...Thats why Iím recommending Boboís book "Modern Coin Magic" also excellent for every new magi.



_________________

itís all in the reflexes
Message: Posted by: Bernard Sim (Oct 10, 2001 08:15PM)
Boboís bookís a must for all coin workers. I donít think Iíll finish learning all the tricks in that book.

:goof: :goof: :goof:
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Oct 10, 2001 09:16PM)
I have to agree with you guys on this, [b]BOBO[/b] is THE bible on coin magic... good stuff!

:wavey:
Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Oct 15, 2001 07:25PM)
All of these suggestions are fantastic. After you have read everything posted here and you feel magic is something you really enjoy and wish to master on any level, you have to read the Fitzkee Trilogy: Magic and Misdirection, Showmanship for Magicians and The Trick Brain. I donít think thatís the right order, but they donít need to be read sequentially. I often get criticized for recommending this series to beginners but you canít learn to fish swinging a baseball bat.
Message: Posted by: J R Thomas (Oct 26, 2001 10:24AM)
The Amateur Magicianís handbook by Henry Hay

Hands down the best buy for the money. Thereís a great list of books in the back of it. After devouring Hay check out your public library and then your local magic store. Once you get your feet wet I would recommend buying a compilation of a magazine like Magic Menu, Collected Alamanac or Apocalypse. Each of these has variety though most material is close up.



JR
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 25, 2001 02:57AM)
Before you can recommend any books, the beginner must determine who the audience is he wants to entertain. A lot of time can be saved in learning by knowing this.

For instance, if a beginner wants to do birthday parties, etc. (the kids show crowd) then he should read about how to entertain them. Striving to be a Card Manipulator is not the direction to go related to entertaining kids.

If skill is required for the hobbyist, then focus on an area of study, and master that area before going on into another area.

[b]Excellent Books for Kids Entertaining
[list]
[*]Mark Wilsonís Complete Course in Magic
[*]Doing Magic for Younsters by Easley and Wilson
[*]Professional Magic for Children by David Ginn
[*]Kid Biz by David Ginn
[*]Safety Magic for Children. Ginn and Wagner
[*]Kid Stuff Five by Francis Marshall
[*]Seriously Silly by David Kaye (added to list 6/07)
[/list]

Excellent Books for General Entertaining
[list]
[*]Tarbell Course in Magic Vol. 1-8
[*]Mark Wilsonís Complete Course in Magic
[/list]

Excellent Books for The Birthday Party Business
[list]
[*] [url=http://www.clown-ministry.com/Resources/BirthdayPartyBusiness.html]The Birthday Party Business[/url] (Must Have)
[*] [url=http://www.clown-ministry.com/Resources/HandbookMagicalPartyClown.html]Handbook for the Magicial Party Clown[/url]
[*] [url=http://www.clown-ministry.com/Resources/clownMagic.html]Clown Magic[/url] by David Ginn
[/list]

Excellent Books and Videos for Adult Entertaining
[list]
[*]Specific category related books to the area of study, such as cards, sponges, cups and balls, etc.
[*]Videos and DVDs by the pros such as McBride, and Ammar.
[*]The comedy of Mullica on Video
[/list][/b]

Remember, Magic is only one aspect of three areas of study related to this art. To be a pro or be "successful" in magic one must understand the Business aspect and the Theatrical (Fitzkke Trilogy) aspect. No one book does this all.

:magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Nov 25, 2001 07:22AM)
Dennis makes a good point. If your desire is to step in front of an audience, then you will best be served by directing your study toward the audience you want.



A great way to do that is to ask in a place such as this. Go to the forum you think is closest to your objective and start a topic describing what, if any, background you have and ask for some resource suggestions.



Often, however, people donít know, or donít want to perform before an audience. They want to enter magic as an entertainment and skill for themselves. Sort of like my nephews playing video games.



You play for yourself but once you get good enough, you play with others or even display your skill to others... who may not much care nor understand. :rotf: Sounds a lot like some magic I have seen. :goof:



In this way some "hobbyists" evolve into performers to a certain degree.



This very topic lists many great resources for someone wishing to explore in general without a knowledge for his or her audience or direction.



To anyone doing this I would recommend finding a mentor, someone you wish to emulate, and follow their advice.



There are many secrets in magic... not all of them are how to.



:magicrabbit: Happy Learning :magicrabbit:



_________________

Tom Cutts

Publisher, AM/PM

About Magic...Performing Magic
Message: Posted by: Bengi (Nov 25, 2001 09:04PM)
Well put, Tom!!!

I totally agree. Not all magic is for all people. You will eventually find the type of magic you enjoy best. In my opinion, that is what I would suggest.

I began reading EVERYTHING related to magic. I dabbled a bit with all of it.... then I knew what interested me the most.

I then pursued it with all I had!!!

And keep in mind, it isnít how MUCH magic you know that is important...

it is how WELL you do it!





Bengi
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Nov 25, 2001 09:25PM)
Agreed! Learn 10 effects, and be the best that you can be, you'll be glad you did.

:nose:
Message: Posted by: N14 (Jan 1, 2002 09:38PM)
I personally like the book(s) "Card College" from Roberto Giobbi. There are 3 volumes.



I have to admit I only own the first of them.

But soon I'll own them all.



It gets you from the basics to the more advanced techniques on sleight-of-hand. All of it is illustrated with line drawings. And the chapters close with one or more tricks which you can perform after you mastered the technique.
Message: Posted by: clunk_71 (Jan 4, 2002 05:08AM)
I canít believe that no one included The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Fredrick Braue :bawl:



_________________

Thanks Lee



" Dogs do tricks ".......
Message: Posted by: atkinsod (Jan 4, 2002 08:29AM)
Dover puts out a lot of good books for beginners at reasonable prices. Many have already been mentioned such as Bobo's Modern Coin Magic and the Karl Fulve's Self Working series.



A note about Bobo's: there are two editions currently available. The Dover edition is a reprint of the original "Modern Coin Magic" from the 50's. There is an updated titled "New Modern Coin Magic", which contains additional chapters by Magic Inc, and only in hardback (about $30). They didn't realize the copyright on the original version wouldn't follow the update, so Dover was able to legally print the older version. So, if you want the complete work, get the hardcover; though the paperback contains most of what you will need.



Another pretty good book is "A Book of Magic for Young Magicians: The Secrets of Alkazar"

by Allan Zola Kronzek. This contains some good beginner magic but also some great advice on documenting your ideas and presenting magic.



Don't forget Henry Hay's Learn Magic. Although not as comprehensive as Amateur Handbook, it is more descriptive.



Martin Gardnerís Table Magic by Martin Gardner has good small stuff.



Many like the Bob Longe books on card and coin magic.



The Magic Handbook by Malcolm Bird and Alan Dart is a kid's book, but contains some good principles.



You'll sometimes find in the Bargain section of the large bookstores the following good introduction books:



Darbyshire, Lydia (editor): The Magic Book

John Tremain's Book of Magic (not the exact title)



Enjoy!



Doug A.
Message: Posted by: craig fothers (Jan 7, 2002 10:14PM)
I am a beginner - so I thought I'd throw my two bits in.



When I walked into a magic store in Sydney, the guy there (Sean Taylor if you know him) recommended two books - 'Mark Wilson's complete course on magic', and also 'Magic for Dummies' by David Pogueman.

I guess I was a little suprised by Sean recommending the 'for dummies' series - and I think I didn't want to like the book just because it was a 'for dummies' book, but,

I bought it anyway, and I have to say that

I found it really helpful. David Pogueman covers a good range of tricks - but also includes some nice effects with everyday objects. As a beginner I found this kind of 'dinner-table' magic really good - and at the dinner table isn't a bad place to start either!



The author includes a patter with each of the effects he covers, and there is also a section on what to say when you stuff a trick up, what to say when you pull a trick off, and that kind of thing.



Not all of the tricks were to my taste, but some of them are and so I'll practice the ones that are 'me' and look for more.



I've moved onto Mark Wilson now... as well as some of the Ammar videos - it's really helpful to see magicians work I think, but obviously there are more tricks in a book. (that's the tradeoff I guess).



I think it's worth a read anyway.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jan 8, 2002 08:28AM)
Donít look at the videoís as a trade off.

If you get one good routine, personalize it, it was worth the price of the Video.



There are so many directions an individual can learn from, from the massive amounts of materials out in the world. It has been said that magic is the most written about topic. There are more books on magic than any other topic!



One could study magic with common household items and spend a lifetime doing magic with just common items, string, coins, paper, cards, cups, bags, balls, etc.



One could spend a lifetime just on sleight of hand magic, or illusions, or stage magic props.



Then there are the branches of magic, Kids Shows, Stage Shows, Cruise Shows, Birthday Party Shows, Club or Comedy Shows, etc.



At times this is so overwhelming. Lance Burton got his big break doing a 12 minute perfect personalized magic routine. Famous for 12 minutes of presentations and years worth of work!



Itís a great and wonderful field! Enjoy your new beginnings.

:magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: craig fothers (Jan 8, 2002 03:36PM)
I just meant that the tradeoff was on the number of tricks...



:)



I started with the "Easy to Master" card videos by Ammar and I can tell I'm going to have to get more of them...I think they are fantastic.
Message: Posted by: The Pianoman (Jan 23, 2002 04:00PM)
My two cents worth are
The Royal Road to Card Magic.
Self Working Mental Magic.Karl Fulves
Mark Wilsons Complete Magic Course.
Bobos Modern Coin Magic.

Plus the Learned Pig Project CD seems very good value.

Plus Jon Tremains The Amazing Book of Magic.

Regards The Pianoman
Message: Posted by: WindsorWizard (Jan 24, 2002 08:32PM)
There has been a lot of great advice given out here, but one must not forget that too much taken on at a time can be counter-productive.

Much better to get one item (a book or a magical effect) at a time, and complete it to the best of your ability before going on to another. This way you are being fair to yourself and will end up being better off in the long run. However, when it comes to magic, I guess we are all like kids in a candy store aren't we?
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Jan 26, 2002 09:11PM)
The best all around to start out with is probably the Mark Wilson Course. It's a good chunk of all kinds of magic and best of all you can learn easily from the ilustrations. I started with Bill Tarr (it really is a great book, I and II actually) and of course the Tarbel course, though it's a lot of material for a beginner. Just get the magic bible.

Sable
:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Message: Posted by: technojeff (Jan 27, 2002 06:07AM)
Classifying myself as a beginner who started way too late! I have looked at most of the books mentioned in this thread and certainly have found most of the books very useful. What I found is that they all bring a different slant to magic, which gave me a great insight into the width of Magic.

My advice is not to be in too much of a rush to decide where you want to specialize. Take a broad view and find your own comfort and enjoyment levels.

If I had to choose one book which has open my eyes, it has to be "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorrayne. He takes the tricks apart and then having been through the trick thoroughly, has a great "afterthoughts" section which gives all sorts of ideas and guidance for making the trick your own.

In fact, I have now been working through the Harry Lorrayne Apocalypse books. They are great for close up work. Costly but much recommended. This man has made me think again about what I can achieve.

One final note - Don't rush out and buy the latest "packet trick" they have a very short lasting appeal. The stuff in the books and on video gives far better value for money and also gives you the tools for your own creations.

Regards :kitty:
Message: Posted by: Stevosapprentice (Jan 30, 2002 08:55PM)
My friend has the 3 Volume set of Paul Harris, THE ART OF ASTONISHMENT. I know that these are advanced books, but how good do I need to get to achieve these books.
Message: Posted by: Fon (Feb 1, 2002 12:12PM)
Anyone wanting to learn real card magic, IE non self working tricks, Good fake shuffels etc, should read the Royal road to card magic,

Fab book,

Fon
Message: Posted by: SloMo150 (Feb 18, 2002 02:17AM)
Speaking as someone new, I have Wilson's cyclopedia Magic occurs. It is the small paperback book. I love it. It shows a wide range of tricks. This way I can practice some from each and figure out what I really like. Also have Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo. another goldmine. There is a study guide put out but at the moment I can't find the web address. If interested in it just drop me an e-mail and I will find it.
Message: Posted by: Ari_R (Feb 18, 2002 09:08AM)
Well, I don't know if this was mentioned but the "Now you see it now you don't" lessons in sleights are good. Then if your looking into card magic there is a book called "Card Magic" by Bill Simon
Message: Posted by: RayBanks (Feb 18, 2002 11:32AM)
Opie Houston's guide to studying Bobo can be found here

http://www.zyworld.com/coinpurse/articles90.htm

It's really good, try it out.
:wavey:
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Feb 18, 2002 01:35PM)
I'm a BIG fan of The Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic as well as the "Card College" series but I must also put a good word in for David Pogue's "Magic For Dummies" and Tom Ogden's "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks."

Even though they have condescending titles, many of the effects they contain are world class (for example: Chad Long's "The Shuffling Lesson" from the "Dummies" book).

The average layperson isn't going to buy and study these books so working a few of these gems into your repertoire is not only safe but a delight for your spectators.

Also, the simplicity in method of many of the tricks means you are free to concentrate more on the PRESENTATION which, for many of us, is REALLY what the whole performance thing is all about anyway.

Ask any mentalist.
Message: Posted by: dekkeret (Feb 21, 2002 04:05AM)
I also highly recommend "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne. You will learn the tricks AND the philosophy.
Message: Posted by: maurile (Mar 2, 2002 02:41AM)
I think David Pogue's [i]Magic For Dummies[/i] is by far the best book I've seen for beginners. The effects are all very strong for the low skill level required to perform them, and they are presented much more clearly and with many more helpful tips than those in Mark Wilson's [i]Complete Course in Magic[/i] (which is good for breadth, but not really for depth).

I'd also recommend any of the Penn & Teller books just because they're so fun.

For an introductory video tape, I'd go with Michael Ammar's [i]The Exciting World of Magic[/i] -- although most of what's covered on that tape is also in the [i]For Dummies[/i] book, which is really the better value.

Finally, I have to say that even though they're recommended to beginners all the time, I'm not very high on Hugard's or Bobo's books. I think Kaufman's video, [i]Basic Card Technique[/i], is much easier to learn from than [i]Royal Road[/i] or [i]Expert Card Technique[/i]; and the David Roth videos are much easier to learn from than [i]Modern Coin Magic[/i]. For complete beginners, it really helps to see the moves being performed instead of just reading about them.
Message: Posted by: David Smyth (Mar 2, 2002 12:09PM)
Mark Wilson's 'Cyclopedia of Magic' gets my vote...

I was lucky to stumble across it. When I was younger I bought it as I had a small interest in magic, little did I know how useful this book would be!!!
Message: Posted by: Sir T (Mar 3, 2002 10:41AM)
There has been some really good information, in this thread! :) Wish I knew about this group years ago!

I am going to add my 2 pennies worth on the subject of kid show magic, as I seem to have more than my share of books on the subject.

If you are even thinking about doing Pre-K, run don't walk to Sammy Smith's book, Kiddi Patter and little feats. This is a great book!

Professional magic for childern and Kidbiz by David Ginn, gets better and better everytime I read it!

I also like The comedy magic text book, lots of good information.

Just me,

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Mar 3, 2002 02:52PM)
Actually, you can find some real gems in the series of Bob Longe paperback books found in most well-stocked bookstores (such as Barnes & Noble).

I've fooled many a layperson, and magician, with some of those tricks. They continue to be some of my favorite browsing material.

And they're reasonably priced, too.
Message: Posted by: Gawin (Mar 5, 2002 04:57AM)
For German users I suggest:

Handbuch der Magie from Joachim Zmeck

Letīs become international :patty: :bunny2:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 5, 2002 05:34AM)
The Magic Book, by Harry Lorayne, is probably the best -- and most underrated -- book for beginners and old hands, alike.
He literally begins with "this is a deck of cards".

While that may seem a bit too obvious for some performers, these are usually the very ones who need this sort of thing.
Remember, Harry originally wrote the book for the lay public and wrote it from the premise that the reader knew nothing about magic.
So it's step-by-step instructions are invaluable.

The next recommended book would be Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and not just for the coin work, but for the routining.
And, when you've mastered -- completely mastered -- both these books, you can stop; in fact, you'd better stop because, by then, you'll probably be about 200 years old! :lol:

cheers,
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Dr. TORA (Mar 6, 2002 04:02PM)
Hi there, I want to include my suggestions on the subject.

In fact most of the best books are listed but my favourites that I recommend to my students are:

-Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook"
-Henry Hay's "Learn Magic"
-Annneman's "Parctical Mental Magic" (Dover
edition is OK and at a very reasonable price around 10 dollars.)
-Willane's "Complete Methods of Miracle" available in Davenports in London and invaluable for the beginning artist of sleight of hand
-Gibson's "Professional Magic for Amateurs"
- All the Dover publications of Karl Fulves books at a very reasonable price and reasonable printing quality.

I hope it may make some sense for the beginners. These are not so expensive but sooo effective. :bluebikes: :bubbly: :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Tricky (Mar 8, 2002 05:07PM)
I mainly do cards, so I reckon I can give some pointers to people who wanna start with cards as their main area.

If you want to get seriously into cards then you will need to have either Card College Volume 1-4. these are great because you can go in one side knowing next to nothing (not even how to hold a deck) and come out the other side as an accomplished card worker.

Also a thing to go along side these (I know they are videos) are the Easy to Master Card Miracles Series.

But, if you want a video to teach card work then you need the Daryl Encyclopedia or the Ackerman vids, these aren't set out as a course, but it's more of a reference type of thing.

james
Message: Posted by: David Fogel (Mar 8, 2002 11:36PM)
Lots of excellent suggestions here. Let me add one more that I don't believe anybody mentioned: "Magic and Showmanship," by Hennings Nelms (Dover is the publisher).

The title says it all. It won't teach you tricks (but you've already got 25 suggestions above to do that). It'll teach you something, perhaps, even more valuable. How to turn a trick into a piece of entertainment.

I was lucky to stumble across this book when I was about 11 years old and starting to get serious about magic.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Dr. TORA (Mar 11, 2002 09:46AM)
OOOPs, I want to add also the series:
Novak's "Art of Escape" for the escapology. Each volume covers a different subject and they are easy to read.
I remain. :magicrabbit: :bluebikes:
Message: Posted by: Dream&Magic (Apr 12, 2002 04:10AM)
Ok, it's not books but I'd absolutely recommend the Encyclopedia of Card Sleights video series by Daryl.

These videos are packed with fantastic information, ideas and moves! :)
Message: Posted by: trevorsmagic (Apr 15, 2002 03:45PM)
My choices to get you going;

Bobos Modern Coin Magic
Restaurant Workers Handbook, by Jim Pace
Royal Road to Card Magic
and maybe a few videos;
25 Tricks with Svengali Decks
25 Tricks with Sspongeballs

........trevor :nose:
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (Apr 18, 2002 11:21PM)
Does anybody look at "Dunninger's Complete Encyclopedia of Magic" anymore? I suppose it's more of a collector's item. It has a lot of pictures!!!

--alan
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Nov 9, 2002 05:02AM)
The Magic book by Harry Lorayne is a must for any beginner in magic. His writing is crystal clear and all the effects are brilliant.

And if you don't own it, then shame on you.

There is one other book you should definitely own and that is 'Magic & Showmanship' by Henning Nelms. This will teach you about the real secret of the art of magic, presentation.

Take it easy

Socrates

'Original details are very ordinary, except to the mind that sees their extraordinariness' - Natalie Goldberg :die:
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Nov 9, 2002 09:03PM)
I have post such question some time before, it seems to me that for a beginner, it is really hard to choose which book(s) or video(s) come first.

My first video is Daryl Ambitious Card since I love this effect too much (my nickname show that already!) then plenty of Ammar videos like icebreaker, exciting world of magic, amazing secrets of card magic, easy to master card miracles 4 & 5...

I believe that Ammar is a good magic teacher and his presentation type enable beginners to perform magic in a smooth and calm manner.

Other videos I love is Lee Asher Well Done and 5 Card Stud, Lee is an expert cardician and well known for years. I heard that his new card video 'Pulp fiction' is coming out at the end of this year with plenty nice and new moves. Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: shawlie (Nov 10, 2002 11:04AM)
I also love Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook" as a general book on magic. He covers pretty much the basics for every branch of magic. For cards and coins, I'm forced to repeat "The Royal Road" and "Modern Coin Magic".
Hugard's "Modern Magic Manual" is also one of my favorite books. I don't like everything in it, but the sections on cigarettes, thimbles and silks are pretty informative.
Message: Posted by: what (Nov 11, 2002 09:36AM)
I have to second the opinion that geting too much too soon can be overwhelming. My personal preference for a first book is Mark Wilsons Complete course. It is easy to browse and find something that you would like to master.
Message: Posted by: Boxav8r (Mar 19, 2003 04:24PM)
For true beginners:

Videos:

Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy 1,2,3

Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles

Books:

Magic for Dummies has some REALLY good stuff in it. Too bad it's letting really good stuff out. The Complete Idiot's guide also has some good work in it. Again - too bad. I don't like to see some of that stuff going to people who will look once and drop it.

The Klutz books are also very good for beginners.. there's a coin magic one and a more varied magic one.

I will not criticize, but agree with Burt (page 1) that the Fitzke trilogy is excellent. For a beginner - Showmanship for Magician's is a MUST. I don't care if you learn how to do a double lift better than Darryl, a retention pass better than Roth, or master the entire set of McClintock's "Knucklebusters". If you aren't entertaining, people aren't going to care about your so called "magic"!

Just my humble opinion!

Pete
Message: Posted by: Spider (May 29, 2003 11:27AM)
For any beginners reading this thread, you have been given the "keys to the kingdom" in the books and videos suggested here. However, a book or video sitting on the shelf is meaningless; you must set up a daily practice ritual. Educational research has shown that short (under an hour) practice times daily, preferably at the same time of day, are the most effective tool for learning. Or, to put it another way, books and videos show you what to do, but you must teach it to yourself by doing it, over and over, until it becomes natural.

It is also important that you do not tackle too much at once. Better to learn 3 tricks perfectly in a month or two than to tackle a dozen and known none of them to performance standards.

For more information on how to practice and improve, as well as my suggestions for beginner books and follow-up books, go to:

http://www.ammarmagic.com/frequasquesfo.html

Happy learning!

Spider :cups:
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (May 31, 2004 01:50PM)
Stevos apprentice, you asked how good you would have to be to achieve such books as the Art of Astonishment. Here's my advice:

The Art of Astonishment books aren't beginners books, like you say. But I have to repeat the advice of several others on this thread and recommend _The Amateur Magician's Handbook_ by Henry Hay as your starting point. Once you've worked through the book and learned even a third of the material, you'll have a very solid foundation in magic. From there, you should have no trouble starting on the Art of Astonishment series. In fact, I'd strongly recommend them. By the time you've got the Henry Hay book and these three Paul Harris masterpieces, you'll own four of the best magic books ever written, and as Peter Marucci said, by the time you completely master everything in there, you might be 200 years old . . .

The material in those books is inexpensive, portable, and it _works_.
Message: Posted by: stephen secret (Jun 24, 2004 11:26AM)
Let's bring this back to some one who has little money to throw at books and would like to see if they enjoy magic...go down and get yourself a FREE library card and check out books their.

My short list
'The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne
-Cutting the Aces is very good
'The Magic Show: a Guide for Young (any age) Magicians' by Bob Friedhoffer

Also, sign up for the learned pig project online.

Sincerely secret

P.S. If your library has few magic books ask about the interlibrary loan program. You can order any book and they will send it to your local library.
Message: Posted by: BerkleyJL (Jun 24, 2004 11:39AM)
I saw Bill Tarr's "Now You See It, Now You Don't" mentioned, but he has another book that I found equally good: "101 Easy Magic Tricks." The beauty of this book is almost every trick in the book comes with instructions for building the props yourself (The only exception is linking rings).

It saved me a lot of money, because I built the props and learned the effects...then only bought the professional-looking props for the ones I found to my style and taste. There's nothing worse than spending money on something that will just sit in a box and do you no good.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jun 25, 2004 05:52PM)
[quote]
On 2001-10-26 11:24, J R Thomas wrote:
The Amateur Magicianís handbook by Henry Hay

Hands down the best buy for the money. Thereís a great list of books in the back of it. After devouring Hay check out your public library and then your local magic store. Once you get your feet wet I would recommend buying a compilation of a magazine like Magic Menu, Collected Alamanac or Apocalypse. Each of these has variety though most material is close up.

also learn magic by henry hay is great. the big book of magic by harry lorayne is also invaluable to a budding performer. the complete idiots guide to magic, and magic for dummies are also great resources for the beginner, as well as a good future reference for the veteran performer.



JR
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: andre combrinck (Jun 26, 2004 06:15AM)
1.Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic-Mark Wilson
2.The Amateur Magician's Handbook-Henry Hay
3.Now You See It,Now You Don't(1st & 2nd)-Bill Tarr
4.The Magic Book-Harry Lorayne
5.Royal Road To Card Magic-Hugard & Braue
6.Card College-Roberto Giobbi
7.The Amazing Book of Card/Magic Tricks-Jon Tremaine
8.The Art of Magic and Sleight of Hand-Nicholas Einhorn
9.Pactical Mental Magic-Theo Annemann
10.Modern Coin Magic-JB Bobo
11.The Tarbell Course in Magic-Harlan Tarbell/Harry Lorayne

All these books are brilliant.Some books tent to focus on showmanship and others sleight of hand/technique.Almost all magicians have these books,so if you are starting out give a few of these book a go.
Andre
Message: Posted by: stuper1 (Jul 14, 2004 10:06AM)
One book I haven't seen listed is "Pure Magic" by Henry Gross, which is an excellent introduction to sleight of hand with various objects.
Message: Posted by: liam-j-gilbert (Jul 17, 2004 11:17AM)
OK... depending on the beginner I think that card college is the best book for learning sleight of hand card magic... it is hard but it is fantastic. It was my first book and I work like every night of the week now professionally so ican vouch for it as a god work for beginners.
Message: Posted by: stuper1 (Jul 19, 2004 07:43PM)
Classic Secrets of Magic by Bruce Elliott has some excellent routines with various objects including dice, cards, paddles, and coins. Some of the stuff is better suited for stage-type work, but a lot of it is good for closeup work.
Message: Posted by: Jason Robillard (Jul 25, 2004 08:42AM)
"Magic for Dummies" really is a good book. As much as I didn't like the series (nothing like carrying a big yellow book out of a store announcing to the world that you are a dummy), it is a fantastic book! It introduces many concepts on a very basic level. I'd highly recommend it for people new to magic.
Message: Posted by: DamienT98 (Aug 26, 2004 02:18PM)
Thanks for the recommendation, I already have the tarbell volumes but I bought Mark Wilson's today! Cheers all! :)
Message: Posted by: Mitchum (Sep 15, 2004 06:47PM)
I just borrowed Mark Wilson's book from the library last week because of the topic. I must say that this is a great book and gives the beginning magician a taste of what magic is all about. I highly recommend this book to any beginner!
Message: Posted by: BullzEyE (Sep 17, 2004 10:21PM)
I though The Royal Road to Card Magic was a helpful book, my friend learned some neat tricks from it.
Message: Posted by: The Bonnie Kids (Oct 19, 2004 10:38AM)
[quote]
On 2001-09-14 23:14, Tom Cutts wrote:
Bill Tarrís Now You See It, Now You Donít is what got me going with the real stuff.



Tom Cutts
[/quote]
Completely in agreement. This is really the book (I remember they were 3 books some 15 years ago..) that helped. I have to recommend it.
/Andrea
Message: Posted by: Shane Wiker (Oct 19, 2004 11:02AM)
Royal Road to Card Magic
Modern Coin Magic

And my favorite:

The Amateur Magicians Handbook. It contains material of many levels, and will take you from beginner to intermediate. After 4 years, I still refer to this book from time to time.

Shane Wiker
Message: Posted by: Elmsley4 (Oct 30, 2004 06:47PM)
My favorite book to learn was Harry Lorayne's Close-Up card magic. Excellent teaching, excellent book, exellent everything. There is no substitute.

-Joel
Message: Posted by: Mystical Dave (Nov 15, 2004 07:45AM)
Anybody have any suggestions as to a good book on building props/illussions? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: andre combrinck (Nov 15, 2004 11:20AM)
[quote]
On 2004-10-19 12:02, Shane Wiker wrote:
Royal Road to Card Magic
Modern Coin Magic

And my favorite:

The Amateur Magicians Handbook. It contains material of many levels, and will take you from beginner to intermediate. After 4 years, I still refer to this book from time to time.

Shane Wiker
[/quote]

Intermediate?Have you tried some of the coin moves?Advanced,if you ask me.This is a very good book,that can be studied very many years.
:)
ANDRE
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Nov 24, 2004 03:44PM)
1)mark wilsons complete course in magic
2)jean hugard's royal road to card magic
3)harry lorayne's The magic book
Message: Posted by: Barton C (Nov 26, 2004 12:06PM)
Wonderful list of reference material - thanks everyone! I'm brand new to the world of magic and so I have just started building my library. I 've started out with the full (now 5 volume set) of Giobbi's "Card College" (I understand volume 6 is one the way!), and Bobo's "Modern Coin Magic".

Someone over at the Genii forum suggested that I also get myself a copy of "The Secret Art of Magic" by Eric Evans and Nowlin Craver.

This book is based on Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" (written over 2,400 years ago!) and draws on the many parallels and comparisons between performing magic and performing war. "The Secret Art of Magic" is comprised of two sections, essentially two books: "Street Magic & The Art of War" and "The Secret Art of Dispersion". Separate, yet inextricably linked by the paradigm of ancient war strategy.

Here's a blurb on the book:

"Using an ancient Chinese manuscript of 36 strategies for deception in warfare, "The Secret Art of Dispersion" teaches a new and expanded approach to misdirectionódispersion. Based on the military concept of dispersing concentration, it not only encompasses the concept of directing/misdirecting attention, but unifies all the ways magicians control their audience's awarenessónot just of what they see, but of what they think about (and conversely, and perhaps more importantly, what they don't think about). While misdirection is usually thought of as a tool just for sleight of hand or manipulation, The Secret Art of Dispersion uses a plethora of examples to show the applications of dispersion with apparatus, illusions, stand-up, doves, mentalism, and children's magic as well."

Is this book a little "too much information" for a beginner, or is this "just what the doctor ordered" for someone just starting off?

Thoughts? Comments?

( Get more info on the book here:
http://www.secretartofmagic.com/ )
Message: Posted by: ElliottB (Nov 28, 2004 12:45PM)
I agree with many of you that Mark Wilsonís book is a great first choice. My vote for a close second is Nicholas Einhornís Practical Encyclopedia of Magic (I think this is the same book as the one Andre Combrinck posted). Itís really a fantastic book for beginners.
Message: Posted by: eazy4me (Nov 30, 2004 10:10AM)
Royal road to card magic is my favorite!
Message: Posted by: Mystician (Dec 2, 2004 02:13PM)
I was a little surprised to see that nobody has mentioned S.W. Erdnase's "Expert at the Card Table", or is that even more advanced than the Card College series ?
(I don't own it myself)
Or did I miss a reference to it ?

One really good book that got me interested when I was very young was the Golden Book of Magic, by Clayton Rawson. Probably long out of print, but I still have it.
I also had a paperback called "spooky magic" (or similar), I wish I could find that. Not broad in terms of tutoring, of course, but very entertaining, and you want to keep beginners interested and entertained, lest they'll give up on it and move on to something else, like Extreme Tiddly Winks.
Message: Posted by: onebark (Dec 10, 2004 09:57AM)
Nicholas Einhorn's book is fantastic. It has really helped me, as an adult returning to my childhood hobby, to get a taste of the magic art. The photography is superb.

There are simple tricks and routines, but there are several real stunners that I use as a regular part of my show. I think the book has really helped me try out different routines and decide what to purchase and what to pursue more deeply.

Jesse
Message: Posted by: Southie Al (Dec 10, 2004 10:01AM)
I am a beginer to magic but I found the Ammar videos excellent, I also have found Card College by Roberto Giobbi, Harry Lorane's Close Up Card Magic, and the Triple Classic ebook that has Bobo's Modern Card Magic, The Royal Road To Card Magic, and Annemann's Practical Mental Effects, all to be very helpfull.
Message: Posted by: metwin1 (Dec 10, 2004 11:46AM)
S.W. Erdnase's "Expert at the Card Table" is not very easy to understand. That was the first book I bought, and I struggled through trying to understand what I was reading. I never got beyond the overhand shuffle. :P It may be a good reference, especially if you are interested in sleights with gambling routine applications, but I don't think it's a good beginner reference.

RRTCM was the 2nd book I bought, and the writing is much easier to understand.
Message: Posted by: Southie Al (Dec 12, 2004 04:14PM)
They just came out with a Card College 5. Card College six will be out soon also.
Message: Posted by: jrandcc (Dec 17, 2004 03:41PM)
Choosing the best books for beginners is very hard becuase there's just so much stuff. Some things to consider for beginners.

1. Bobo Modern Coin magic
2. Hugard and Braue: royal road to card magic and expert card tecnique
3. Mark Wilson course in magic
4. Harry Lorayne THE Magic Book
5. tarbell course
6. Card College(but its more techical)
Message: Posted by: Sam Griffin (Dec 22, 2004 08:05PM)
The Amateur Magicians Handbook

Does Hocus-Pocus not stock this item?
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Dec 23, 2004 01:08AM)
Close Up Card Magic - Lorayne
Stars of Magic - various
The Card Magic of LePaul - LePaul
Bobo's Modern Coin Magic (NOT the knockoff from Dover - the the updated version from Magic, Inc.)
My Best - J.G. Thompson, Jr, editor
Amateur Magician's Handbook - Hay
Mental Magic - Gaye
13 Steps to Mentalism - Corinda
Tarbell Course in Magic - Harlan Tarbell
Mark Wilson Course in Magic -Mark Wilson
Now You See It, Now You Don't series - Bill Tarr

That's a pretty good basic magic library, frankly.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: scooter147 (Feb 1, 2005 09:38PM)
Anyone care to compare the "Royal road to card magic" to "Expert card technique"? They are both by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue. At first glance, there appears to be a lot of overlap. I have the Royal road... is having "Expert card technique" in addition to this worth it?
Message: Posted by: ThePartyMagician (Feb 10, 2005 03:34PM)
I also agree with the "Mark Wilson Course in Magic -Mark Wilson"

It's an excellent introduction to magic

Kind regards
Mike
Message: Posted by: R.T. (Feb 13, 2005 10:00PM)
I'm brand new to this site, and greatly appreciate everyone's advice. Now which to choose......Thanks for the help. I'll be on E-Bay all night!
Message: Posted by: jskalon (Feb 14, 2005 06:54PM)
I saw Amatuer Magician's Handbook on the list of recommended books for beginners. On my trip to the local used book store today I found a paper back copy of the book for
98 cents. You never know what you'll find there. Last time I snagged Magic With Cards by Frank Garcia and George Schindler for $5.
Well worth the trip.
Message: Posted by: Paul (Feb 16, 2005 09:38AM)
Of the more modern books that would be classed as 'generally available' then 'The Mark Wilson Course in Magic' is great value for money and, for a beginners point of view, more valuable than the latest magical books hyped over the magic forum, most of which require a fair amount of knowledge to begin with.

Paul.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Mar 19, 2005 12:23PM)
It is often overlooked, but for my money, "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne is hard to beat for beginners.
Message: Posted by: chrisch (Apr 10, 2005 02:08AM)
Card college is the most comprehensive for card conjuring
Message: Posted by: mistake1039 (Apr 25, 2005 04:27AM)
I have just started getting into magic and have recently purchased Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic: A complete course. This is a cracking little book, teaching you all the major sleights for all types of magic: card, coin, rope etc...
It really has taught me a lot. Perfect for beginners and can get you baffling people in no time. Highly recommended!
Message: Posted by: todsky (May 12, 2005 07:44AM)
I'm so happy to hear The Amateur Magician's handbook reccommended by so many! I thought I was the only one who 'grew up' on this book. It was because of this book that I learned to back-palm a coin, and do the steeplechase flourish. Bravo to Henry Hay!
Message: Posted by: gerard1973 (May 13, 2005 09:28PM)
Here is a basic magic book list that I have been working on:

A BASIC MAGIC BOOK LIST

COIN/MONEY MAGIC
All you really need is:
1. Coin Magic or the New Modern Coin Magic by J.B.Bobo Ė Coin Magic is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!
If you have the money, you can also buy:
2. Expert Coin Magic - David Roth (Coin Magic)
3. Kaufman's Coinmagic - Richard Kaufman (Coin Magic)
If you can find them.

All you really need is:
Coin Magic or the New Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Highly Recommended!

NOTE: J.B.Boboís Coin Magic book is really the only coin magic book you will really need. Expert Coin Magic or Kaufman's Coinmagic books are hard to find. If you cannot find either one then donít worry because J.B.Boboís Coin Magic book will teach you enough of the basics of coin magic that you will need. Expert Coin Magic or Kaufman's Coinmagic teaches several other advanced coin techniques but you must have your basics learnt first and this comes from J.B.Boboís Coin Magic book.

CARD MAGIC BOOKS
You have two choices here:
The Royal Road To Card Magic (RRTCM) by Hugard & Braue Ė RRTCM is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!
And/or:
Card College Volume 1 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 2 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 3 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 4 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Card College Volume 5 by Robert Giobbi (Card Magic)
Or both if you can afford it

All you really need is:
The Royal Road To Card Magic Highly Recommended!

And:
The Expert at the Card Table: The Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation (ECT) by Erdnase, S. W. Braue Ė ECT is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!

MENTALISM
You have two choices here:
Practical Mental Magic (PMM) by Ted Annemann Ė PMM is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!
And/or:
13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda
Or both if you can afford it

All you really need is:
Practical Mental Magic (PMM) Ė PMM is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!

NOTE: Practical Mental Magic comes in either soft back/paperback or a hardback version. The 13 Steps to Mentalism is only available in a hardback edition. Both books are a little old fashion but they contain the basics for mentalism and there is no consensus as to which book should replace them. Some people prefer the 13 Steps to Mentalism over Practical Mental Magic. Buy both if you can afford it. Both books are relatively inexpensive.

GENERAL MAGIC
You have many choices here:
Amateur Magicians Handbook by Henry Hay Ė Highly Recommended!
The Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson - Highly Recommended!
The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne - Highly Recommended!
The Magic Of Michael Ammar by Mike Maxwell - Highly Recommended!
101 Easy-to-Do Magic Tricks - Bill Tarr - Good fundamentals taught. Highly Recommended!
The Tarbell Course in Magic Volumes 1-8 (The Encyclopedia of Magic)
by Harlan Tarbell Ė Buy them one at a time! Highly Recommended!
NOTE: Covers everything in magic.

All you really need is:
Any or all of the above books. The choice is yours but chose wisely.

NOTE: General magic books are a personal choice. Any of these books that you chose, will do. Lybrary.com sells most magic books on CDís. They are inexpensive.

PERFORMANCE
All you really need is:
Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers - Henny Nelms - Magic and Showmanship is an inexpensive book. Highly Recommended!

I hope that you will find this magic book list helpful...

Gerard
Message: Posted by: Will Gordon (May 15, 2005 08:24PM)
As a beginner myself I have found Mark Wilson Course in Magic Royal road to Card Magic to be very useful.

Will
Message: Posted by: Misty Lee (May 25, 2005 02:33AM)
Millionthing the Mark Wilson book, and Tarbell is a given for anyone interested in actually performing, but I have to say someone handed me a copy of Nathaniel Schiffman's 'Abracadabra' early on in the game and it provided someone with a little bit of knowledge an opportunity to deeply appreciate all the variables that go into performing this art well. Looked for it quickly and didn't see it up there. Anybody read it?
Message: Posted by: Traveler (May 25, 2005 01:47PM)
The advice given in this thread is more than worthwhile. On the other hand , if I were a newcomer in magic and I would follow it, I would probably go nuts. I'd spend all my time reading books and learning about magic.
However : learning ABOUT magic isn't the same as learning to do magic.
A newcomer should first find ONE trick , practice it, rehearse it until it becomes second nature. Then practice and rehearse some more. Really do it.
One trick can make your reputation - if it's well done.
Many tricks badly done can break it.
It really is up to you. My advice would be : slow down, learn one trick. Once it's learned, then go searching for another.
Your repertoire will grow slowly, painstakingly. But you'll be a magician in the end, not just somebody with a big library.
Further : meet people and other magicians. Perform for them. Don't spend too much time on the internet. Unless you want to be a virtual magician instead of a real one.
best of luck ,
Message: Posted by: onezero1 (May 28, 2005 08:03AM)
The Magic Book by Karl Fulves, for good, clean, simple effects.
Mastering The Art Of Magic by Eugene Burger, for presenting magic to humans.
The Encyclopedia Of Magic And Magicians by T.A Waters, for learning about your newfound magical heritage.
And finally if you're a bit mental, Banacheks Psycological Subtleties for reading a few minds.
Message: Posted by: bigdw1 (Jun 4, 2005 05:49PM)
Royal Road to Card Magic and Erdnase book are the top of my list in that order.
Message: Posted by: KN_Magic (Jun 9, 2005 03:19PM)
Books I found most useful were:

Mark Wilson's cyclopedia.
Karl Fulves Self Working Range.
Bobo for coins and Anneman for mentalisms will provide enough ideas for YEARS!

Also, not really a very beginner's book, but for someone who wants to be stretched, try Henning Nelm's magic and showmanship. Some of the theory and how to BE a magician is great. Still re-reading it.

Kevin.
Message: Posted by: mouliu (Jun 11, 2005 03:24PM)
I searched here before I bought any book. My choice was Mark Wilson's The Complete Course of Magic , Karl Fulve's on eveyday's objects, and Practical Mental Magic.

For several weeks, I'm busy with the first one and too busy to read the other two. In fact the book was separated into 2 parts very soon because of frequent reading. Very clear, steps by steps illustration, a must for beginner.

I learn tricks from Mark Wilson's book, but I find it more importantly, I learn showmanship and the philosophy of magic from Henry Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook. IMHO, I find the latter is even more important: it's easy to learn trick, but it's difficult to perform well. Henry Hay's book helps a lot.

If you're serious into this form of art, I'd advice reading Amateur Magician's Handbook (at least the parts about showmanship and philosophy) BEFORE going out and showing your tricks.

And I forgot mentioning the first magic book I read, "The Art of Magic and the Sleight of Hand". Large step by step photos as if a kid's book. You just can't get lost! A little of history, a little of sleight, a lot of tricks, excellent layout.
Message: Posted by: ruaturtle (Jun 18, 2005 01:30PM)
An old, worn-out copy of "The Amateur Magician's Handbook" by Henry Hay was what started it all for me...
Message: Posted by: smartie_28 (Jun 23, 2005 05:50PM)
Mark wilson's cyclopedia of magic was one of the first books that I got and it has tons of information.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Jun 25, 2005 09:06AM)
A personal favorite of mine is The Magic of Michael Ammar because it contians some essays on magic theory and Michael has some deveolped routines in it.

Another great book for entirely different reasons and one that should still be important to beginners is Miboure Christophers The Illustrated History of Magic.

For those performing primarily with kids and families any of Karrel Fox's books are excellent.

For wanting to venture into mentalism Anneman is a must.
Message: Posted by: maiglesias (Jun 28, 2005 07:15AM)
I would have to vote for the Mark Wilson Encyclopedia.
Message: Posted by: milamber (Jun 30, 2005 02:23AM)
Being a relative beginner myself, I would recommend the following:

For Coin Magic:
The book "Bobo's Modern Coin Magic" & the DVD "The Complete Introduction to Coin Magic DVD" by Michael Ammar. I started with Bobo's book and personally struggled with it (being that English is not my first language), and Ammar's DVD is really helping me clear some things up (I just received it).


For Card Magic:
The book "Royal Road to Card Magic", or if you have the funds I recommend the books "Card College vol. 1 & 2" for starters. While you're working through these books you may find it helpful to get video references. The ones that helped me the most were Gerry Griffin's "Complete Card Magic" DVDs, in particular volumes 6 & 7. Also found Ellusionist's "Crash Course 2" to be very helpful once you've acquired some basic knowledge of card sleights...

I have also recently invested in three of Michael Ammar's "Easy to Master Card Miracles" in order to learn more effects, based on recommendations I've read on these forums.


I also recommend that any beginner (who's a wee bit serious) acquire "Strong Magic" by Darwin Ortiz; and/or "The Magic of Ascanio" (this one I just purchased and have only briefly perused it, but if it's anything like Strong Magic I would highly recommend it), to learn proper presentation skills.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Jul 6, 2005 08:02AM)
Great listings! I think it is worth repeating again and again: you can not go wrong with THE AMATEUR MAGICIANíS HANDBOOK by Henry Hay. IMO, if you buy only three or four books, this should be one of them.

Gerald
Message: Posted by: MagicJared (Jul 7, 2005 12:23PM)
For sleights I'd say Bill Tarr's Now you see it now you don't books.

Abbotts rope magic is a nice source also, and cheap. actually any of the dover series of books is good for getting started.
Message: Posted by: maiglesias (Jul 11, 2005 08:01AM)
I just started reading Jim Steinmeyer's book on Chung Ling Soo: WOW!! It is very well written, interesting and a boon to all magicians, but especially recommended for the beginner as it will give him or her an appreciation of the history and art of magic. Hiding the Elephant, Mr. Steinmeyer's previous book, is also highly recommended.
Message: Posted by: KSMagic2007 (Jul 12, 2005 11:27AM)
If no one has mentioned, it MAGIC AND SHOWMANSHIP, amazing book.
Kyle
Message: Posted by: Foucault (Aug 3, 2005 05:11PM)
First, my very short list of the books I would currently consider most helpful for someone who wants a start in magic, but doesn't know exactly what branch of magic is for them:

In order:

1. Magic for Dummies - David Pogue
2. Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic

I think we all have a soft spot for the book that started us on the road to all things magical - that's certainly what I see reflected in many of the posts above. I can't remember the first magic book I read, but I now have quite an extensive magic library, and the list above is based on reading many of the books and revising my thinking.

Now, I still consider myself a beginner. I've had an interest in magic since I was a child, but I've had several "false starts" over the years. This is one reason I have many books. Most recently, I've decided that I really want to commit the time to mastering the art, and I've begun reading yet again.

Up until very recently, I would have recommended Mark Wilson's book as the first book to get for beginners, but I feel it has some insufficiencies; most notably to do with misdirection, showmanship, patter, routining and practicing.

"Magic for Dummies" was quite a revelation to me. Some of the tricks may seem "lame" to many magicians, but this isn't the point. One thing that I loved about the book, is that the first part is all about getting over stagefright and learning to entertain, rather than "just do tricks." Therefore, the early effects taught in the book are (by the author's own admission) not exactly magician-foolers.

There is way more in this book than the tricks themselves. There is a ton of advice about how to put together your patter, routining, what to do and say when things go wrong, etc. There are very little tricky moves used; the emphasis is on the entertainment aspect. Yet many of the tricks themselves are contributed by magicians with a huge amount of real-world experience; people like Jeff McBride, Greg Wilson, Johnny Thomson, Daryl, and so on. There are some strong effects here, many streamlined for the beginner.

Some tricks are introduced purely to illustrate a particular point. For example, The Pencil and Quarter Double Vanish (contributed by Tony Spina of Tannen's) is a perfect example of how one can use misdirection, a point that's not often mentioned in the numerous books it appears in. All the effects feature little icons designed to point out various aspects of the trick, such as points where you can pre-empt problems with spectators, for example.

There is also a liberal sprinkling of very useful mini-essays ("Truths of Magic") in the book, and those alone are worth the price of the book.

Magic for Dummies is one of the few magic books aimed at beginners that explains about things other than the tricks themselves, and it does that very well. It's just a shame that the title, and the fact that on the surface some of the tricks may look a little simple may put some people off.

Once you've read Magic for Dummies, I would definitely recommend the Mark Wilson book next. It introduces a huge number of the basic building blocks used in many different fields of magic.

I also recently read Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook". There is a great deal of information in this book, but compared with some more modern books, it's a bit of a tough read. Again, it's a good overview of different types of magic, and there's a lot of time devoted to presentation, etc., but it's not an easy task to learn a trick out of the book. The photos were a good idea, and a great improvement on the methods used in older books, but compared to a wonderfully illustrated book like Wilson's, it's lacking.

Phew, that was a long first post, but I was inspired!
Message: Posted by: Dan Ezell (Aug 9, 2005 12:54AM)
It appears the same books are mentioned over and over, which should provide confirmation of their greatest to those who are starting out. I would like to add another plug for Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. In my opinion it is the best book for the beginner. For the beginner it will provide the kind of information you can immediately use. I recently decided I would flip through it to remind myself of the contents and I was surprised at the many, many tricks I regularly perform. Even if you are a veteran magician, I urge you to pick it up again for a quick browse.
Dan
Message: Posted by: peterdgr8 (Aug 15, 2005 07:19PM)
The posts here have some top notch recommendations which I agree with. But yesterday while I wandering around in a Border's Book store in Mt. Kisco, New York I came across a book they were trying to get rid of (judging by the $5.99 price) that may be one of the best introductory books on magic I've ever seen: The Practical Encyclopedia of Magic by Nicholas Einhorn published 2002, 2003 and 2004 by Hermes House. What's great about this is the clarity of the most basic of sleights that will be useful for years and give you the tools you need for any other book written (I've found that beyond these basics) most books describe the method performed by the author) and the wonderful photographs to guide you into the right fingerings. There are tons of great 'self-working' card tricks as well as slightly more involved ones utilizing some of the more 'advanced' sleights. Plus a good sampling of effects involving coins, cups, balls, rope and everyday objects.

I'd never seen this book before. And quite by happenstance I came across it. And reading this thread I heartily recommend it to anyone at any age interested in starting out in magic. Very very strongly recommended along with many of the others here.
Message: Posted by: sayer (Aug 22, 2005 05:18PM)
Royal road to card magic is my most favourite. Highly recommnded!!!
Message: Posted by: ChristianR (Aug 22, 2005 05:32PM)
I'd have to agree with some of you on Magic for Dummies, what makes it such a great book is the small gems and things other then effects. The 10 magicians worth knowing, magician contact info, magic store list, presentation tips, and more is what makes this such a good book
Message: Posted by: NCR (Aug 24, 2005 06:44PM)
Magic for dummies is great, along with royal road, mark wilsons complete course in magic, and maybe modern coin magic.
Message: Posted by: kirkmax (Aug 25, 2005 10:37AM)
Sorry if this is a repeat question but what is the best video to go with BOBO?
Message: Posted by: Foucault (Aug 26, 2005 10:54AM)
I'm really finding Michael Ammar's [i]Complete Introduction to Coin Magic[/i] to be useful. There's a lot of useful stuff, not just on the sleights and tricks, but some useful theory and advice as well.
Message: Posted by: Myssterious! (Aug 31, 2005 04:51PM)
Just wanted to say thanks for all the info on this section! Will be a while before I post I think with so much reading to do!
Message: Posted by: Sleightly_Done (Sep 8, 2005 07:11PM)
After reviewing this entire thread.... I can only say I wish this information would have been available when I was building my reference collection. And I never thought about "The Art of War" being a magic reference.... but now I see the light!

I have a couple to add, that surprisingly enough have not been mentioned.

If you want to do cups and balls, the only reference you need is Michael Ammar. I have the DVD's (The Complete Cups and Balls), but I understand the book contains exactly the same information.

If you want to do silk magic, it's Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic.
Message: Posted by: rboeskin (Sep 9, 2005 10:50PM)
If you like coin magic I would recomend JB Bobo modern coin magic; it is a great book and it has a lot of coin sleight; I have not even learned them all.
Message: Posted by: pasharabbit (Sep 11, 2005 12:59PM)
Street Magic by Paul Zenon is an excellent beginners book. Forget the street part since that's an obvious branding by the publishers as a genre, the book is handsomely produced, well illustrated with photographs and has many great effects. Also presents good information on how to present the trick and the patter to go along with it. For beginners he presents a nice selection of different types of magic with strong effects, mentalism, coins, cards, street hustles like 3 card monte, Fast and Loose and the shell and the pea games. It's not encylopedic but for beginners learning a few good tricks in a field is enough to give them an idea if they want to pursue that branch of magic. It's also a fun read.

Can't think of a better book on magic for a beginner to read. I've seen some of these effects advertised for 5-10 dollars as a downloads.
Message: Posted by: Magicman101uk (Oct 15, 2005 10:54AM)
Like a lot of you, I started with Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic, then studied card magic (Royal Road to Card Magic, Expert At The Card Table). I've also recently gotten into coin magic and found Bobo's book excellent.

Cheers

Paul
Message: Posted by: shodanng (Oct 17, 2005 05:43AM)
I bought the book "Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic" today in Hong Kong.

It definitely is a magic treasure for me!!
Message: Posted by: Philipe (Oct 18, 2005 12:03PM)
Hi everyone

I've just got back into magic after a gap of 15 years and wanted to start out right, so I looked around and thought things through book wise before buying. I've bought the following which considering the advice here seems a good working set to own, to begin with anyway.

Mark Wilson's Complete magic course
Downes The art of magic
Hugard's Magic manual
Curry Magicians magic
Nelms Magic and showmanship
Bobo Modern coin magic
Hugard Royal road to card magic

Regards Phil
Message: Posted by: hobowill (Oct 23, 2005 09:51PM)
I definately have my sights set on Card college vollume 1-5 as soon as I have the money. I think it has great diagrams and explains everything well, worth every penny
Message: Posted by: toolman22 (Nov 20, 2005 08:39PM)
Ive read all the post so far as to what books to buy. I'm going with Complete guide to magic by Mark Wilson and I think card college has more approvals than Royal Road, so it will be card college. Time to save my pennies
Message: Posted by: jasonmagic (Dec 3, 2005 09:39PM)
Tarbell, The Royal Road to Card Magic, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, Bill Tarr- Now you see it,Now you don't. Anything by Mark Wilson!
Message: Posted by: vance2276 (Dec 16, 2005 01:55AM)
Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic is good, but you can get a lot of the same info in the Cyclopedia of Magic, also by Mark Wilson. The format is slightly annoying (the book is 500 pages or so, but it 3" x 5"), but it is full of a variety of effects, including card, coin, silk, stage, etc. The advantage is that the Cyclopedia can be bought used from Half.com for only a few bucks.

If you want a complete coin intro, check out Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.

Mike Vance
Message: Posted by: welshoggie (Dec 22, 2005 04:41AM)
It seems to me you've all missed out the books that have probably been the most use to my brother 'Matt the Magic Man', he is currently working for P&O Cruises for the winter, and will be in Oakwood Theme Park in West Wales in the summer.

His inspiration has come from Eric Sharp's books from South Wales, UK.

http://www.bookschildrensmagic.co.uk

It has really helped him to develop his skills as a magician and he has gone a long way in a short space of time using these books.
Message: Posted by: Edith (Jan 9, 2006 11:58AM)
I am fairly new to magic but the first book I had was "Hokus Pokus Fidipus!" by Uwe Schenk & Michael Sondermeyer. It's a book for children and in german...

My second one was "Magic for Dummies".
Message: Posted by: john_herm (Jan 10, 2006 06:33PM)
The Royal Road to Card Magic, Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, and The Amateaur Magician's Handbook are books that you have to get.

John
Message: Posted by: Fitzy (Jan 11, 2006 10:05AM)
What about Magic and Showmanship a little out dated but a lot of info
Message: Posted by: ChristianR (Feb 9, 2006 11:10AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-16 02:55, vance2276 wrote:
Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic is good, but you can get a lot of the same info in the Cyclopedia of Magic, also by Mark Wilson. The format is slightly annoying (the book is 500 pages or so, but it 3" x 5"), but it is full of a variety of effects, including card, coin, silk, stage, etc. The advantage is that the Cyclopedia can be bought used from Half.com for only a few bucks.

If you want a complete coin intro, check out Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.

Mike Vance
[/quote]

But, the Cyclopedia does not have the same amount of material, if you want the whole book, not just a portion of it then look into buying the Complete Encyclopedia.
Message: Posted by: UndergroundMark (Mar 14, 2006 07:45AM)
I would like to re- second the Mark Wilsons Course in Magic, I got it about 6-7 months ago (seems like 7 years! lol) and I can't put it down.
Message: Posted by: georgecha (Mar 15, 2006 01:58PM)
Dear Beginners,

Greeting!:P

In my website.. I recommend a few e-books for beginners also..:)

Do feel free to visit it:
Message: Posted by: Katterfel22 (Mar 29, 2006 06:59PM)
Hmm let me see. Books I have found useful.
Self Working Coin Magic by Karl Fulves
Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer (For Info on how to present magic and how some of the great magicians developed their acts)
Modern Magic by Professor Hoffman
Mark Wilson's Complete course in Magic by Mark Wilson
Bill Severn's Complete Book of Magic by Bill Severn (Can Usually be found in the bargain bin at Barnes an Noble)
Magic With Cards by Garcia and Schindler
In terms of Dvd's
I am a big fan of Jay Sankey's Revolutionary Coin Magic
That's about all I can think of off the top of my head.;)
Message: Posted by: ChristianR (Mar 30, 2006 07:25PM)
Magicians should read on presentation too and history:

Jim Steinmeyer, excellent history

Strong Magic, Darwin Ortiz

Card College 2: AT LEAST READ THE THEORY SECTION! Very good!

How can you read just about tricks and be successful? Study the classics above though.

Just had to post that,

Christian
Message: Posted by: Katterfel22 (Apr 2, 2006 07:33PM)
Good point.
I should have included Harlan Tarbell's Course In Magic. It's got History, Technique and Patter combined.
I also found a site http://www.lybrary.com that has a lot of the classic books in ebook format for purchase or download.
I haven't gotten anything from them yet but the volume of classic texts they have seems impressive.
Message: Posted by: RickCastro (May 9, 2006 03:02PM)
The Tarbell Course is a great course and Now a days it is sometimes available on eBay for under $100! What a deal! Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: oso2you (Jun 13, 2006 11:26PM)
Amazon.com is a great source for new and used magic books. I just bought a used hardbound copy of the Amateur Magicians Handbook. You can find many older classic books there.
Message: Posted by: wildarr (Jun 19, 2006 05:33PM)
Just a comment about Henry Hay's The Amateur Magician's Handbook:

It is a fantastic book covering many facets of magic. I still have an old paperback copy that I bought back in the 1970's.

However, like many classic texts, it puts a lot of emphasis on The Pass as a card sleight. I remember being frustrated with the feeling that the first sleight I should learn was one of the hardest.

I think feelings about The Pass have changed over the years, and while still a valuable sleight, the young mage probably should not lose too much sleeps starting there.

Definitely a must have for the book collector in all of us!
Message: Posted by: silverhawkins (Jun 23, 2006 10:35AM)
Royal Road to Card Magic-Hugard & Braue was my first book. I've had it years and I'm still learning...then the encyclopaedia of card magic to follow it also has loads more tricks and sleights.

Definitely worth purchasing those two if you're into card magic.

Ben
Message: Posted by: Katterfel22 (Jun 24, 2006 05:13PM)
I thought I should mention that the DAI VERNON BOOK of MAGIC has just been reprinted recently. Though some of the techniques and references are not strictly for begginers, the ideas, theory and explanations in the book are invaluable to a learning magician. I honestly wish I had this book much earlier in my magic career.
A couple of other books I should mention are the "Practical Encyclopedia of Magic" by Nicholas Einhorn. At first glance I looked it over because it looked way to flashy
to be a serious magic book, but I was wrong. It varies from simple stuff to some very comercial tricks. Everything in the book is also illustrated in full color for the more visually oriented among us.
Finally, for those who wish to enter bizarre magic, there is no better book that I have seen than Christian Chelman's "Capricornian Tales". If this kind of magic is what you are interested in this book will save you a lot of false starts.
Message: Posted by: doulos (Jun 28, 2006 09:53PM)
Personal votes are -

Henry Hay's Amature Magicians Handbook: Very good cross section of over all magic
Mark Wilson's Complete Magic Course: Well written/ great illustrations
Hugard's Modern Magic Manual: Another fine book (sure do miss mine)
Bobo Modern Coin Magic: All the moves you will ever use.
Hugard Royal Road to Card Magic: great addition to all of the above
Bill Tarr - Now You See It (vol1&2): Great Illustrations

Doulos
Message: Posted by: jayhoward (Jul 13, 2006 10:38AM)
Is there anyone who feels that it's better to skip books and go right to DVDs, which not only provide a visual of the sleight or trick, but also allow you to see the presentation? After reading several books I'm starting to feel I'd rather have a DVD with ten different illusions or tricks, as opposed to a thick encyclopedia-like book with hundreds of tricks.
Message: Posted by: jayhoward (Jul 15, 2006 12:22PM)
What's anyone's take on DVD versus books? Are the DVDs worth the extra money to be able to see the "live" presentation?
Message: Posted by: djrdjr (Jul 15, 2006 05:37PM)
I feel it depends on what works for the individual. When I was trying to learn to juggle, I had a juggler standing next to me, teaching me how to do it. I could not pick it up. But when I read the instructions printed on a cheap set of juggling balls, I picked it up almost immediately. For some people the printed word just works better. For others, DVDs or personal instruction will work better. It's going to be difficult for anyone to guess what will work best for anyone else. Experiment a little. :)
Message: Posted by: Cheety (Jul 24, 2006 02:11PM)
If ur going to buy a dvd that explains the book, don't buy both, first buy the book and see if you can go thru it without the dvd, you could always use the money for sumthin else
Message: Posted by: frog52 (Jul 29, 2006 12:54PM)
When I started magic, videos were more helpful than books: I got to see new effects and presentation styles, together with detailed explanations of all the moves (try learning an Elmsley count just from a written description).

Nowadays, I know a few moves, and the key effects, so I like studying the details: books are more useful to me now.
Message: Posted by: Tyler (Aug 1, 2006 09:09PM)
I agree frog. I'm old school and learned the old fashioned way with books. It was frustrating because some moves and sleights are just easier seen in a DVD than explained in a book. I usually gave up and came back to it later... sometimes years later! I own the Elmsley DVDs and Vol. 1 of his complete works. I read, enjoyed and worked through the book. Then I watched the DVD. While Elmsley did a great job explaining the sleights, the book emphasized so much more. I'm sure I would have missed some nuances on even the basic moves ( Elmsley Count - been using the two-handed finger pinch for years and the way Elmsley did it and Minch described it in the book made the move 100 times more visual and 1000 times easier to do) In short, I find that books are more useful now - but it's nice to see some items actually performed especially by their creators.
Message: Posted by: pradell (Aug 5, 2006 02:31AM)
For free access to many magical books go to http://www.thelearnedpig.com.pa and take the "simple" magical test. If you pass, you get access to these free books:

202 Methods of Forcing--Annemann
A Real Magic Show--Lane
Adventures in Many Lands--Zancig
Annemann's Card Miracles--Annemann
Annemann's Buried Treasure--Annemann
Annemann's Mental Mysteries--Annemann
Annual of Magic 1937--Hugard
Annual of Magic 1938--Hugard
Behind the Scenes with the Mediums--Abbott
Encyclopedia of Card Tricks--Hugard
Golden Jubilee Book of Magic--Christopher
Here's How--Lane
History of Magic and Magicians--Burlingame
It's Fun to be Fooled--Goldin
Latter Day Tricks--Roterberg
Magical Deceptions--Crayford
Magical Originalities--Noakes
Miracle Mongers and their Methods--Houdini
Miracles in Modern Magic--Whiteley
Modern Card Effects--DeLawrence-Thompson
My Magic Life--Devant
Our Magic--Maskelyne
Our Mysteries--Sphinx Magazine
Paper Magic--Houdini
Sensational Tales of Mystery Men--Goldston
Si Stebbins Card Tricks--Stebbins
The Haunted Hat--Hoffmann
The Lives of the Conjurers--Frost
They're Off!--Lane-Grant

:magician:
There's a lot more on the website, so check it out!

:magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: morpheus777 (Aug 8, 2006 08:38AM)
Hi guys! I think I'm in the right place !! first of all excuse me my english mistakes (Im a brazilian living in japan)Im new here too ,I love magic and Id like to buy not a book but dvd(s) because I think is better to learn .
I saw several of them ,but I don't know what is the better to start .Id like that you give some titles(about cards).
Message: Posted by: jayhoward (Aug 19, 2006 08:51AM)
First, thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts on the DVD vs book question. To Morpheus, I would say for cards, hands down get the 5 set Wilson video that accompanies "The Royal Road to Magic."

jay
Message: Posted by: jayhoward (Aug 19, 2006 08:53AM)
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, as the topic is quite lengthy, but magic is as much about presentation as it is the techniques or sleights. I feel Ortiz's "Strong Magic" should be required reading for anyone who wants to know about the performance end, which is really what awes spectators, as opposed to just the technical end.

Jay
Message: Posted by: LDM (Aug 19, 2006 09:52AM)
It's a great book, but I would recommend "Magic and Showmanship" by Henning Nelms, first. It's cheap, and one of the definitive books on magical presentation.
Message: Posted by: Robert Dye (Sep 4, 2006 11:50PM)
I started with "The Amateur Magician's Handbook," by Henry Hay. It's pretty good, but you may have a hard time finding it. I do recall seeing a bargain style reprint a few years ago, but have not seen it again in at least five years.

I learned a one-handed cut from Hay's book, but I don't recommend it for that. His OHC is very difficult and illogical. Just a few days ago, I started looking at magic again, and came across Mark Wilson's book. When I tried his instructions for a OHC I was astonished at how easy it was.

So I suppose my recommendation of a good book for a beginner is to NOT go with just one book. You may find that you are using a book in which the magician had trouble explaining something, or did it the hard way. Checking two or three sources might make things go a little more smoothly.
Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (Sep 7, 2006 03:32AM)
I got my copy of "The Amateur Magician's Handbook" on Ebay just a couple of months ago. If memory serves me right, it has been out of print for a while. Hard to understand why when one considers it one of the classics in magic.

As for the book vs dvd debate, I side quite heavily with dvds. Books are sometimes very hard for me to understand, as the author's writing style may not be to my liking. Also, video images, with their changes in perspective may provide me with a clue on how to do something that the books miss.
Message: Posted by: Douglas.M (Sep 9, 2006 10:01PM)
Regarding the whole DVD vs BOOK thing:

People have different learning styles. Some people learn better visually, others learn through tactile/kinethetic, audio/music, mathmatical/logic, interpersonal or combinations of the above stimuli.

I like books because I can just glance to re-read a difficult move breakdown without having to "rewind". On the other hand, to see how a series of moves flow, or to see how the presentation and timing work in practice, a video clip is great.

For the interpersonal learner, taking magic lessons or or finding a magic mentor (or Master) would probably be good ideas as they all involve interacting with another human one-on-one. who hasn't benefited from a jam with other magicians?

I recently obtained the "e-book" versions of Card College I and II. The e-books containg text and illustrations for move breakdowns, and also contain links to video clips of the author performing key moves (some in slow motion). To me this combination of text, graphics, and video is a good combination for teaching to "multiple intelligences".

Douglas M.
Message: Posted by: 0045 (Sep 29, 2006 04:08PM)
I started some time ago with The Royal Road To Card Magic and have never regretted it, I have already learned some super cool sleights and tricks. I also supplement this with an occasional purchase from Ammars' Easy To Master Card Miracles series and have also ordered Kaufmans Basic Card Technique DVD.

The Royal Road is as good an introduction to card magic as you will find anywhere else and will definately give you a thorough grounding in this art form. If you are truly dedicated and wish to become proficient you must be prepared to start at the beginning and practice, practice and practice some more. Study each chapter in sequence and do not move on to the next until you can do the moves in your sleep. Some of the more complex seeming moves become relatively simple if you practice often enough, you will develop your own subtleties and patience will be rewarded. There are no short cuts to good card magic, I thoroughly recommend this classic book to all aspiring card magicians.

Regards 0045
Message: Posted by: joshua the magician (Oct 5, 2006 05:12PM)
Is there a difference between the two books mark wilsons complete course in magic and mark wilsons course in magic (i think the book without the complete in it is a bit older too)
Message: Posted by: Foucault (Oct 6, 2006 07:10PM)
Later versions of the book have an extra "Reputation Makers" section with some really great tricks. I have a copy like this with "Complete" in the title, dated 2002.
Message: Posted by: michaangelo (Oct 22, 2006 11:43AM)
Just weighing in with my .02 worth on the DVD vs. Book argument. I love both and actually would suggest attending a lecture or magic conference if you ever get the chance. I was fortunate to attend the Las Vegas Magic Invitational four years ago and discovered the most amazing community in the world. Magicians are all about helping teach and mentor young and learning magicians (after all, a novice who tips the method damages us all!!!) Working with a person really takes your magic to a new level and it is AWESOME. Join a circle or club and get connected. I lived in a little tiny town a couple of years ago and figured I would never find magic. I was doing a trick for friends at the bowling alley and this old guy came up to me afterward and told me I needed to watch my angles. Suddenly, I was connected with a circle of twelve magicians who totally helped me out... Hang out in the Magic Shop (if there is one near you.) People beat books and DVDs.

Michael
Message: Posted by: yiquanken (Oct 24, 2006 02:14AM)
[quote]
On 2001-09-25 16:01, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
My list of required books for the budding magician:

Amateur Magicianís Handbook-Hay

Royal Road to Card Magic-Hugard & Braue

New Modern Coin Magic-Bobo

The Magic Book-Lorayne

Close up Card Magic-Lorayne

Stars of Magic

Mark Wilsonís Complete Course



After these, get Tarbell, Greater Magic, and Card College. Follow with Ortizí Strong Magic and the Tamariz Trilogy, and youíll have all you need to make a living in magic!

[/quote]

What is the difference between "Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo" and "New Modern Coin Magic-Bobo"? Please give me some advise or review, thanks in advance.
Message: Posted by: airship (Oct 24, 2006 09:45AM)
"Modern Coin Magic" is an older edition, and is published by Dover at the low, low price of $10. "New Modern Coin Magic" is the latest edition, and includes several additional chapters. It's from Magic, Inc., and costs about $30-$40. If you can afford it, get the newer version. If you're really money-tight, the older, cheaper edition is okay. Either way, you should have one or the other in your magic libarary.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Nov 12, 2006 07:34PM)
Misty Lee, I also read Nathaniel Schiffman's 'Abracadabra': it's a very good book for those who want to understand pretty much all the underlying principles of magical deception.
Message: Posted by: magicbean (Nov 22, 2006 01:53PM)
Maybe, I missed this post but did anyone mention Expert Card Technique by Hugard and Braue? This is an all time classic of card magic.

How about Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms (Dover)?

I believe these are still published by Dover publications in paperback form. I owned Expert Card Technique in hard cover many years ago and lost it(ouch).
Message: Posted by: SteveTheMagician (Nov 25, 2006 08:57PM)
Ok, I don't know if this was posted yet but I would reccomendthe dvd "Basic" by Richard Kaufman. personally I find that books are great, but to truly learn the essential skills nessicary (sp? lol) to become a magician you have to learn them either in person or on a tape/dvd.

when I was starting out I learned almost all my tricks and skills from the boob tube.
and I found it much easier.

-steve!
Message: Posted by: Thomas Okey (Dec 5, 2006 03:13PM)
My 2cents on VHS/DVD verses Books.

I also started off with books because it was the only think we had so I am probably partial to them but I feel they have their advantages. As already mentioned books usually have more detail about performing the move or presentation ideas. But I also agree that some of the books can be really hard to read or understand. For instance, "The Amature Magicians Handbook." This was my first book also and I still have it and I love it, now that I have learnt to read it. I remember when I was a teenager me and a friend spent four hours trying to understand how to do a waterfall shuffle. When we figured out what we were suppose to be doing, we realized that it was the same shuffle that we had been doing for years. We did get a big laugh out of it though.

DVDs/VHS or great for seeing how a move is suppose to look like or how a routine is suppose to flow. But a big disadvantage in MHO is listening to the presentation. I thing you should use both but turn the volume down on any presentations so that you aren't influenced on the presentation you might use. It is hard not to copy other magicians presentations sometimes but if you don't listen to it you can still learn from watching. I am talking about presentations here not the explanations of how a sleight is performed.

Just my 2cents worth. I hope it helps.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mark Wilden (Dec 9, 2006 03:34PM)
I just wanted to weigh in on the advice to thoroughly learn each move in "Royal Road" before moving on to the next one.

I started out with that goal in mind - and ended up spending two months on the first chapter and "Topsy Turvy Cards." Even after that amount of time, I still fumbled sometimes with overhand shuffle controls, and when I finally performed "Topsy Turvy Cards" for someone, it fell rather flat (I know - my performance was lacking).

So now I'm going through the book at a quicker pace, learning each move and each trick, but not necessarily perfecting them. This has let me discover tricks that better suit my personality, and moves that I can learn more easily (I still see pros fumble the overhand shuffle in DVDs!).

Obviously, to perform a trick properly, you still need to be able to do it "in your sleep." I'm just saying that, for me, that wasn't necessary for me to progress through and have fun with the book.

///ark
Message: Posted by: 0045 (Dec 12, 2006 06:38PM)
Mark

I totally respect your opinion and your prefered way of learning, however as your post seems to refer to my earlier submission I wish to add the following;

I agree that some of the effects in the book are not really that impressive, I did not advocate learning every effect until you could do it in your sleep but rather learn every move/slieght.

As you progress through I am sure that you have noticed that there are some truly impressive effects to be learned, these are the ones that you should concentrate on, but not until you have really mastered the necessary sleights.

I hope you have as much fun with this book as I am having.

Regards

0045
Message: Posted by: Paul Budd (Dec 14, 2006 12:41PM)
Lots of great advice contained here......thanks to all of you.....while I'm not "brand new", I've been away from magic for a long time.
Message: Posted by: thefire (Dec 20, 2006 10:50AM)
[quote]
On 2001-09-13 03:05, Doug Byrd wrote:
Steve,

Iíd like to 2nd the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic Book. I have had my copy for 14 years and still reference it to this very day. Top of the list. If you decide you want to be a card man then Iíd go with the 4 Roberto Giobbi Card College Volumes. If itís Coin Work your looking to perfect then J.B. Boboís Mordern Coin Magic Book.

Just my 2 drakma worth,

Doug :wavey:

[/quote]also with the tech these days dvd is an excellent way to learn some have their preferences but daryl is the best THE BEST teacher at cards
Message: Posted by: thefire (Dec 20, 2006 10:55AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-19 09:53, jayhoward wrote:
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, as the topic is quite lengthy, but magic is as much about presentation as it is the techniques or sleights. I feel Ortiz's "Strong Magic" should be required reading for anyone who wants to know about the performance end, which is really what awes spectators, as opposed to just the technical end.

Jay
[/quote]this book is #1 great
Message: Posted by: thefire (Dec 20, 2006 10:57AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-15 18:37, djrdjr wrote:
I feel it depends on what works for the individual. When I was trying to learn to juggle, I had a juggler standing next to me, teaching me how to do it. I could not pick it up. But when I read the instructions printed on a cheap set of juggling balls, I picked it up almost immediately. For some people the printed word just works better. For others, DVDs or personal instruction will work better. It's going to be difficult for anyone to guess what will work best for anyone else. Experiment a little. :)
[/quote]dvds are great for teaching technique but you can t beat books for
inspiration
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Dec 26, 2006 08:40PM)
With 6 pages of posts, I may have missed it, but I would certainly include the trilogy by Dariel Fitzkee,
Showmanship for Magicians,
The Trick Brain,
and
Magic by Misdirection
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Dec 27, 2006 01:08AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-10 10:57, onebark wrote:
Nicholas Einhorn's book is fantastic. It has really helped me, as an adult returning to my childhood hobby, to get a taste of the magic art. The photography is superb.

There are simple tricks and routines, but there are several real stunners that I use as a regular part of my show. I think the book has really helped me try out different routines and decide what to purchase and what to pursue more deeply.

Jesse
[/quote]
I agree. When I first saw it I thought "Oh great another Magic Coffee Table Book", but looking through it, I quickly changed my mind. This is really a useful and informative book. I must admit though, that I found it a little disconcerting to see Bobo described as a French magician from the turn of the century!
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 17, 2007 07:00PM)
I just read Magic and Meaning by Burger and Neale, and I really wish I had read this much earlier in my carreer (like at the beginning!). If you want to make your magic meaningful and profound, as opposed to light and fluffy, this book will set you on your path. Especially recommended for the philosophers and mythologists among you.
Message: Posted by: Swoop (Jan 24, 2007 02:40AM)
This is actually my first post ever when it comes to magic, so I hope I can be a helpfull one.
I have been playing around with cards for some time now, but never really took the time to learn and practise good magic, untill I got myself a copy of The Royal Road to Card Magic.
When I used to do cardtricks for friends or family they were never really impressed...But things changed, even the most simple tricks in the book are, in my experience, yawdroppers. The reactions I get are great, genuine amazement. And with each succes I get more and more comfortable in performing and entertaining even to complete strangers.
I also recommend getting the Paul Wilson's DVD-set, it helped me out a lot in actually seeing the tricks performed.

Next to this, I think The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne and Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic should also be on the bookshelf of every beginner. I haven't finished them both yet, but every new page in these books have taken my skill and performance up a level.

But the most important thing these books have taught me personally is patience.

I am thinking of getting Henry Hay's book next, but I don't know which edition I should get? Is there a big difference between the 4th edition and the previous ones, so if anybody can help me with this one.
Also I am looking for books that are more about patter,performance and misdirections. any ideas?
Message: Posted by: cosmopop1 (Feb 15, 2007 07:01PM)
For me, being a beginner, it would have to be:

Mark Wilson's complete course in magic
RRTCM by Jean Huggard
New Modern Coin magic by Bobo

Probably more but I can't think of them right now
Message: Posted by: Trekdad (Feb 18, 2007 11:43AM)
After recently catching the "bug" with my son and daughter, and investing (too much money:))in some great books and dvds, I got Volume 1 of Tarbell's Course in Magic at Denny and Lee's. I cracked open the plastic wrap, read Tarbell's goal on creating his course:

" . . . I had one idea in mind -- the making of magicians."

With Tarbell in one hand, and Ortiz's "Strong Magic" in the other, I feel like I've discovered some great and wonderful treasures.
Message: Posted by: CasualSoul (Feb 19, 2007 07:33PM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-18 12:43, Trekdad wrote:
With Tarbell in one hand, and Ortiz's "Strong Magic" in the other, I feel like I've discovered some great and wonderful treasures.
[/quote]

I think Strong Magic isn't recommended enough to beginners. It's an amazing work that every magician should have to read before developing close-up routines for live performance. It's the most important book I own. Some may argue that it's for more advanced students of magic, but I think that it's the best source for teaching the most critical presentation skills that all beginners need. We all want to be good magicians, but mastering the moves plays only a small part in amazing our audiences; Strong Magic teaches almost everything else.
Message: Posted by: state (Feb 28, 2007 12:24PM)
I learned a great deal from Tarbell vol. 1 and 2 as kid. Now at the age of 30, I own the complete set and still crack all of them open every once in awhile for inspiration.
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Mar 2, 2007 11:57PM)
Fitzkee's The Trick Brain shares magic principles, gives examples; and explains how to develop your creativity. Andersons news paper magic, and abbotts Rope Magic are valuable as well.

KOTAH
Message: Posted by: state (Mar 5, 2007 06:21PM)
Another great book for any magician is "GET ANYONE TO DO ANYTHING" by David J. Lieberman, Ph.D. This book does not teach sleights or tricks, but gives you a psychological advantage when dealing with people.
Message: Posted by: scmagicman (Mar 18, 2007 02:30AM)
You simply can't go wrong with Mark Wilson. I got this as my first introduction to magic and still look back over it for new ideas.
Message: Posted by: jolly12 (Mar 19, 2007 10:33AM)
I'm a big fan of coin tricks and after all of your suggestions and praise, went with BOBO's...what a choice!! haha like the gift that keeps on giving! thanks so much
Message: Posted by: Nedim (Mar 22, 2007 12:22PM)
Hi everyone,

I think the best book to start magic with is Tarbell Courses. You can find 8 books in Tarbell. If you start with Tarbell 1 and continue to read on it means that you are on the wright road. You can learn magic tricks,advices and some details of magic. Its a big encyclopedia of magic for every level of people.

And also if you choose your magic style there are great Dvds on the market.


regards,


Nedim Guzel
Message: Posted by: CDKconjurations (Apr 3, 2007 04:38PM)
Books I wish had been recommended to me & I would now recommend to BEGINNERS (of course some of these titles weren't available when I was a beginner, oh well):

General Magic - The Magic Book (Harry Lorayne)
Card Magic - The Royal Road to Card Magic (Jean Hugard & Frederick Braue)
Coin Magic - The New Modern Coin Magic (J. B. Bobo)
Rope Magic - The Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks (Stewart James)
Performance/Theory - Strong Magic (Darwin Ortiz)
Biographical - The Glorious Deception (Jim Steinmeyer)

For the ambitious students of magic who have devoured the titles above and thirst for something more - something more challenging, something worthy of the devotion of time, something to PRACTICE & STUDY - I would recommend...

The Dai Vernon Book of Magic (Lewis Ganson)

As stated at the start, these are titles I wish had been recommended or had been available when I first started. Of course, in between the first part of the list and the Vernon book is where the Fitzkee trilogy, Tarbell, Mark Wilson's, and Card College could be recommended. As far as my recommendation of the Vernon book? Hey, if Vernon could study "Expert at the Card Table" at the age of 12...
Message: Posted by: Bande (Apr 6, 2007 04:32PM)
I am Bande, a beginner in magic and here is my confession (which hopefully will help at least one person) :)

I have always liked magic, and my interest got re-invigorated with the Street Magic craze (David Blaine, Criss Angel etc.). I am a product of our modern times I guess, so wanted to be able to everything they did right away with little or no time investment. So I went and bought a bunch of tricks. Some were great (STS, Prohibition), some were OK (Brainwave, Invisible Deck), some were a waste of money (at least for me).

I started reading all the reviews on the forum, and was like a kid in the candy shop. I wanted all of these tricks that seem to come out weekly. Reviews helped narrow them down some, but still more tricks than I could afford.

As I kept reading, I saw lots of advice to beginners to stop buying tricks and get a book. Why would I do that I thought? Seems like a lot of boring work, hard to understand what to do, when I could just buy some instant miracles. Still it is hard to ignore page after page of people who have done this for a living telling you to get certain books.

Wednesday, I have some time ot kill and happen to be near the local library. I go in, and start browsing the stacks. I find a small magic section, and recognize one title "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic." I check it out and bring it home.

I open it up and at first it meets my worst fears. First I get definition ... ooh joy. Then I look at he the first trick, and it takes me multiple tries to figure out how to take his 2D descriptions and illustrations and turn them into 3D. But I have nothing better to do, so I presevere. Whoa! The trick actually works. :) I practice it a bunch, and get it down smoothly. Show up at work, and show it some people -- I get a great reaction.

I go home the next night and look at the next trick. It's even cooler -- and now the directions are starting to make more sense. I start thumbing through the various sections and start to realize that a lot of the tricks I have been considering buying are in here (albeit in more rudimentary form most of the time). As I learn how the basics are done, I become a much more intelligent reader now on tricks that are sold. Don't get me wrong, I am still likely to go and buy a Wallet to do some slick CTW trick, but now that I know how it is done and could make my own, I know in advance if it is the type of trick I will like to perform.

So, from one beginner to another, really do go get some of these books. Yes, there are some pedantic people on this site that who go overboard about what needs to be learned, but don't use that as your excuse to miss the really valuable advice most people here are giving. I highly reccommend Mr. Wilson's book as a great starting point as it covers a bit of everything. From there, if you are into cards or coins etc. I think it would make sense to follow the other suggestions for the best books in those areas.

/rant off :)
Message: Posted by: Hollyfeld (Apr 21, 2007 12:54PM)
Great thread everyone! Bande, you are not alone. I, too, have been a victim of the wanting-it-all-now, but have been steered in positive directions by folks here in the Cafť.

I do have one specific question about Royal Road if someone could answer it. Does it go over all of the really basic basics.....such as shuffles and how they're done, how to hold a deck, the glide, basic forces, etc. I am just beginning and would really like to build a good foundation.
Message: Posted by: spoofy (Apr 29, 2007 12:03AM)
Wow there's so many good books and vidoes I don't kno where to start!
Message: Posted by: Jay Austin (Apr 29, 2007 08:37PM)
[quote]
I do have one specific question about Royal Road if someone could answer it. Does it go over all of the really basic basics.....such as shuffles and how they're done, how to hold a deck, the glide, basic forces, etc. I am just beginning and would really like to build a good foundation.
[/quote]

YES!!!! It starts off like you have never even held a deck of cards in your hand and walks you through learning each step. It does a great job of explaining each move. Even many of those that have been working with cards for a while will go back to Royal Road and use it as a refresher. You might look at getting the DVD that does along with the book and using both. They complement each other very well.
Message: Posted by: Jay Austin (Apr 29, 2007 08:57PM)
I was searching for a copy of Fitzkee's Magic By Misdirection and ran across this link. http://www.angelfire.com/musicals/fitzkee/

It is the entire Trilogy online. I did search for copyright info before posting this link and the only information that I found showed that they were now in the public domain. If that is not the case, someone please let me know so this link can be removed.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (May 7, 2007 04:33AM)
My first post!
Although not a beginners book, I would recommend John Carney's "Book of Secrets". The routines are quite involved but the essays give great insight and inspiration for anyone new to magic.
Message: Posted by: Mattillusion (May 12, 2007 08:49PM)
Get Ken Weber's "Maximum Entertainment" and learn how to do things the RIGHT WAY early! Good magic is good for magic!
Message: Posted by: rjthomp (Jun 2, 2007 03:43PM)
One piece of advice I'd like to pass on to all beginners is not spend too much time with beginner books--once you've put in six months or so with Mark Wilson's course, you are probably ready for more advanced books. I'd highly recommend getting Card College as your next work, for a few reasons. First it is probably the one series of books that will take you all the way from absolute beginner to pro level. Second, even if cards aren't really your thing, its a good area to start out in, as there are a lot of powerful, relatively easy tricks that will allow you to get your feet wet performing. I'd recommend Card College over alternatives like royal road, because you're going to be spending a lot of time mastering this material, and if time is money for you (as it is for most of us), the increased cost of the card college series will be money very well spent.
Message: Posted by: rjthomp (Jun 2, 2007 04:07PM)
Here's the order in which I wish I'd purchased my magic book collection.
1st Mark Wilson's complete course

2nd Card college volume 1 + Hay's amateur magicians handbook (this is out of print but you can still find it if you search)

3rd Card college vol. 2+ Greg Wilson's Double take-ok that's a dvd, but its the best source on the double lift, the one card sleight that you absolutely must have perfect before you can do serious card magic (yes all your sleights should be good, but it seems about half of all great card tricks use a dl, and if you blow it you will have spoiled one spectator from ever experiencing great card magic.That's particularly important for amateurs who typically only have a limited number of people to try out their magic on. Once they know about doubles, they'll suspect everything you do...). You should work through almost everything in Card college 1+2 before continuing (maybe you can hold off on classic force,pass,and top change until you have more experience, and you can pick and choose amongst the flourishes...)

4th Art of Astonishment #1, plus Card college 3 I wouldn't work through every sleight in the rest of card college, just pick and choose the ones you need for particular routines. Now is a good time to look into the Ammar easy to master dvds, plus the bill Malone dvds

5th Now's the time to branch out into different forms of magic. Get the Patrick page sponge ball dvd, as sponge balls may be the next easiest thing to do sleight of hand with after cards. Also get Bobo's coin magic, but don't actually expect to try out the tricks for a little while (the learning curve on coin magic is very steep) Get the Roth dvds on coin magic.

6th Now you are officially an intermediate level magician, ready to try just about anything...
Message: Posted by: rjthomp (Jun 2, 2007 06:42PM)
I should add the Tarbell course to the above list. As soon as you decide your serious about magic you should begin to acquire them...
Message: Posted by: magic_angle (Jun 3, 2007 04:54PM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-15 20:01, cosmopop1 wrote:
For me, being a beginner, it would have to be:

Mark Wilson's complete course in magic
RRTCM by Jean Huggard
New Modern Coin magic by Bobo

Probably more but I can't think of them right now
[/quote]

Yep Mark Wilsons books is great for beginners
Message: Posted by: GWSchott (Jun 6, 2007 12:10AM)
I second (or maybe it's thirteenth by now) the vote for Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG WITH THIS BOOK! It gives you a taste of everything from basic coin sleights to large illusions. I still refer to it every now and again. Case in point...I just started messing around with the cups and balls, and instead of having to plop down another $25+ dollars on an instructional DVD, Mark Wilson had a nice routine already laid out.
Message: Posted by: Ryan_B_Magic (Jun 12, 2007 05:15PM)
The 3 books you need to start a show for close up or stage is complete course in magic by Mark Wilson this book has a lot of good stuff you see some magicains that are on TV doing tricks in this book. The next one is a book I did not hear anyone mention and it is a good book it is called Bill Severns complete book of magic This has good mentle tricks and coin tricks Magic for dummies is a must have this book teaches a few good tricks that you might use for years to come and it gives a lot of good advice on stuff like becoming a magicain.
Message: Posted by: Strangelittleman (Jun 12, 2007 08:05PM)
Just got a copy of OUR MAGIC - its an old book on theory of magic, I must say, even dated as it is, its now an essential read for anyone who asks me about magic. Its also luckily enough a public domain book now. Seriously well worth the read.
Message: Posted by: zappyjingles (Jun 15, 2007 01:07AM)
G'day, Mates

I started with Mark Wilson's Book. I completed a Magic course by correspondence through a Melbourne Tafe, in doing so they sent me this fabulous book. Wow so much to learn I will never know it all. Also a huge Thanks to posting exactly what books to have for certain performers. I am interested in being a clown so I will be writing down all books recommended and chasing them up Down Under.
Message: Posted by: Mark Wilden (Jun 16, 2007 05:56PM)
Darwin Ortiz recommends reading [i]Our Magic[/i] once a year. I'm going to start doing that just as soon as I finish [i]Strong Magic[/i]. :)

///ark
Message: Posted by: jmuscold (Aug 13, 2007 10:11PM)
Mark Wilson CCIM


This book is very good, one of the illusions (I think its the mystery mummy) was actually performed on a cruise ship I was on. This big magic show on a ship with 1200 passengers, and the idea comes from a 12.95 book, amazing!
Message: Posted by: Grahamprigg (Aug 14, 2007 04:52PM)
I startd off with mark wilsons complete course in magic, and paul Zenons street magic this is a great way to start as it fuses old and new tricks, it also gives some history into magic and advice on how to succeed. these two would be my advice to anyone.
Message: Posted by: drorange (Aug 14, 2007 11:01PM)
I believe for card magic
the royal road to card magic
expert at the card table

are both excellent
Message: Posted by: jmoran76 (Aug 24, 2007 10:47PM)
It's not very glamorous, but the book that really got me hooked years ago was "The Klutz Book of Magic" by John Cassidy and Michael Stroud. It was wrapped in plastic and I remember my surprise when I opened it up to find a TT. It's got a Ring and Rope routine credited to Liko Pang and Eric DeCamps. I spent days working on that one as a kid. I think it's a great book for a true beginner.

From The Klutz Book, I moved onto Bobo, Mark Wilson's Complete Course, and the Royal Road. The one I still keep going to after all these years, however, is Harry Lorayne's Close Up Card Magic.
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Aug 25, 2007 01:38AM)
How about Card College Light?
Message: Posted by: Ace of $pades (Aug 25, 2007 09:31AM)
If you want some easy reputation makers, then get 13 Steps to Mentalism. It is the holy grail of all mentalism.
Message: Posted by: CAROLINI (Aug 25, 2007 11:16AM)
Much of what has been suggested are books of effects. Before a person gets into effects it is best to have some sort of foundation as to the basics of the art you are persuing.

For magic it could be the Fitzkee Trilogy and for mentalism it could be Corinda's 13 steps. For best results these books cannot be read as though you were reading a book of effects and methods. These books must be STUDIED. You will find it beneficial to review their contents on an annual basis. Break a leg!
Message: Posted by: ilovepens (Aug 29, 2007 12:32AM)
Is Corinda's 13 Steps considered good for beginners if it is studied sufficiently?
Message: Posted by: apple123 (Sep 2, 2007 07:09PM)
Royal Road
The Art of Magic by Nicholas Einhorn
Message: Posted by: Mike McErlain (Sep 2, 2007 09:34PM)
Card College Light is excellent for beginners as it requires virtually no sleights. Some of the routines are fairly complex and provide an excellent introduction to a newbie of managing a presentation and the processes in handling the cards. Well worth a read.
Message: Posted by: phillipsje (Sep 2, 2007 09:52PM)
Magic and showmanship Book by Henning Nelms
Message: Posted by: Freddyshark (Sep 12, 2007 07:46AM)
I don't know if you can get it somewhere (maybe Ebay) but I recommend The Magic Book by Harry Lorraine. It has the basics of card magic, coin magic, some mentalism and lots of good stuff
Message: Posted by: Lumas (Sep 15, 2007 10:07PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-29 01:32, ilovepens wrote:
Is Corinda's 13 Steps considered good for beginners if it is studied sufficiently?
[/quote]

It is pretty good. A ton of it seems to be very outdated and unusable, but all the basics of mentalism are in this book. You will at least be able to find out what areas of mentalism you are interested in. From there, you can move on and check out books or effects dedicated to one specific trick, ie swami gimmicks, etc.
Message: Posted by: Joker63 (Sep 16, 2007 05:37AM)
[quote]


I do have one specific question about Royal Road if someone could answer it. Does it go over all of the really basic basics.....such as shuffles and how they're done, how to hold a deck, the glide, basic forces, etc. I am just beginning and would really like to build a good foundation.
[/quote]

I have just picked up a copy of RRTCM; I have the first four volumes of Card College. I would have to say Card College provides 'the' most detailed explanations for each sleight. I guess that's why it took Giobbi four volumes to cover the content he wanted to include. The complete set is expensive, but works for a beginner - I was a beginner when I bought the first volume, and still consider myself a begninner. Just Volume one and two have enough content to create a number of worthwhile routines, and cover all the required sleights for most packet tricks.

I have read this message string for some time before posting. If you want to learn cards - Card College has the to the first choice. I constantly refer to the series now that I have a few DVDs and want better explanations of the moves/sleights mentioned with any given routine.

By the way I don't have CCIM yet. It will either be that or Strong Magic as my next purchase.
Message: Posted by: aligator (Sep 25, 2007 11:22AM)
I would also recommend "Magic and Showmanship" by Henning Nelms. It deals with the most important and oft neglected part of the art - presentation.
Message: Posted by: The Jack (Sep 25, 2007 05:44PM)
For Spanish beginners I Suggest "Cartomagia Fundamental" by Vicente Canuto. It s a great book for card magic.
Message: Posted by: Jay Austin (Sep 25, 2007 07:07PM)
[quote]
On 2007-09-25 12:22, aligator wrote:
I would also recommend "Magic and Showmanship" by Henning Nelms. It deals with the most important and oft neglected part of the art - presentation.
[/quote]

Add to that "strong Magic" and "Designing Miracles" by Darwin Ortiz. Both should be considered required reading for all magicians.
Message: Posted by: pradell (Oct 13, 2007 12:54AM)
Here's a list and ways to get the books:

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Books-Worth-Reading/lm/R3EC03UY0ZJBAH/ref=cm_lm_pdp_full/103-1027429-4691033

:magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: Joker63 (Oct 15, 2007 05:17AM)
Are there different editions of CCIM - Mark Wilson?
Message: Posted by: Magic CPA (Nov 5, 2007 05:06PM)
[quote]
On 2007-09-12 08:46, Freddyshark wrote:
I don't know if you can get it somewhere (maybe Ebay) but I recommend The Magic Book by Harry Lorraine. It has the basics of card magic, coin magic, some mentalism and lots of good stuff
[/quote]

Fortunately, L&L Publishing now publishes the book so a new copy could be obtained. BTW, the card section is excellent----especially for beginners.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Nov 5, 2007 07:54PM)
"Classic Secrets of Magic" by Bruce Elliot
"Magic Tricks & Card Tricks" by Wilfrid Jonson
"The Tarbell Course in Magic" by Harlan Tarbell (& others)

Those are the books that got me started.
Message: Posted by: Philip Hilton (Nov 10, 2007 05:23AM)
There have been so many great books listed here and so I'm not going to go over them again. I would like to say on the subject of acting, which every magician really is, or should be, that two books worth having are Magic & Showmanship by Nelms and On The Technique Of Acting by Michael Chekov. These books will give you not only the tools to create your characters, but will also teach you how to move in a natural way. To be honest so few magicians deal with this important element of the art, that if you read and study these, you will be ahead of many other magicians, who simply view our art as showing tricks and puzzles, or of getting one over on the public. Just my thoughts on the subject.
Cheers Phil
Message: Posted by: enginemagic (Nov 15, 2007 11:49AM)
I find well made videos the best tool since you can see actual events of the actions I`m satisfied with the magic makers "modern coin magic 4DVD set. I gained a lot from that set ,and still trying new tricks from them.
The format Mark Wilson uses in his book "A complete course in magic" is easy to follow with the detailed photos of the moves from the spectators,and magicians views right in the verses on the pages.
That is the best setup I`v ever seen in a how to book. they used the format from instruction sheets that comes with a assemble it yourself furniture or little red wagons.
The great publishers like that keep up the excellent work.
Having reading material easy to comprehend is essential to getting you information across to the reader.
Message: Posted by: JardiniMagic (Jan 1, 2008 04:17PM)
My cents are 1. Tarbell Course in Magic
2. Mark Wilson Course in Magic
3. BoBos Coin Magic
4. Royal Road To Card Magic
5. Counts, Cuts and Sublities (not sure of title)
6. Fitzkees SP Triolagy Magic by Misderiction, Showmanship for Magicians and The trick Brain
All to get the Basic Principals so very much needed in todays market as most now tend to take the easy ways.
Message: Posted by: magic-dabra (Jan 16, 2008 06:11PM)
A lot of beginners are young and thus their money is limited. I found out about a site thru the Cafť call http://www.abebooks.com

It list a lot of books and many are used. I got an excellent copy of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic for $1.76 plus about $5 shipping. Check them out.
Message: Posted by: Jake Heller (Jan 16, 2008 08:52PM)
I agree that Mark Wilson's Complete Course is the best for a beginner. Gave me a great start.
Message: Posted by: tombola (Jan 25, 2008 12:00PM)
If there's any swedes out there I recommend the book "Trolleri som hobby".
Available at many swedish libraries.
Message: Posted by: amakar (Jan 25, 2008 03:23PM)
The Ron Bauer Privates Studies may not seem like an initial set of beginners books, but if we're gonna teach newbies about presentation, we should start 'em out right!

I'm a big fan of the RBPS series because of the presentation material that consistently plays well for an audience.
Message: Posted by: Steve Burton (Feb 19, 2008 07:04PM)
If you're short of money it really helps to check out libraries near your home and school. Check the REFERENCE section as well as 793.8 (Dewey System number for magic books, 780 for children's section). The REFERENCE section contains books not available for check-out but stay in the library so you can read them on premises. Often, larger or expensive magic books will be in this area.




"All things being Equal, I'm having a Splenda day."
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 23, 2008 02:17PM)
Here are my recommendations:

[b]FOR COMPLETE BEGINNERS[/b]

[b]Books:[/b]
[list][*][b]David Pogue, [i]Magic for Dummies[/i][/b]
[*][b]Tom Ogden, [i]The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic[/i][/b]
See the discussion [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=246636&forum=41&17]here[/url].[/list]
[b]Videos:[/b]
[list][*][b]Michael Ammar, [i]Exciting World of Magic[/i][/b]
[*][b]Jay Sankey, [i]Amazing Magic & Mentalism Anyone Can Do[/i][/b], (Vol. 1 & 2)
See the discussion [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=246282&forum=248]here[/url] and [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=155684&forum=111]here[/url].[/list]

[b]FOR BEGINNERS READY FOR THE NEXT STEP[/b]

[b]On technique and tricks:[/b]
[list][*][b]Mark Wilson, [i]Complete Course In Magic[/i][/b]
Easily the best all-round resource. See the discussion [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=246636&forum=41&17]here[/url].[/list]
[b]On performance and presentation:[/b]
[list][*][b]Darwin Ortiz, [i]Strong Magic[/i][/b]
See the discussion [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=246884&forum=41&10]here[/url].[/list]
[b]On cards only:[/b]
[list][*][b]Jean Hugard, [i][url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=16881&forum=2]Royal Road to Card Magic[/url][/i][/b] (tricks with sleights)
[*][b]John Scarne, [i][url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=223263&forum=206&37]Scarne on Card Tricks[/url][/i][/b] (tricks that are self-working)
Alternative choices for self-working card tricks:
[*][b]Frank Garcia & George Schindler, [i][url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=181687&forum=2]Magic With Cards[/url][/i][/b]
[*][b]Karl Fulves, [i]Self Working Card Tricks[/i][/b] series
For self-working card tricks, see the resources listed [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=244245&forum=206&8]here[/url].[/list]
[b]On coins only:[/b]
[list][*][b]J. Bobo, [i][url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=231206&forum=3]Modern Coin Magic[/url][/i][/b] [/list]
Mark Wilson's book is a fantastic complete course, but is best suited for someone wanting to take the next step in magic, and already knows something about the basic principles of performing magic. It could be supplemented with Darwin Ortiz' book about presentation at a later stage. Genuine newcomers to magic would be better advised to begin with the [i]Magic for Dummies[/i] or [i]Idiot's Guide to Magic[/i] books, in order to get a more comprehensive introduction to all the facets of magic at a beginner level, and then later progress to Wilson's book or to more specialized books on their area of interest.

A final word of advice: Read the wise words posted by Andy the Cardician and the subsequent discussion [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=226539&forum=41&37]here[/url]. Andy uses an excellent analogy to point out how many beginners can fall into the trap of buying all kinds of tricks and gimmicks, books and videos. Buying all kinds of expensive musical devices and knowing how musical instruments work doesn't make you a musician; In the same way, buying magic props and knowing how tricks work doesn't make you a magician. The real secret to magic isn't about spending money, it's about spending time. Along with the books recommended above, spend the time practicing to perfect the performance of just a few effects, and do them well.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 25, 2008 08:47AM)
Under the section on "Alternative choices for self-working card tricks" in my post above, I should have included the following title:
[list][*][b]Giobbi, [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=237251&forum=110&16][i]Card College Light[/i][/url][/b][/list]
Giobbi's book contains seven routines of three self-working effects each (i.e. 21 total), but its strength is that he doesn't just teach how they are done, but teaches the showmanship and presentation necessary to make them true miracles, even for beginners.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Feb 25, 2008 12:53PM)
See the discussion [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=190989&forum=110]here[/url] for more information on [i]Card College Light[/i] (sorry for including the wrong link in the previous post).
Message: Posted by: caligari (Mar 9, 2008 11:35PM)
Being still slightly new to serious magic, the books I that have been of immense help
to me are The Royal Road to Card Magic, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, Expert at the Card Table and I'm planning to get Darwin Ortiz's Strong Magic.

So far they have been a well of magical knowledge to me and as I've progressed, I've found that going back to the effects they teach seem new everytime as I slowly get my own performing style.:)
Message: Posted by: Cyar (Mar 23, 2008 06:19PM)
Hey Folks,

Do you try or find it necessary to learn every trick in the book? I find RRTCM kind of dry and I have a dislike for any trick that requires a setup as it cannot be done impromptu. What do you do when you hit a section or trick that doesn't grab you? Do you bull through or skip it?
Message: Posted by: Joker63 (Mar 25, 2008 04:27AM)
Cyar,

I tend to skip tricks I don't like - especially if they don't suit me as a person. I am a big fan of Card College, but don't really like some of the tricks Giobbi suggests at the end of any section - ie. the tricks for use with the DL.
I now tend to suplement Card College with some DVDs and other texts, but always refer to Card College for a deeper explanation of any sleight I need.
I find the same with DVDs, not all the tricks suit, but if I can get a couple I really like, I think the money is well spent.
As far as tricks requiring a set up - I never used to like them, as I prefer impromptu; however, some are really powerful, so I sometimes carry a pack set ready to go for a 'pre-set trick'. If I get chance I do that routine, if not I can do an impromptu routine anyway.

hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Cyar (Mar 26, 2008 10:45AM)
Thanks Joker it does. I'm still a babe in the woods on all this learning, but I'm beginning to think for me that it's best to find things that turn me on and excite me. I have the RRTCM DVD set but prefer Born to Perform. I also own the Bobo Coin Magic DVD set but prefer David Roth's and Michael Ammar's instruction. Again, I'm still very new at this and I may come to greater appreciation of the mentioned materials as I grow.
[quote]
On 2008-03-25 05:27, Joker63 wrote:
Cyar,

As far as tricks requiring a set up - I never used to like them, as I prefer impromptu; however, some are really powerful, so I sometimes carry a pack set ready to go for a 'pre-set trick'. If I get chance I do that routine, if not I can do an impromptu routine anyway.

hope this helps.
[/quote]
That makes a lot of sense. There are a TON of tricks out there I'm unfamiliar with and must be at least a couple of pre-set tricks that, like you, I'd find worth the trouble.

Thanks for your feedback.
Message: Posted by: Joker63 (Apr 2, 2008 03:32AM)
I quite like Ammar's instruction. I have just bought ETMCM Vol 1 (I already have Vol 2). The first routine is very simple and effective 'eight card brain wave' (attributed to Nick Trost). The set up is very simple, using eight cards - so almost a packet trick. A great trick. Probable a bit hard to feed those cards into a regular deck, just pocket and carry on with another deck.

cheers

Joker
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Apr 2, 2008 06:12PM)
As a newbie, I just got absolutely blessed by stumbling upon Mark Wilson's Course in a local used book store. I picked it up for ten bucks. It seemed like a "real" magic book of good quality tricks. I was pleasantly surprised when I researched what magic books I should purchase, after bringing it home, and finding that everybody recommends this book. Great stuff. I keep finding more every time I go back to it.

I enjoy the two Bob Longe books I have, Easy Card Tricks and World's Best Card Tricks. I got the Easy one first and learned some fun tricks. So far the World's Best is ok, but I feel it's time to start working on real sleights. There are enough in the Mark Wilson book to get me started.

This site is invaluable to me. So much good advice. I can save lots of time and effort coming here before making any more purchases. I want to start collecting the Tarbell books, but at $25 per book I'm hoping I can find them used.

Thanks for all the awsome tips!

Preston-
Message: Posted by: hootie (Apr 7, 2008 07:07AM)
Thanks a lot for all the info in this thread, it has definately made book purchases a lot less daunting with the same basics being referanced again and again (the wallet doesn't appreciate my new wish list but hey that is how it goes). I'm hoping ya'll can help me out a little I'm about to have a lot of down time for about 7 months and would appreciate a few suggestions on books. THe problem is the only thing I know I will have readily available is cards and to a very limited extent maybe a few coins if I can make it the entire time with out losing them, however I would like to use this time to learn a lot of impromt. tricks that can be done with everyday objects (what better time than when your limited on supplies). Well what I'm wondering is if anyone knows of any books that would help with this?

Chris
Message: Posted by: dragee (Apr 15, 2008 01:51AM)
For me royal road to magic is the best book to start with
Message: Posted by: Sorceress (Apr 21, 2008 03:59PM)
I wish there were a place on this site where people could share or exchange/swap books, or sell books you no longer wish to keep in your library. It would be helpful to everyone I think.
Message: Posted by: Experimentalist (Apr 28, 2008 01:45PM)
My fist was Magic and Showmanship. I know, it's not meant to be a beginners book, but the person who gave it to me didn't know that.

It helped me to develop a thoughtful approach to magic.
Message: Posted by: dmoses (May 20, 2008 12:53PM)
I'll throw my vote with "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne. Not only did it teach the basic moves and sleights, the stories at the beginning of every chapter were a delight to read.

That's right... "a delight".
Message: Posted by: dmoses (May 20, 2008 12:56PM)
... the other thing... It's strange... reading everybody's posts about their first book is making me very nostalgic. I remember getting "The Magic Book" for christmas... I think it was 1976... I remember getting "The Amateur Magician's Handbook". And how crazy with excitement I was when the Mark Wilson Course (complete with rope, cards, a jumbo card-- and a close up pad!!!) came in the mail.

thanks for the memories.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (May 26, 2008 03:29PM)
Boy! I'm so impressed. People like Topov REALLY KNOW. harry lorayne.
Message: Posted by: LordFelix (May 26, 2008 04:31PM)
I guess I got lucky, I found the magic Cafť and started reading the posts before I went out and started buying all kinds of tricks and books. I started with Mark Wilson's Complete Course book, I also have Royal Road to Card Magic and Modern Coin Magic. I know there are other 'must have' books out there, but these seem to be the best to start off.

Thanks to everyone for saving me time and money :D
Message: Posted by: Kit (May 28, 2008 07:54AM)
When I first started in magic my favourite books to learn from were Roberto giobbi's Card College volumes. Highly reccomended. Like LordFelix I also delved into the pages of Mark Wilson's Complete Course, if you're just starting then the latter is probably the best as it covers all spectrums of magic from close up with cards/coins, to stage work.

And who can leave out the Royal Road to Card Magic!? For mentalists 13 Steps and Banachek's series are a must have, along with anythign by Anneman.

The best advice I can give a beginner is to hit the books and to forget about single effects and packet tricks until they become sufficient with coin and card work, etc. You can create an entire career out of one book which costs £30 - or simply entertain a few people with one packet trick for nearly the same ammount of money.
Message: Posted by: DopeyDave (Jun 13, 2008 08:24PM)
I'm fairly new to magic and learned by starting with RRTCM using both the book and Paul Wilson's video. I then purchased the entire series of Giobbi's Card College and am currently working through those. Like previous posters, I don't really like the a lot of the tricks in these books so I also purchased Ammar's ETMCM series. I think that is a great way to start and the only reason I choose this route is by researching the forums on this site before I started. Thanks Guys! When I'm through with Card College and polishing up on some of the tricks I like from Ammar's series I plan to study Erdnase. Sounds like a daunting book but I understand both Dai Vernon and Darwin Ortiz have annotated versions and there is a video series out now by Wesley James and one forthcoming from Alan Ackerman. Hope that helps anyone out there looking for a starting point.
Message: Posted by: Joker63 (Jun 15, 2008 07:07AM)
Just reading 'DopeyDave' 's post. some good material there, from my reasonably limited experience.

Dopey Dave - plans to study Erdnase next - suggested by many, so no doubt a good choice.
I was wondering, as a quite inexperienced magician, when would more learned magicians recommend books such as Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz?
The reason I ask is that I just got hold of Strong Magic and Designing Miracles by Darwin Ortiz (both signed by the master himself, lucky me). I am working through Strong Magic, but have finished reading Designing Miracles. Designing Miracles taught me so much, it is easy to read. It adds so much to the art of magic, and really made me think about the structure of routines/tricks. It appears to me that such books as Strong Magic (a quarter of a way through and learning heaps from it), and Designing Miracles should be purchased quite early in the 'career' of a magician, whether this career is a hobby or as a profession.

any thoughts anyone?
Message: Posted by: DopeyDave (Jun 15, 2008 01:14PM)
I too have strong magic but haven't read it yet..curious to see what more experienced magi have to say about it.
Message: Posted by: DopeyDave (Jun 15, 2008 01:24PM)
Following up on Jokers post. I too prefer impromptu card magic but must say some packet tricks are very very cool and worth getting. I use Skinner's ultimate 3 card monte as well as color monte and NFW. All get great reactions and are not hard to do.
Message: Posted by: TheGreenGrinder (Jun 18, 2008 09:44AM)
If have just received the card college volume 1, brilliant to start from.
Everything is explain in a decent amount of detail and the line drawings help out alot.
Would definatly recomend it.
Message: Posted by: rhomes (Jun 27, 2008 08:32AM)
What's the best place to find all the books everyone's mentioned??
Message: Posted by: DopeyDave (Jun 29, 2008 02:57PM)
I like Penguinmagic.com
Message: Posted by: Will DThrill (Jun 30, 2008 01:40PM)
I just got Mark Wilson's CCIM and I love it. I'm more of a visual person so I was struggling a bit with Royal Road. The directions in CCIM are so clearly written that I am learning faster than before.

I do still plan on going through RRTCM, but after I get the basics from Wilson's book down first.
Message: Posted by: Doctor Xombie (Jul 7, 2008 06:33PM)
I just wanted to thank everyone who suggested [b]'Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic'[/b].
I actually found it at Barnes & Noble today for $20. It looks to be 500 pages of magical goodness. It even has sponge ball stuff in it that I was in desperate need of. :)

I flipped through the 'Dummies' and 'Idiots' guides which were about the same price, but they didn't come close to what Mark Wilson's had.
Message: Posted by: daver (Jul 13, 2008 05:53PM)
In reading this thread a thought has also crossed my mind... I recall as a kid going to Tannen's in NYC in the mid 70's, and being lucky enough to run into folks like Frank Garcia and Harry Lorayne (among others, Tony and Irv included) who were kind enough to actually teach us things while we were there being awed by all of the "sessioning" going on in the midst of sales.

Point of this post is, back then, there was no home VCR nor DVD (and of course, no instant downloads) and all we had were books and the kindness of these experts. I find (in hindsight) that learning from books, while perhaps a little more tedious than just seeing it on DVD, leads one (me, anyway) to making things my own because I can interpret it as my mind sees the writing, not as the performer does on video. That led me to come up with subtle improvements (or perhaps just little things that made them easier for me, or allowed me to tailor the routine to my own persona) rather than learn it how (whoever) does it.

I found it a much richer learning experience. My early magic book list included:

Amateur magician's Handbook
Bobo (the big one, not the Dover edition)
Royal Road to Card Magic
Expert Card Technique
Close Up Card Magic
David Ginn's Comedy Linking Rings
Frank Garcia's Sponge Balls Book (can't find it and can't recall the exact title)

And a book recently recommended to me by a fantastic young card worker is "Outs, Precautions and Challenges", by Charles Hopkins
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Aug 13, 2008 06:23PM)
While still relatively new to magic myself, I've found myself most drawn toward mentalism. I don't see much in the way of mentalism mentioned in this particular thread so I thought I might have a little to contribute. With regards to mentalism, the classics that are most commonly recommended as starting places are the 13 Steps to Mentalism or Practical Mental Magic. Of these two, I prefer the 13 Steps as a starting place because this book seems to be organized a little better than Practical Mental Magic; however, you should definitely check out both. After working your way through these tomes, you're best bet is to then check out Mind, Myth and Magick and Psychological Subtleties. Once completing these two books, Paramiracles and Theater of the Mind are a great next step. Then above getting some books on presentation, you should continue based on what types of effects you found most interesting.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Aug 16, 2008 06:16PM)
[quote]
On 2001-09-14 23:14, Tom Cutts wrote:
Bill Tarrís Now You See It, Now You Donít is what got me going with the real stuff.



Tom Cutts
[/quote]

I don't usually "me too" post...

But a STRONG me too. I got this book when I was about 12 and it moved me from all gimmics to a heavy dose of slights in my acts. The second volume is a great one to get ocne you've worked nadpracticed everything you like from the first.

In many ways it "made me a magician" as ever since then I've been ready to perform at a moments notice so long as I had a pocket full of change.
Message: Posted by: critter (Aug 18, 2008 10:39AM)
The first 'real' magic book I got was "Now you see it, now you don't."
That book got me interested in Bobo, which has been my bible for the past two years (and I'm only half way through it.)
But since I am trying to broaden my focus to get more business, I have been delving into Tarbell. I intend starting on RRCM after that, though cards aren't my favorite.
I also recommend Milbourne Christophers 'Illustrated History of Magic'
and Amazing Randi's magic history book too. It is important to know your roots.
I also read a lot of stuff about Barnum to help with showmanship and such.
Message: Posted by: Perry (Sep 3, 2008 07:29PM)
Thanks for the recommendation of Wlsonís books. I bought the Complete Course in Magic and the Cyclopedia of Magic. Both look to be out standing. I donít know if I should start at the front and just read or pick out the sections that interest me the most. I will most likely just jump a round

I bought them both used thought Amazon. The CCIM is a hard copy that most likely was never opened. I paid 1.02 plus shipping. The Cyclopedia soft cover I paid 28 cents plus shipping

It looks like there is a lot of shared information between the two books, but with an investment of less than 2 dollars I couldnít go wrong.
Message: Posted by: magicbob116 (Sep 14, 2008 02:59PM)
Anyone who doesn't have the Wilson Complete Course yet... here's a great deal on it.

http://www.funtymemagic.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=213

At the time I posted this link,it's on sale for under $10, but that will probably not last long. I have no affiliation with this retailer (other than I have purchased a few things from them and always been satisfied), but I thought I would pass along this find to anyone who's interested.
Message: Posted by: Spiderxi (Sep 24, 2008 09:45AM)
Could anyone suggest 'SWITCH - Unfolding The $100 Bill Change - John Lovick' ?
Saw it and thaught it looked good for a beginner in paper money magic! Its £35 so I don't want to buy it if I open it up and realise its far to advanced for me! :)
Thanks
Spider
Message: Posted by: Glenn Morphew (Sep 26, 2008 03:10PM)
Switch is a great book. The $100 dollar bill change is something many pro's use in different routines. The bill switch is as easy or easier to learn than many other sleights, so I don't think it would be necessarily to advanced. The book has contributions and routines from many top performers and thinkers. It's an excellent book, but as it states in the title, it's focus is on the $100 dollar bill change, not tricks with paper money in general. Hope this was of some help to you.

Glenn
Message: Posted by: Spiderxi (Sep 29, 2008 11:42AM)
Yeah, I'm english so 100 dolla bills don't come round easyily from audiances! but yeah will definatly get it, sounds like a vital book to have in my libary!
Thanks Glenn
Message: Posted by: Glenn Morphew (Sep 29, 2008 01:27PM)
Spiderxi,

I don't get $100 bills very easily either, but the "$100 dollar bill switch" is just the name given to the switch. It works equally as well with any denomination of U.S. Currency.

I'm not sure if your currency varies much in size from one denomination to the other, and whether this might affect the value of learning this method or not.

You may want to pose that question in another post before spending the money. I'm sure you will get a quick and helpful response.

All the best,
Glenn
Message: Posted by: rjthomp (Nov 1, 2008 07:41PM)
There's a new contender for best magic book for a beginner: Joshua Jay's complete course in magic. Its avery well thought out and illustrated book, which comes with a 2 hour dvd as well. At 20 bucks its good enough that more experienced magicians will want to pick it up as well.

-Rob
Message: Posted by: amprice99 (Nov 13, 2008 01:17PM)
Joshua Jay's book is great for everyone. The DVD is also a nice feature seeing Josh perform some of his favorites from the book. I also like Mark Wilson's book as well. That and Now You See It Now You Don't are the first two books I started with.
Message: Posted by: GERRIT (Dec 1, 2008 07:20AM)
For german beginners I can recommend the book "Handbuch der Magie" of Jochen Zmeck.

Gerrit
Message: Posted by: shylion (Dec 5, 2008 04:00AM)
Hi....just wondering if there's an official website that catalogues Harry Lorayne's magic material?

I noticed his official website only has memory stuff....thanks!
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Dec 5, 2008 02:39PM)
You can get all the information you need about my books, dvds, etc., by emailing me at my personal email address listed below this post. You might even ask about LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, Vol. 1, probably the best book for beginners around today - MY (and so many others) opinion, folks. HL.
Message: Posted by: mikenewman (Dec 5, 2008 03:53PM)
I just checked out Joshua Jay's book at Barry's Magic shop. Excellent gift to a young or old aspiring magician.

Jay stopped by Fox 5 in D.C. and did a few tricks. here's a link current as of today (5 Dec 08). He did a great job!

[url=http://www.myfoxdc.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=20C3FC9EF13567DEE2FC8E9E6C80510B?contentId=7836621&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1]myfoxdc.com[/url]
Message: Posted by: Thales (Dec 12, 2008 03:03PM)
As many have already said Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic and Magic for Dummies are both most have books for any magician. I will check out Joshua Jay's book since I have not heard of it before.
Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (Dec 12, 2008 11:01PM)
Joshua Jay's book was only recently published in November. Bought a copy as soon as I could.

I am sill a big fan of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. The excellent drawings and easy-to-follow instructions continue to make this a winner in my book. I even went so far as to buy an autographed copy from his website, and personalized to boot!
Message: Posted by: Ba Ba Booey (Dec 15, 2008 08:54PM)
I grew up reading Mark Wilson's book. I still refer to it on occastion. I just bought Joshua Jay's book for my niece, who recently started learning magic. Jay's book has tons of color photos, lots of clear directions, and as others have mentioned, it includes a DVD which demonstrates about 35 of the effects. Highly recommended for beginners of any age (well, perhaps older than 9 or 10).

-Mark

By the way, if you ever get a chance to see Joshua Jay doing a lecture, go see him! His lecture is outstanding.
Message: Posted by: CircleCityMagic (Dec 25, 2008 10:44AM)
Can't go wrong with Card College Vol.1 if you're focus is cards.
Message: Posted by: Lord of War (Dec 28, 2008 05:48PM)
What do you think about Derren Brown's books? My friend recommended them to me, were both interested in mentalism.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Lexx (Feb 3, 2009 01:54PM)
I think they are stimulating;fabulous; but for the beginner in Mentalism the classics like Practical Mental Effects and Corinda's are basic to understanding of the field. Parts are still being marketed as tricks, like the Phantom Artist.

You have to learn how to paint before you try to exhibit a painting in Paris.
Message: Posted by: m.taylor (Feb 22, 2009 09:21PM)
Expert at the Card table. When you done, start over.
Message: Posted by: salmononius2 (Feb 22, 2009 09:40PM)
I personally think that it would be better to start with Card College or Royal Road than Expert at the Card Table. Erdnase's book is pretty advanced, and doesn't cover the basics too well.
Message: Posted by: Ethan Orr (Feb 25, 2009 06:22AM)
I would also recommend the Mark Wilson and Joshua Jay complete courses.

If you're interested in becoming a sleight of hand card magician, I recommend buying first Card College vol. 1 and Card College Light, maybe one of the Fulves self-working card books.

Working through Card College volume one, it will be some time before you do any real card magic. Getting the fundamentals down is a long process, and CC Light will teach you some self-workers that will quench your trick performing thirst while you're learning the basics of SOH.
Message: Posted by: punx469 (Apr 3, 2009 12:31PM)
A good book for beginners is The Practical Encyclopedia Of Magic by Nicholas Einhorn. And the best part is I found it at a book store in the mall, don't need to hunt down a magic shop, or special order it! There are like 120 trick ranging from Card, Coin, Silk, Rope, Money, and Mind Magic. 250 pages great pic's with good explanations and tricks from all skill levels. I still use it, and keep going back to it. It also shows you how to build some of your own gimmicks! Not a bad read for like 10 bucks out of a discount bin!
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Apr 15, 2009 06:56PM)
Teach Yourself Magic (Hodder & Staughton, UK, and McGraw Hill, USA) covers the basics of card and coin magic, and magic with everyday objects. It begins with self-working tricks, then introduces the basic sleights. There are also chapters on mentalism, entertaining children, doing a cabaret spot, etc, as well as useful advice on performance and patter.
Message: Posted by: Wonder (Jul 3, 2009 02:50PM)
When I first started in magic my first book was The Royal Road To Card Magic By Jean Hugard & Frederick Braue. I recommend this book if money is an issue otherwise I strongly recommend Roberto Giobbi's Card Collage Volumes 1-5. Also look out for the ebooks on CD-Rom of Roberto Giobbi's CC Vol 1-2, not only does the Card Collage cover every slight the effects are some best you'll come across. Hope this helps
Message: Posted by: Brandon Wylie (Jul 4, 2009 12:01AM)
When I started my first book was the royal road to card magic. its a great starting point, and will get you from 0-60 in card magic. The only thing I found difficult about the book is they use an older context of wording, so some words may be difficult to udnerstand depending on how you are,(knowledge wise), but other than that there is diagrams that demonstrate the sleight for you and so I think its really great.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jul 4, 2009 06:28AM)
Good point: it means that you need to understand the effect and rewrite a script that reflects the personality of the character you chose to impersonate.

R Paul Wilson made an excellent DVD on the Royal Road to Card Magic that can constitutes a valuable lead in that direction now that you know the book: the differences in patter will most probably be enlightning.
Message: Posted by: Pedro Haluch (Jul 4, 2009 02:14PM)
Kind of... half-topic question here.

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic has been mentioned several times, but I can't find it anywhere to sell. It must be an online shop, since I'm not a U.S.A resident. Would someone please enlight me?
Message: Posted by: craig fothers (Jul 5, 2009 06:44PM)
[quote]
On 2009-07-04 15:14, Pedro Haluch wrote:
Kind of... half-topic question here.

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic has been mentioned several times, but I can't find it anywhere to sell. It must be an online shop, since I'm not a U.S.A resident. Would someone please enlight me?
[/quote]

Here is a link to it on Amazon. Its definitely a good book that covers a lot of the basics.

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Wilsons-Complete-Course-Magic/dp/0762414553/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246837344&sr=8-1[/url]
Message: Posted by: Pedro Haluch (Jul 5, 2009 07:08PM)
Thank you.
By the way, I need a few suggestions.
I can say I'm an intermediate card magician, and a begginer sponge balls one, and I'm willing to focus myself in these 2 types of magic.
I'd like ideas on what books should I buy, regarding cards and sponges. They don't need to be the same book.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jul 8, 2009 05:02PM)
Answer to one of the "old" questions above. You can now go to my new, not yet complete, website for magic. It's listed under this post, the website with the word "magic" in its title. You'll see what's available. One of my books that you won't see listed is one that hasn't been mentioned here - interesting - because it's out of print. That's The Magic Book. Anyway... HL.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jul 8, 2009 05:23PM)
Oops, my mistake. I was thinking of a different long-ago thread. I glanced at only this last page of this particular thread. Just went back all the way - to 2002 - and yes, my book, there are strong mentions of my book, The Magic Book, and also Close-Up Card Magic - which gives me an excuse to insert a plug - C-UCM is re-written and updated, along with FOUR OTHER early books of mine - in LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION, Volume 1. Quite frankly, I can't think of a better volume for people starting in, interested in, card magic. Just my opinion, folks. Go to the webside I mention above to see what else is available.

Gotta tell you that some of the suggestions for beginners in this long thread gave me a couple of laughs. No, don't ask me which ones - I won't tell you! HL.
Message: Posted by: ahobgood (Jul 19, 2009 08:02PM)
7 steps to mentalism is my favorite book
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Jul 30, 2009 09:56PM)
Thanks to all for your recommendations: excellent . . .
Message: Posted by: hbwolkov (Aug 1, 2009 10:39PM)
I think that Mark Wilson's Complete Book of Magic is a great reource. Wonderful effects at an extremely reasonable price. This was my first magic book. Last year I bought a copy for my 9 year old daughter. Classics like " You Do as I Do" can not be beat at any age.
Message: Posted by: vasili (Aug 27, 2009 09:53PM)
I found this one at my local library:

The Australian Magician's Handbook by Richard Deutch.

As a beginner, I'm finding it pretty useful.
Message: Posted by: vasili (Sep 7, 2009 10:26PM)
Also, this book:

The Practical Encyclopedia of Magic by Nicholas Einhorn

It has full-colour photos for everything, which makes it nice and easy to follow.
Message: Posted by: Kimball (Sep 16, 2009 08:40AM)
'Modern Coin Magic' by J.B Bobo made me the coin magician I am today. 5 stars.

Check it out at http://www.coin-magic-tricks.com
Message: Posted by: LiQz (Sep 24, 2009 12:51AM)
Excellent suggestions, looks like I am on the right track
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Sep 27, 2009 05:39PM)
I also like the Royal Road.
Message: Posted by: jusakarman (Oct 5, 2009 04:17PM)
For me I suggest:

1. Maximum Entertainment by Ken Webber
2. Easy to Master Card Miracle by Michael Ammar (DVD)
3. 13 step to mentalism
4. JB Bobo Coin Magic
5. David Roth Expert Coin Technique
6. Book Of Wonders (2 Vol)
Message: Posted by: Bill Wilson (Oct 15, 2009 08:30PM)
I have been involved in magic for fourty some years. I say this not to date myself but to simply tell a novice, to this most interesting art, craft, hobby, profession or whatever you wish to make of it my recommended reading. There are a number of books I could recommend for specific branches of magic. But for OVERALL interests, I would highly recommend Henry Hay's 'Amateur Magician's Handbook' and of course the 'Tarbell Course in Magic'. Tarbell's Course is somewhat outdated but with eight volumes it covers a lot. Cost wise and for what one gets, you can't go wrong.
Message: Posted by: ico (Oct 16, 2009 05:04AM)
Card college if you're into card magic and are not on a tight budget.
Message: Posted by: ottphd (Oct 22, 2009 02:00PM)
I would just have to say, you can not go wrong with Mark Wilson's book. I still refer to it today. I bought it many years ago. It has almost everything you would need to know.
have fun!
Message: Posted by: Raffy (Oct 26, 2009 10:29PM)
Hi.. My first book was Mark Wilson's book. Then I purchased the Tarbell set. They are fantastic resources and I refer to them quite regularly. Great Choices
Message: Posted by: BustedFinger (Oct 27, 2009 03:38PM)
I just purchased a Mark Wilson book on eBay. After I paid for it, I realized that the book I bought was called "Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic - A Complete Course" and not the "Complete Course" that most everyone on here has been recommending.

Is there a big difference between the two?
Message: Posted by: Naason (Nov 1, 2009 07:00PM)
I bought the mark wilson course of magic, it seemed dated, I enjoyed the other book with the instructional dvd.

I learned lots from that.
Message: Posted by: BustedFinger (Nov 2, 2009 11:30AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-01 20:00, Naason wrote:
I bought the mark wilson course of magic, it seemed dated, I enjoyed the other book with the instructional dvd.

I learned lots from that.
[/quote]
Which book with a DVD?
Message: Posted by: vpatanio (Nov 2, 2009 12:14PM)
Probably Joshua Jay's book Magic the Complete Course...am I correct Naason?

Vinny
Message: Posted by: waso (Nov 8, 2009 03:36AM)
Corindas 13 steps to mentalism should not be without Richard Osterlinds DVDs, especially for the beginner.
Message: Posted by: ico (Nov 8, 2009 04:25AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-08 04:36, waso wrote:
Corindas 13 steps to mentalism should not be without Richard Osterlinds DVDs, especially for the beginner.
[/quote]

Strangely, the book is 40 years older than the DVDs ;)
Message: Posted by: waso (Nov 8, 2009 05:24PM)
[quote]
Strangely, the book is 40 years older than the DVDs ;)
[/quote]

What is strange about that?
Message: Posted by: ico (Nov 8, 2009 08:06PM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-08 18:24, waso wrote:
[quote]
Strangely, the book is 40 years older than the DVDs ;)
[/quote]

What is strange about that?
[/quote]

Strange is the statement that it is not good enough on its own.
Message: Posted by: waso (Nov 9, 2009 12:41AM)
Feet may be 40 Billion Years old, and it is still nice to have a car...

For the beginner it is invaluable to have a reference book on the one hand and also the supporting DVDs, which show how to put it to life.
Message: Posted by: asgar (Nov 9, 2009 05:15PM)
[quote]
On 2001-09-14 23:14, Tom Cutts wrote:
Bill Tarrís Now You See It, Now You Donít is what got me going with the real stuff.



Tom Cutts
[/quote]

I agree with Tom.Bill Tarrís Now You See It, Now You Donít was the first book I got and it and it had my interest flowing.i still consider myself a beginner( a good beginner hahah) .a beginner should start with a book which cover many stuff but up to a certain extent otherwise he'll face the hard sleights and he'll loose interest .it will also help him to understand what genre of magic he is willing to get into.the books should be based mainly on non gimmick magic or the gimmicks that are easy to make .after I thoroughly finished Now You See It, Now You Donít .i got myself bobo's,hugard,royal road to card magic,erdnase ,slydini,tamariz,fritz books etc and bought some real gimmicks.(I'm actually still reading these books and just got the Tarbell magic course..These books are amazing and considered as bibles of magic.

the point is maybe I wouldn't have cling on to magic if I hadn't started with bill tarr's book.i would have been lost if I started with the big bobo's book or hugard's or fritz as they are really hard to finish off and some sleights take time to master.Now You See It, Now You Donít is a small book and can make anyone feel that he can perform magic whether closeup in the table,streets or even stage.i believe this is the biggest boost one can have.i also recommend some books on performance like Tamariz's five points on magic.:)
Message: Posted by: waso (Nov 10, 2009 02:35PM)
I agree, Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, it covers a broad range of topics and has excellent illustrations. Its cheap and available from amazon.
Message: Posted by: genecircuit (Dec 23, 2009 06:54PM)
Hi all; I'm trying to attempt the Penn and Teller Shadow trick (the one with the flower) for a school project, but I'm rather new to magic and not sure how it's done. Any inputs or advice would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks everyone.
Message: Posted by: Dionigi (Jan 11, 2010 03:34AM)
I found most of my closeup repetoire from Jon Tremaine amazing book of magic and the book of closeup magic 1&2 by Lewis Ganson
Message: Posted by: Sapien (Jan 24, 2010 08:05PM)
Hey,

I'm a beginner too; just working my way through Mark Wilsons, and I'm loving the process. I do get a bit impatient at times, but I'm dealing with it! I've got myself the DVD version of Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and was wondering whether I should get the book as well. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Richard.J.E (Feb 4, 2010 12:42PM)
As already mentioned I would advise Card College by Roberto Giobbi. I myself as a novice returning to cards belive it is the course for any card magician regardless of skill level. The Card College Light series also is a recommendation to accompany the main series due to its easier to master tricks which allow you to start doing illusions while learning sleights from the main. Just my two cents.
Message: Posted by: Mysterious Mike (Feb 23, 2010 01:29AM)
I gotta go with Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, being one of my very first magic books when I was a kid. It covers so much. And of course for coin magic, Bobo's Modern Coin magic is a must have.
Message: Posted by: blackskirt (Mar 8, 2010 03:14AM)
Not trying to promote my site, but you can check it out if you're only after some simple and fun magic. The link 'Magic Tricks Central' is in my signature if you're interested. Created to share some fun magic tricks around :)
Message: Posted by: bicycle66 (Mar 14, 2010 05:42AM)
The first book I read was Royal Road to Card Magic and then Modern Coin Magic I am now reading Tarbells course in magic all of these I believe are great (most books are) I have yet to crack the cover of Mark Wilsons book but that is next I kinda like DVD's more for me it is easier to see and mimic "the move" that I am trying to learn. I have MCM DVD's and they are great very helpful for someone like me who likes to learn by video. Sean.
Message: Posted by: epoptika (Apr 11, 2010 09:11PM)
[quote]
On 2001-09-25 16:01, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
My list of required books for the budding magician:

Amateur Magicianís Handbook-Hay

Royal Road to Card Magic-Hugard & Braue

New Modern Coin Magic-Bobo

The Magic Book-Lorayne

Close up Card Magic-Lorayne

Stars of Magic

Mark Wilsonís Complete Course



After these, get Tarbell, Greater Magic, and Card College. Follow with Ortizí Strong Magic and the Tamariz Trilogy, and youíll have all you need to make a living in magic!

[/quote]

An outstanding list! I would, likewise, put Henry Hay's book at the top of the list. And, personally, I'd probably read Our Magic before reading Greater Magic. And don't forget Dai Vernon!
All great books.
Message: Posted by: anjomagic (Apr 16, 2010 06:34PM)
My first Magic book was Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic and I trully love this book. The book covers numerous branches of Magic and a beginner will learn how to appreciate learning a magic trick at the same time appreciate the performance aspect of magic.

I have been performing magic for 15 years and even today I will go back look through the book and often find an effect I can use and be able to add sleights or take the concept and add to an existing routine enhancing the effect all together.

Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic Highly recommended for all beginners.
Message: Posted by: alexoid (Apr 23, 2010 09:42AM)
There are some great suggestions here- I think that DVD's also have much to offer because they show the trick being performed, usually very well and often using text to explaine a trick just isn't clear enough.

For a beginner wanting to perform strong "Street magic" I'd recommend this
http://www.squidoo.com/street_magic
(My review of "Street Magic" by Paul Zenon) because it's excellently written with clear photographs.
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (May 7, 2010 09:57PM)
I've significantly rekindled my childhood affection for magic in the last 5 months. During this time I've highly enjoyed Joshua Jay's Complete Course in Magic. The large pics and great DVD have been huge. I've also gained some valuable stuff from Magic for Dummies.

I really appreciate all of the posts from you veterans. This will save me some time and money on my book selections.
Message: Posted by: oOMagiiCOo (Jun 3, 2010 03:28PM)
I also think the card college books are essential for a beginner in card magic
Message: Posted by: Paped (Jun 23, 2010 05:02AM)
Jak Pan to Robi - Jerzy Mecwaldowski Caroni
Aleksander Wadimov
Sekrety Kart - Jerzy Mecwaldowski Caroni

This books are in polish language
Message: Posted by: chiroh2000 (Jul 16, 2010 12:38PM)
I am new to magic and the first book I bought was by Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. It is very helpful, fun to do. It teaches you the basic sleight of hands necessary for card magic. some routine for mentalism and other magic tricks using ordinary things.

Highly recommended!!
Message: Posted by: nyphoebe (Aug 29, 2010 03:01PM)
Mark Wilson's course in magic is great,a must for every beginner and even advanced magicians.
Message: Posted by: Dick.OShea (Sep 21, 2010 09:17PM)
A book that I started with and believe to be very helpful - Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms. There's plenty of good insight to be had from this. You'll learn some good effects - but more importantly, you'll learn about Magic.
Message: Posted by: ncsteve (Oct 6, 2010 02:52PM)
Thought guys reading this post might want to know that Alibris books has a sale.
The Art of Magic and Sleight of Hand by N Einhorn for $0.99 better get them while they last
Steve
Message: Posted by: motown (Oct 10, 2010 08:15PM)
Knack Magic Tricks by Richard Kaufman

Mysterio's Encyclopedia of Magic and Conjuring by Gabe Fajuri

My Best (J.G. Thompson)
Message: Posted by: Nom de Guerre (Oct 26, 2010 06:22PM)
Being new to learning magic (and The Magic Cafť), I have to say that this thread has been great to read, and a great resource. My interest is primarily in close up magic with cards and coins, but I am also interested in eventually branching out to learn Cups and Balls as well as some other areas of magic.

Largely from the advice within this thread, I have purchased the following books:

The Royal Road to Card Magic
Bobo's Modern Coin Magic (the big hardcover edition)
The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne
The Tarbell Course in Magic Vol. 1
Giobbi's Card College Vol. 1
Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz

I am starting with RRCM, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic & Tarbell Vol. 1, and I'm already having a great time learning. Even though I'm just beginning the journey, I've already had quite a few head slapping moments of "Aha!"

I'm holding off on Giobbi and Lorayne until I get a bit further along in RRCM, Tarbell, and Bobo, but I have been reading Strong Magic before going to bed each night.

I'm excited to have begun my education. Even from just beginning to read and study these books, it is quite obvious that they are all high quality books with much to offer. I am grateful to you all for separating the wheat from the chaff for those of us starting out. I think these are all great choices for a beginner to start building their collection of magic books in their library.

Yours in Magic,
Anthony
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (Oct 29, 2010 11:46PM)
Outstanding book choices Anthony! And good for you to get these all in relatively one shot because you will discover the cross overs of applications.
Message: Posted by: Magician Toronto (Nov 3, 2010 01:32AM)
There are so many books out there for beginners. My first book was the magicians handbook. It was great and I still have it 25 years later! The "Stars of magic" series is a great start for the serious student, and Bobo is the classic on coin magic. It really depends on your interest and preference. A biography on David Copperfield Just came out titled a Magic Life. It was a very inspirational read and I'm sure it will encourage beginners to pursue magic and become magicians. I also would like to change gears here and address the current times. I am 35 years old and videos and DVD's are the magicians industry standard. The 2 main Magicians supply shops here in Toronto, have nearly half of their displays now with DVD's. I wish they were around when I was a kids learning magic. I also feel that the advent of the video age as a learning tool for magicians has a big drawback. Firstly, young magicians don't put as much effort into practicing an effect as there is so much material out there. Secondly, whether you like it or not the video tool creates a situation for the magician to copy the exact style and presentation of the creator, whereas a book lets you get creative and adapt the concept to your style. It is also unfortunate that seemingly every magician out there is putting out the latest and greatest dvd, and usually you would be lucky if you can get one practical audience tested effect out there. Magicians should go with the standard well known names in magic instruction. Jay Sanky and Theory 11 immediately come to mind. I know for myself (I am guilty too) that I don't put nearly as much time and effort into a new magical effect as I used to when learning it from a book.

The key is this. Do as much homework as you can and ask yourself if you just think its a "cool dvd" or you could actually get at least one piece of quality magic out of it? If I think I could at least learn one good piece of magic that would be practical then I go out and buy it.

Hope this helps, and I hope the classic books and magic and magicians will be appreciated as the once were.

MT
http://www.MagicianToronto.com
Message: Posted by: billet (Jan 6, 2011 02:22AM)
So many books to read, so little time to read them.
Message: Posted by: Nesquik (Feb 15, 2011 06:38PM)
As a beginner myself I would add The Ostrich Factor by Gerald Edmunson. It is not a how to technique book but explains how to practice and rehearse. For people who are new to magic this may prove to be helpful. You won't learn any tricks or moves but I found it to be very helpful and worth the small investment.
Message: Posted by: Bob Kao (Feb 23, 2011 06:54PM)
Myself, I am a beginner and actually found "Tarbell Course in Magic" really helpful in my learning. I invested in the full 8-volume-set as my first set of books.

Each trick is presented with preparation, sample script, and "cautions", and some tricks also have emergency rescues, including text and hand-drawn pictures.

Volume 1 is the the book I read the most. I like card tricks, and I started with the ones that do not require sleights. Myself I am not a native English speaker/reader, so it took me a while to digest the meaning in the book, but the illustration in the book really helps.

At the beginning of each book, some interesting topics are discussed, such as "how to make people laugh" (found in Volume 3). I personally found this set really useful for me.
Message: Posted by: Alfalot (Feb 24, 2011 06:05AM)
It has to be the Royal Road to Card Magic - Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue teach you everything you need to know including bad habits, useful advice as well as wonderful effects of course.
Message: Posted by: CharlaineC (Feb 24, 2011 09:49AM)
I ant help but agree with everyone here. I recently came back to magic after a long hiatus and bought the pdf version of mark Wilson's course. Printed it out and place each chapter in its own folder to make relearning a faster and less complicated process. This process I learned from the tarbell course. I like magic for dummies and the complete idots guide as well both are great additions. and some might laugh at me but I also like the klutz book too.
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (Feb 25, 2011 09:57PM)
Don't ever apologize for any source material that you come across or helps to further your understanding. Cross referencing and researching is part of the work and fun.
Message: Posted by: Dale J. O'Neill (Feb 26, 2011 06:30AM)
Presto: Magic for thr Beginner by Schindler is the very first magic book I bought. I still have it stitting on my book shelf.

Twist
Message: Posted by: Nate Green (Mar 7, 2011 11:58AM)
Don't become overwhelmed by too much too soon. Classic Secrets of Magic by Bruce Elliott is a great way to get started in the craft of magic.

Regards,
Nate
Message: Posted by: pradell (Mar 7, 2011 04:55PM)
For Under Over, a free downloadable book of over 90 pages from magician Joshua Jay, check this out

http://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-downloads/ebooks/under-over/

:magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Mar 18, 2011 02:29PM)
Just saw this post on another thread - thought you just might find it useful. The book mentioned has been re-written, updated, etc., along WITH FOUR OTHER BOOKS OF MINE, in The Classic Collection, Vol. 1 (there are now two more volumes available). Literally thousands over the decades have told me that Close-Up Card Magic was there start. I'll try to copy/paste it below - I'm a lousy computer person. HL.

"In 1962, a landmark book on entertaining card magic appeared. Close-Up Card Magic by Harry Lorayne, published by Louis Tannen Inc. revolutionized the approach to card magic. Card tricks could be good, and could be entertaining. Not that they weren't before, but many of the texts on cards had been dryly written and of a more technical nature. Lorayne's emphasis was on presentation and routining. By now, Harry Lorayne is legendary for his teaching and writing ability, but even then, with his first book on card magic, he possessed an excellent eye for quality routines and the ability to create [b]entertainment[/b] with card magic." - Sam Schwartz, Sam's The Magic of Sam Schwartz. Pg. 192.
Message: Posted by: Crimlock (Mar 24, 2011 02:30PM)
Just ordered Mark Wilson's book. It's hard to judge a book by it's cover, especially if you just started out... So thanks everybody for the great tips!
Message: Posted by: brian314 (Apr 2, 2011 02:33AM)
Does anyone know where I can get a copy of Henry Hays' magicians handbook.
Thank you
Message: Posted by: AGMagic (Apr 2, 2011 01:37PM)
I believe the title you are looking for is Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook" There are currently 39 copies available on ABEbooks.
Message: Posted by: brian314 (Apr 2, 2011 02:21PM)
Very Good , Thankyou
Message: Posted by: Fez (Apr 7, 2011 09:18PM)
Bobo's Modern Coin Magic and David Roth's Expert Coin Magic
Sorry if these have already be suggested!
Message: Posted by: ibraa (Apr 9, 2011 08:05AM)
All Kenton Knepper books helped me a lot.
Message: Posted by: magicsphere (Apr 12, 2011 05:30AM)
Check out education of magic by aaron fisher >>> http://blog.aaronfishermagic.com/?p=688
Message: Posted by: mysterrio (Apr 17, 2011 07:11PM)
[quote]
On 2001-11-25 22:25, Steve Brooks wrote:
Agreed! Learn 10 effects, and be the best that you can be, youíll be glad you did.

:nose:

[/quote]

I for one love this idea. In our magic club we have started to take old linking rings and other publications from the 40's, 50's and up to 2011 and learn a few effects from those. It helps to keep magic fresh because some things forgot appear NEW.
Message: Posted by: Mr Timothy Gray (Jun 20, 2011 11:07AM)
I should like to add two wonderful books to the list, both by Marvin Kaye.

THE HANDBOOK OF MAGIC (originally published as THE STEIN AND DAY HANDBOOK OF MAGIC), 1973.

THE HANDBOOK OF MENTAL MAGIC (1975) is the companion volume and a fantastic start for any beginning mentalist.

What's so special about THE HANDBOOK OF MAGIC is not only it's diverse selection of tricks, but the numerous articles and essays on PRESENTING and PERFORMING magic. It is also rife with lists on other sources pertaining to each section of the book. MENTAL MAGIC repeats (though hardly reuses) this format, complete with an annotated bibliography at the back of the volume.

If you can find these two volumes, read them together, study them together and practice the material, you'd have a nice little show on your hands.
Message: Posted by: NLewis (Jul 1, 2011 03:01PM)
Hi,

There is a lot of advice out there on what books to use as a beginner. I suggest watching several videos, such as Alan Ackerman's "Expert at the Card Table", or even the Beginners Course of Magic by Lance Burton. I'm not sure if they still sell that -- but it's an excellent start.

If you are a serious conjurer, I would certainly suggest using "Expert at the Card Table", as it's the best practical treatise on card manipulation, IMHO.
Message: Posted by: RachelMilano (Aug 23, 2011 10:39PM)
I'm not sure this book is for beginners but it is a must down the road at the very least. STRONG MAGIC by Darwin Ortiz. Not a book about effects, but rather a book about how to perform effects. And read it several times. You get more out of it each time you read it.
Message: Posted by: mahucharn (Aug 23, 2011 10:49PM)
I second the recommendation for Strong Magic, it is a truly fantastic book.
Message: Posted by: ThinkThurston (Aug 28, 2011 10:27PM)
This is a great thread, thank you for starting it. I'd like to add that Mark Wilson's course and Robert Giobbi's Card College get my votes for the best place to start. I also agree with Rachel and Manchucharn than Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz is must read as well as Derren's Brown's Absolute Magic. If you find a copy of Absolute Magic for sale, buy it!
Message: Posted by: CarlZen (Aug 30, 2011 01:54PM)
Hi I an not a beginner just joined a little lost.
Message: Posted by: terrillific (Aug 31, 2011 06:42PM)
Thanks for the recommendation on Strong Magic. Iím going to read it. Presentation of magic is more valuable then the tricks themselves as Iíve seen.
I still like Mark WIlsonís Course and Harry Lorayneís Close Up Card Magic. RRCM is a must as well as 13 Steps to Mentalism by Corinda. I wished Iíd read Corinda a long time ago. I was going through my library of books I collected many years ago when I was doing magic regularly and have found some real gems.
Message: Posted by: Magic Midnight (Sep 13, 2011 02:53AM)
I am a beginner and Mark Wilson's Course and Magic for Dummies has been very helpful. I was skeptical about the "For Dummies" book, but it was recommended by my local magic shop and it caters to beginners. Some of the effects are extremely simple and some are pretty amazing.
Just my humble opinion...
Message: Posted by: Merc Man (Oct 3, 2011 04:22AM)
Without question, one book springs to mind for recommending to ANYONE interested in magic - but particularly the beginner.

Harry Lorayne's 'The Magic Book'.

This is the book that really fueled my enthusiasm for not only close up magic using everyday objects and sleight of hand, but also the book that drummed home just how important and enjoyable it is to READ magic books AND learn from written instruction. I can't remember the amount of times over the years when I've had enough up my sleeve to perform instant magic with odds & sods just lying around - including taking out my shoelace for the ring and string routine (more than once!) and writing numbers in wet sand on a beach in Tenerife!

The content far surpasses other titles I've read because the tricks are just so strong. Moreover, it will take you through a raft of the necessary sleights that you will need - and explains their technique better than anything I've read since. The reason it's so good is that the author (HL) works hard on conveying the written word so effectively; or to put it in my kind of talk - he grafts bloody hard...and I like that in a geezer. ;)

This was my Christmas present back in 1978 when Ken Brooke sold it to my Father for me (and we often only got one present in those days) AND to this day I use the material within. It's also a book that I often refer back to as it's such an enjoyable read. Moreover, although I've read it from cover to cover many times over the past 33 years, there's always something new to learn; such as a performance tip that you missed before.

It also got me interested in Coin Magic; the branch of the art that I adore most. How I'd love Harry to write a coin magic book - with the countless excellent effects in this book (not to mention the years of coin magic brilliance within Apocalypse) I'm sure it would be a winner (or what about 'The Magic Book Vol 2' Harry?) ;)

So there you go - my unreserved recommendation for the cream of the cream that makes learning and practice so enjoyable. To my mind (and placing the tricks aside for a moment) THESE attributes are the most important aspects that you will get from this masterpiece - obviously before moving on to more advanced texts. That said, with the wealth of material within this book, it's all that you really need not only to amuse friends BUT to actually go out and make a living/reputation from.
Message: Posted by: metaljohn (Oct 18, 2011 01:20PM)
Although, it wasn't my first book as I read it many years after being into magic, Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book is excellent. So much stuff in there that is not only great for beginners, but the impact on some of the routines is as good as some of the more intermediate stuff out there.

Royal Road To Card Magic is a book that I'm happy I read first. It teaches a sleight and then gives you tricks to practice those sleights. At the same time, there's a lot of little subtleties on performance and psychology. There's also a section on routining tricks together. It's also pretty cheap and costs only a few bucks.

Card College volumes 1 and 2 are also great beginner books for card magic. It covers all the sleights in Royal Road, plus a whole lot more. Chaper 27 on Theory in volume 2 is worth the price alone for the book.

While we're on cards, Close Up Card Magic is another great starter. I personally didn't start with this book when it came to cards, but the tricks are farely easy to do and the tricks are some of the best out there in my opinion. Wether you start with the other card books I mentioned or not, definitely read this book. You can't get it in it's original form, but it's one of the four books included in one by the same author (Harry Lorayne) entitled Lorayne: The Classic Collection volume 1.

Modern Coin Magic is another great starter for coins. You probably won't even use half of the stuff that's in this book as it is jam packed with coin sleights and tricks. Like Royal Road To Card Magic, this book is dirt cheap.

13 Steps To Mentalism is another book to get for mind reading effects. If you're new to mentalism, you'll see how devious some of the routines can be in achieving what appears to the audience as pure mind reading.

This list of books should get you started.

This is a book thread so I'll leave out the DVDs.
Message: Posted by: Timma (Nov 10, 2011 06:41AM)
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I am a complete newbie but my interest is in card magic and flourishes. I have strongly hinted to my wife that a great birthday present would be the RRTCM book and the Paul Wilson DVDs on the book, so here is hoping. I will also have a look at Card College as I have seen this recommended a number of times on this forum.

Can anyone recommend how to approach flourishes? I have seen ads for the Trilogy DVD by Dan and Dave, and this is the sort of thing I would like to learn, but I am wondering how advanced this is and whether there is something better that I should consider starting with?

Thanks,
Tim
Message: Posted by: panlives (Dec 5, 2011 07:11AM)
[quote]
On 2011-11-10 07:41, Timma wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I am a complete newbie but my interest is in card magic and flourishes. I have strongly hinted to my wife that a great birthday present would be the RRTCM book and the Paul Wilson DVDs on the book, so here is hoping. I will also have a look at Card College as I have seen this recommended a number of times on this forum.

Can anyone recommend how to approach flourishes? I have seen ads for the Trilogy DVD by Dan and Dave, and this is the sort of thing I would like to learn, but I am wondering how advanced this is and whether there is something better that I should consider starting with?

Thanks,
Tim
[/quote]

ďThe Encyclopedia of Playing Card FlourishesĒ is your best bet.

It will take you from the super-easy to the fantastically difficult.
Message: Posted by: Big Sam (Jan 7, 2012 02:25PM)
Looking over my book collection, three are the most dog-eared:

1. Amateur Magician's Handbook - Hay
2. Stein and Day Handbook of Magic - Kayne
3. Magic with Cards - Garcia and Schindler

Back in the early 70's these were the only ones available at the local bookstore and provided a great foundation. All the books mentioned in this thread can give you a good start, but I think the important things is to JUMP IN with whatever book you can find. Once hooked there are thousands more to enjoy and more being published every week. But rather than find the perfect starting place, just go for it and don't look back . . .

Sam
Message: Posted by: maxnew40 (Feb 17, 2012 09:02AM)
I am a total beginner with card magic, so I got the Royal Road To Card Magic DVD and book. This really seems to be a great book/DVD. I imagine that it will take a year or more for me to work through it, but I wil learn so much!

-Max
Message: Posted by: Bugatti (Feb 24, 2012 10:45AM)
Hi there - I can¬īt be bothered to read all 13 pages of this discussion, so sorry if my recommendation was mentioned before. Obviously, there are many classics, such as RRTCM, Tarbell, Wilsons complete course, etc., but I was surprised to find good quality and extremely strong material for the beginning magician in Joshua Jaay¬īs complete course. This book featured some tricks I didn¬īt even like to be in there, such as OOTW, order from chaos, etc.
Message: Posted by: ibraa (Feb 24, 2012 11:37AM)
All depends on your style and type of magic, but alakazam always has some good materials. Also, sometimes on eBay there are some rare books for sale.
Message: Posted by: Michael Landes (Feb 29, 2012 12:14AM)
The Secrets of Alkazar (Kronzek) on dover.
Message: Posted by: Leon Kai Valentine (Mar 8, 2012 05:00AM)
Looking over a couple of pages has only inspired me further in my interest in starting magic. I'm still not a 100% sure of what kind of magic I want to focus into yet but I know I have a long but interesting road ahead of me.
Message: Posted by: Jim Sparx (Mar 8, 2012 10:00PM)
There was another thread by LeConte on recommended books and videos that was closed. Reading the four pages I did not see any recommendations for the Prof. Hoffmann books, all of which I consider classics. I did not read the thirteen pages in this thread, so I don't know if anyone recommended the Prof. Hoffmann books, if they did, it bears repeating. Not only do these books discuss the usual gimmicks, apparatus and methods common to this era, but they have one additional feature that makes them absolutely essential - they are free for downloading. Go to google books and type in "free e book" then enter Prof. Hoffmanns name. His most read books, Later Magic, More Magic and Modern Magic are there for the taking. There may even more.
Why these old, out of date books? Take a look at the contents in each book. They are an encyclopedia of magical history and they will give you some sense of the origins of magical thinking and how uncomplicated the simplest idea can be used to fool people. It is the simple things in life that make fools of us all.
The Hoffmann books, Henry Hay and Fischer's, Illustrated magic was what I checked out from the library when I was a kid in the 40s. I think they are worth revisiting.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Mar 9, 2012 01:35PM)
"While we're on cards, Close Up Card Magic is another great starter. I personally didn't start with this book when it came to cards, but the tricks are farely easy to do and the tricks are some of the best out there in my opinion. Wether you start with the other card books I mentioned or not, definitely read this book. You can't get it in it's original form, but it's one of the four books included in one by the same author (Harry Lorayne) entitled Lorayne: The Classic Collection volume 1."

None of my books were available in the 40s - I don't think!
Message: Posted by: Italia16 (Apr 13, 2012 01:01PM)
Great topic! Being new here, I appreciate all the recommendations.
Message: Posted by: bobflyer (Apr 17, 2012 09:41AM)
Great ideas...thanks!
Message: Posted by: magicnium0772 (Apr 18, 2012 05:28PM)
After reading through this thread I have just ordered Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, the Amateur Magician's Handbook and Modern Coin Magic. I'm also thinking of getting Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz as my performance and audience management could do with some serious improvement! :)
Message: Posted by: magic_rice55 (May 15, 2012 10:27PM)
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have a copy of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic and I love it. I use it all the time. I will definitely pick up these other reads and check them out. I also have been reading both of Joshua Jay's Magic books. I think they are very helpful in all aspects of magic. Thanks to all the veteran magicians out there who support beginner and upcoming magicians!
Message: Posted by: Sanderr (May 30, 2012 11:30AM)
So which of the many recommendations in this topic is the best to get first? I already own RRTCM, Modern Coin Magic and 13 Steps to Mentalism and want to expand my collection with a general knowledge book like Wilson's Complete Course or the Tarbell Course (starting with the first volume). The problem is I don't know which one to get first. Any suggestions?
Message: Posted by: MikeBeaudet (Jun 1, 2012 12:54PM)
I am back in magic after 35 years and I started with Joshua Jay's excellent Magic The Complete Course. A very good starting point.

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic is another great classic. It was my second books.

After these 2 great books I bought the classic Roberto Giobbi's Card College (5 books). A must if you want to learn card magic and sleight-of-hand. Royal Road to Card Magic is also a good one but I recommand starting with Card College.

Have fun...
Message: Posted by: Magic-Scott (Jun 24, 2012 09:33PM)
For cards, I would certainly recommend Roberto Giobbi's Card College series and The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Fredrick Braue.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jun 28, 2012 12:12PM)
Nobody has suggested it, so I will - although I doubt if you can find a copy currently. If you're pretty much a beginner, I'm referring to my book, THE MAGIC BOOK. (I'm in the throes of re-writing and updating it as we speak - for The Classic Collection, Vol. 4, the last of the series.)
Message: Posted by: Magic MarkR (Jul 5, 2012 10:38PM)
The various of books and resources suggested in this thread are excellent. I can see how a new person in magic can feel overwhelmed and swimming with books, DVD's and props. I would like to offer a little bit of guidance. Learning the tricks is only one part of magic. How the trick works is the trick. WHY the trick works is the magic, the performance. Read the trick and see if the effect and the methods work for you. If so, great. If not move on. I would suggest reading the comments by the various authors very carefully. These are the keys to making the tricks come alive and shaping you as a performer. One of my favorite chapters written to the magician comes from John Mulholland's first chapter in his book, "Magic for Entertaining".

I saw some comments about what tricks and books were "outdated". Other than patter, tricks are really never outdated. Most old tricks can be updated. The audience will not know if you learned the card trick from a book dated 1914 or a current DVD. Also NEVER discount a trick because the secret is simple. A miracle is a miracle from the audience's point of view. They are not judging if you made a difficult pass or a difficult sleight - as a matter of fact they don't even know what you are really doing.

The most important advice I have to offer is to have fun.
Message: Posted by: JeremyHall (Jul 13, 2012 04:00PM)
I have to agree with Mark on this one rather strongly. While many of the books listed deal with tricks, few deal with matters of performance.

It is pretty downright daunting to get up in front of a group of complete strangers (or worse: the ever critical friends and family!) with a handful of simple illusions you are eager to try. Some can do it, some of us can't - at least not the first try =) The first time I was up on stage and I froze up solid. (Fortunately I wasn't the only one up there!)

I believe the following books would be a great help to the new magician, especially if they are new to performing:

* An Actor Prepares, by Stanislovski. - A really solid book on creating a character and understanding your motivations as an actor. Yes we are actors up there, even if we are just being ourselves. It gives good tips, even if it can be a bit of a rough read from time to time.

* Magic and Showmanship, by Henning Nelms. - Makes you seriously rethink magic and how you do it. Probably the best book I've read on presentation, with a number of fantastic reworkings of old illusions. I ended up taking his idea with the modified wizard routine with a cell-phone so you can literally do it anywhere. Its all about the meaning.


Also a word of caution to many new magicians: A LOT of books of magic will repeat themselves, especially card magic. Don't let that worry you though, sometimes a different take can make all the difference between learning something new.

Cheers to you all,

Jeremy
Message: Posted by: JayB80 (Jul 17, 2012 03:17PM)
As a beginner card man (been at this for just over a year now)I have to say Mark wilson's complete course in magic is excellent as it covers most kinds of magic such as Cards,rope,sponges,coins,Stage illusions etc. As I am mainly a card guy I would have to say that the Royal Road to card magic book and Paul Wilsons royal Road To Card Magic Dvd course are excellent teaching the very fundamentals of card magic and splendid tricks that with time and practice are easy to learn and to perform. Roberto Giobbi's Card College is stunning. Volume 1 is an excellent guide for beginners starting out in card magic. Volume 1 is similar to the Royal Road but teaches you more variations I guess of the same moves/techniques etc.Vol 2,3,4,5 are crammed with more advanced techniques and info on performance(I have just started number 3).I found Daryl's encyclopedia of card sleights dvds to be fantastic teaching you something like 350 moves over 7 dvd volumes. It is a little fast paced going from move to move quickly.I have gotten through 3 volumes thus far and love Daryl's style. A great book when starting out with cards is Scarne on Card Tricks. Loads of self working card tricks that are easy to perform after practice and will give a beginner confidence as you can work on presentation without worrying about complicated sleights. If you like mentalism as I do I have found anything by Richard Osterlind fascinating. His Dvd series mind mysteries and No camera tricks,Mental Miracles etc are brilliant. For beginner coin magic Bobos's book on coin magic seems to be the best bet. Easy to follow but much practice is needed with those fiddly little coin things lol. There is so much material out there many I have yet to discover and after a year of practice I still feel overwhelmed at times. My advice from a beginner to a beginner is to decide which area of magic you have most interest in then buy one or two items then learn/practice the material you have thoroughly, taking your time. I mean Mark Wilsons complete course in magic alone has material that could last a lifetime inside.

Jay
Message: Posted by: AlexVegas (Jul 20, 2012 09:50PM)
All of this info has been great I think I will be purchasing some new literature soon.
Message: Posted by: Brad Sheppard (Jul 26, 2012 08:01AM)
Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful and very helpful suggestions! New magicians can easily feel overwhelmed by the literally thousands of books and DVD's on the subject. I started with Mark Wilson's course and I am still referencing it today. It is a wonderful resource. I was lucky to inherit many Genii and Linking Ring magazines from the 1940-1970's. It has been a joy reading the effects in the older magazines and thinking of creative ways to make them up to date. Before running out and purchasing the latest and hottest effects, revisit the books you own and try something new. Never underestimate the power of classic magic. Most of our audiences do not care if the effect was created in 1930 or 2012. Make it yours!

- note: Try an online book seller for used books. I found the Mark Wilson Course for $3.00!
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Aug 29, 2012 06:21PM)
I started with Mark Wilson's course a couple years ago and only yesterday purchased Amateur Magician's Handbook (Hay) and the Stein and Day Handbook of Magic through Amazon. Both books including postage only cost me 15 bucks!

I'm looking forward to all the performance information listed in the contents of Stein and Day. What we say, when we say it, why we say it- sound like great chapters.

Thanks to you guys for pointing me in the direction of these books.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Aug 29, 2012 07:22PM)
Be sure to stay away from any Harry Lorayne book!
Message: Posted by: Atom3339 (Aug 29, 2012 07:49PM)
^ Yes. They tend to turn you into a fantastic magician, especially with cards. Your memory will improve too!
Message: Posted by: robsn (Sep 4, 2012 02:31AM)
So many great tips! Wow.

As I have noticed that there are some Germans here, I would like to recommend a German book that has helped me starting up quick:

Jochen Zmeck, Handbuch der Magie

This one comes from coins to cards and first TT tricks and invites you to the most cummon techniques. It is quite old but that does not disturb the quality. Great book.
Message: Posted by: 0likv (Oct 31, 2012 03:48PM)
As a bit of a newbie to magic myself I would reccomend the royal road to card magic as it has made my card magic amazing !!!!
Message: Posted by: glut (Nov 2, 2012 06:04AM)
Hi all,

I bought two books of Derren Brown: "tricks of the mind" and "pure effect"

Do you know this books, and, if so, what do you think about them ?
Message: Posted by: slyrich (Nov 2, 2012 07:42AM)
Yep olikv, compleetly agree with royal road - a great resource. even better, I have it on my kindle so can always dip into it no matter where I am!
Message: Posted by: Ikswonilak (Nov 2, 2012 04:04PM)
Lorayne's The Magic Book should be included as a must-read for beginner's. Despite what Mr. Lorayne says about his own work!

AK
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Nov 18, 2012 06:40PM)
The Magic Book is re-written, updated, etc., along with Star Quality and The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel, in my current TCC volume. You can learn a bit more about it if you go to the third link listed under this post. HL.
Message: Posted by: RichMagish (Nov 29, 2012 05:26PM)
What an impressive list for beginners! Thanks, everybody. I have a lot of reading to do . . .
Message: Posted by: Bicycle Rider (Dec 31, 2012 02:35AM)
+1 on Mark Wilson's magic book. It wasn't my first book, and yet I can still learn so many things from it. I love the varieties it provides :) and lots of lots of pictures make it very easy to follow. I only wish it provides some references for each trick.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Dec 31, 2012 03:46PM)
Bobo's Modern Coin Magic; Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Magic; Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic; The Tarbell Course in Magic, and pretty much every book that Harry Lorayne put out.

I love Mark Wilson's book, too...but honestly, the list of books above will serve any magician for a lifetime of Magic.
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Jan 30, 2013 06:04AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-15 19:38, Nesquik wrote:
As a beginner myself I would add The Ostrich Factor by Gerald Edmunson. It is not a how to technique book but explains how to practice and rehearse. For people who are new to magic this may prove to be helpful. You won't learn any tricks or moves but I found it to be very helpful and worth the small investment.
[/quote]
Nesquik,
Thank you for your comments about The Ostrich Factor. I appreciate your interest in the book. Reviews can be found here: http://www.geraldedmundson.com/tof1/TOFReviews.htm

Thanks again!
Gerald
Message: Posted by: CardStudent (Jan 31, 2013 04:52PM)
Here's yet another list, along with reasons why I recommend them. Some of these books have already been recommended, and some of them haven't. Except where noted, the books can either be purchased from your favorite magic dealer or through Amazon.

Magic: The Complete Course by Joshua Jay

An alternative here would be the Mark Wilson book, and indeed there has been much comparison. I would suggest that most of the material in the Wilson book is contained in the other books I am going to mention anyway, with the exception of the illusions, which you probably won't have the opportunity to perform very often anyway.

Joshua Jay's Amazing Book of Cards

There aren't many tricks in this book, but the few that are there are good. Plus, you will learn to do a number of interesting things with a deck of cards that will really add interest to your presentations of other effects.

The New Modern Coin Magic

I agree wholeheartedly with those who have recommended that the hardbound expanded edition be hunted down. The material in its extra chapters is more than worth the effort and small additional expense.

The Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks
The hardbound edition edited and complied by Gabe Fujuri combines the three previously written volumes into one easier-to-use tome which you will surely cherish for years.

Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic Vols. 1-4

These huge books are available as a set of 4 .pdf files on one CD ROM which is worth its weight in gold.

The Complete Cups and Balls by Michael Ammar

Every magician should learn a good cups and balls routine even if you don't perform it. The things you will learn about timing, misdirection, and acting will serve you well in all of your magic. This book is available as a download from L&L Publishing's new ebooks site.

Switch by Jon Lovick

This is some more advanced material, but still well within the grasp of any dedicated student. Plus, it's all very strong. You'll be able to do almost anything with almost any bill after you've read this, both close up and on stage.
Message: Posted by: malamoney (Jan 31, 2013 10:06PM)
Can someone tell me about the single book The Original Tarbell Lessons In Magic?

How much of the original 8 volume set does it leave out?
Message: Posted by: CardStudent (Feb 1, 2013 12:47PM)
Quite a bit, actually. However, the 8 volume set was not original. The single volume book is actually a collection of the original sixty lessons. The material in those original sixty lessons, which were mailed to students on a weekly basis, is scattered throughout the volumes of the complete set. In fact, volume seven wasn't even written by Tarbell. It was written by Harry Lorayne, who frequents the Magic Cafť. If you are deciding between the two, then by all means, go for the complete set. Even though they are more expensive, you can get them one at a time and find deals on them if you pick them up used.

Once you have decided which genre of magic you like best, you might want to consider my previous recommendations as well. If you decide you like cards best, you should add Royal Road to Card Magic to my previous list. Once you have mastered that, if you're up for a challenge, the Expert at the Card Table is also a wonderful book. I would get the annotated version by Darwin Ortiz.

If menatlism sparks your interest, then all the previous recommendations for 13 Steps to Mentalism and Practical Mental Effects are spot on. Still, all that said, Tarbell remains a good place to start.
Message: Posted by: malamoney (Feb 1, 2013 04:38PM)
CardStudent,

I am actually not new to magic. It's just been many years since I really dedicated any time to it. But over the years I have put together a nice collection of books and dvds, knowing that I would one day find the time to return to my magical studies. I actually posted a message in the books forum asking for advice on the best order to start absorbing the books and dvds I currently own.


Here is a link to that post:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=498293&forum=110&10

And here is a list of the books and dvds:

Greater Magic
Strong Magic
Designing Miracles
The Magic of Michael Ammar
Approaching Magic
Power Plays
Maximum Entertainment
Magic and Showmanship
Expert Card Technique
The Amateur Magician's Handbook
The Stein and Day Handbook of Magic
The New Modern Coin Magic
Magical Mathematics
The Magic of Alan Wakeling
Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
The Great Illusions of Magic
Encyclopedia of Suspensions and Levitations
The Seven Basic Principles of Illusion Design

The Art of Card Manipulation Set
Fantasio Live at the Magic Castle
The Magic and Manipulation of Geoffrey Buckingham
Levent's Ultimate Guide to the Billiard Balls
Shimada's Manipulation
Tim Wright's Multiplying Balls
McBride's World Class Manipulation set
Royal Road to Card Magic 5-DVD Set
Encyclopedia of Card Sleights Set
David Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy
Encyclopedia of Coin Sleights Set
The Band Shark
Laflin Silks Set
Fiber Optics
and a couple others.

While I would love to get the Tarbell Course Set, it's hard to convince the wife to spend more money on magic stuff, when I have shelves of unread (and some unwrapped) books.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Feb 1, 2013 06:23PM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-03 05:22, Merc Man wrote:
Without question, one book springs to mind for recommending to ANYONE interested in magic - but particularly the beginner.

Harry Lorayne's 'The Magic Book'.

This is the book that really fueled my enthusiasm for not only close up magic using everyday objects and sleight of hand, but also the book that drummed home just how important and enjoyable it is to READ magic books AND learn from written instruction. I can't remember the amount of times over the years when I've had enough up my sleeve to perform instant magic with odds & sods just lying around - including taking out my shoelace for the ring and string routine (more than once!) and writing numbers in wet sand on a beach in Tenerife!

The content far surpasses other titles I've read because the tricks are just so strong. Moreover, it will take you through a raft of the necessary sleights that you will need - and explains their technique better than anything I've read since. The reason it's so good is that the author (HL) works hard on conveying the written word so effectively; or to put it in my kind of talk - he grafts bloody hard...and I like that in a geezer. ;)

This was my Christmas present back in 1978 when Ken Brooke sold it to my Father for me (and we often only got one present in those days) AND to this day I use the material within. It's also a book that I often refer back to as it's such an enjoyable read. Moreover, although I've read it from cover to cover many times over the past 33 years, there's always something new to learn; such as a performance tip that you missed before.

It also got me interested in Coin Magic; the branch of the art that I adore most. How I'd love Harry to write a coin magic book - with the countless excellent effects in this book (not to mention the years of coin magic brilliance within Apocalypse) I'm sure it would be a winner (or what about 'The Magic Book Vol 2' Harry?) ;)

So there you go - my unreserved recommendation for the cream of the cream that makes learning and practice so enjoyable. To my mind (and placing the tricks aside for a moment) THESE attributes are the most important aspects that you will get from this masterpiece - obviously before moving on to more advanced texts. That said, with the wealth of material within this book, it's all that you really need not only to amuse friends BUT to actually go out and make a living/reputation from.
[/quote]

It's also re-written and updated in my lates THE CLASSIC COLLECTION. Check it out. HL.
Message: Posted by: Andy Young (Mar 5, 2013 02:57AM)
As a beginner you don't get better then Harry Lorayne. By making you read how the effect is done rather than just telling what the effect is engages a beginner to really take a look at what goes into an effect. Just remember you will be extremely tired after you start reading Harry's books because you won't be able to put it down.
Message: Posted by: danhughes (Mar 6, 2013 10:33PM)
Two books by Mark Wilson are repeatedly recommended here:

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic

The Complete Course is a huge 9x11 book, 472 pages.
The Cyclopedia is a tiny 4x5 book, but with a whopping 638 pages.

They are 95% identical, word for word.

The differences: The Cyclopedia lacks about 35 pages of minor material on cards and coins, and 9 pages on billiard balls.

That material has been replaced with 30 pages of "Make-At-Home" magic.

Other than that, they are the same book.

So if you have one, you essentially have both.
Message: Posted by: dader76 (Mar 13, 2013 01:51PM)
There's a lot of repetition but I think that says a lot about what beginners should focus on from people who have walked the walk. I will give my praise to the Wilson Book, Harry Lorayne's (as well as Close Up Card Magic which is very accessible), the Bill Tarr books and even the more 'modern' Joshua Jay course. I will add that there is so much on youtube and the internet with some wonderful insights and performances such as 52kards (http://52kards.com/) and on youtube Decks & Contests. I personally have the Ammar videos, most of them, and still reference them a lot. I like Patrick Page's work on sponge balls and the shell and pea. I still find that I spread myself very thin, trying to learn too many things and not focusing enough on a few, but I guess that's why I'm still a beginner after all these years. One more spot I'd go to is, again Youtube, is Julian Mather, Julian's Magician School. He's got a free download of a book on going about this and his magic, while quite simple, is classic and compelling. I hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Mercutio01 (Mar 22, 2013 12:56PM)
[quote]
On 2013-03-06 23:33, danhughes wrote:
Two books by Mark Wilson are repeatedly recommended here:

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic

The Complete Course is a huge 9x11 book, 472 pages.
The Cyclopedia is a tiny 4x5 book, but with a whopping 638 pages.

They are 95% identical, word for word.

The differences: The Cyclopedia lacks about 35 pages of minor material on cards and coins, and 9 pages on billiard balls.

That material has been replaced with 30 pages of "Make-At-Home" magic.

Other than that, they are the same book.

So if you have one, you essentially have both.
[/quote]That's actually really helpful. I just came across a used copy of the latter (The Cyclopedia) that I picked up, but I wasn't entirely sure if it was the same. Amazon reviews weren't terribly helpful (they usually aren't for anything, really).
Message: Posted by: Magic Pierre (Apr 18, 2013 09:58AM)
Amazon reviews weren't terribly helpful (they usually aren't for anything, really).
The problem with reviews is that they are usually very subjective. I have written a number of reviews for Amazon (my "handle" there is Critical I), and I try to make my reviews useful to people who might read them later, but the truth is that, if I write that a book is awful, that is just my opinion, although I'm usually right ;-). So if the reviews you are reading are no more than venting about a book being "bad", it is probably only going to be useful to you insofar as your taste is like the taste of the reviewer.
On the other hand, with magic books, there are real objective things that can be said for or against a book. Things like "The instructions are technically wrong. If you try to do what is described you are told to wave the wand with your right hand over cards that, one paragraph before, you were told to hold in your right hand". Or "the photographs in this book are muddy and only make the instructions more confusing", or, "The instructions leave out a critical step. It's just not there". These sorts of things would render a book seriously useless, and a reviewer would be doing a service by pointing them out to people before they buy the books.
On the other hand a criticism like "This book sucks! The reviewer is a pompous, self promoting blow-hard" is a relatively useless review, because it simply states the reviewer's personal opinion of the author which you might or might not agree with.
IMHO
Message: Posted by: Mercutio01 (Apr 18, 2013 10:51AM)
My question was how comparable were Cyclopedia and Complete Course, as I had access to the former but not the latter, and wanted to know if I should pass by the Cyclopedia. I had essentially the same question recently with a Bob Longe book (Giant Book of Card Tricks) compared with some of his smaller books, and whether I should just pick up the smaller ones or if Giant contained the others within it. Amazon reviews were once again unhelpful, but elsewhere in the Magic Cafť I came across the information.

/end thread derail (or my part in it anyway)

The major complaint that people have over Cyclopedia (that it's hard to hold the pages open while trying to reproduce effects) is legitimate, but it hasn't been all that hard to work around it, yet.
Message: Posted by: Roy the Illusionist (May 2, 2013 07:51PM)
I recommend Joshua Jay's "Magic," it contains pretty much every kind of magic and it comes with a DVD.
Message: Posted by: peterdgr8 (Jun 4, 2013 12:02PM)
While the Mark Wilson Course is certainly a great starter book there's one I've found that is also quite good if not better: Einhorn's "Practical Encyclopedia of Magic". In the past I'd found it in bargain bins but you may find dirt cheap copy on Ebay or places like that. The book is well written and offers some of the best effects for a total neophyte. From some the most basic to much more advanced in cards, coins, silks and beyond. Along the way you learn the classic sleights that will stay with you for a lifetime. Einhorn has also continued to publish other books which while I have not actually seen them are probably quite good and comprehensive.

From there it's your choice of where you may want to go. The book offers plenty of suggestions but if you want some guidance, like many others in this thread I would strongly recommend either the new classic Giobbi's utterly masterful Card College series for cards (Royal Road to Card Magic is also good but if you're going to go for it, I say go for it!) and of course Bobo's Modern Coin Magic if you like coins. What you'll learn here is the basis for nearly 98% of the effects you'll see everywhere else. You'll soon learn how many effects are often based on a previous effect by so-and-so, etc. Magicians are constantly trying to streamline and improve existing effects for greater effect.

The rest is up to you.

You might go check out Harry Lorayne's books which are great places to pore and learn for a lifetime. He's sort of like the Bergdorf Goodman of magic in that he's pretty much scanned everything that's out there and has collected for you only the best and the strongest in his terrific books. His writing style is like having a teacher or friend guiding you.

If you like the more offbeat, check out Paul Harris' three part tome, "The art of astonishment".

Beyond that, well every top guy with a reputation has a collection of effects published by someone. You just have decide whose effects you want to learn and go for it.

Have fun! There's a lifetime of learning.

P
Message: Posted by: priyanshu (Jun 8, 2013 06:52AM)
I am a beginner interested in card magic.
Is it good to start with Paul Harris' "The art of astonishment"?

Thanks
Message: Posted by: Paragon (Jun 8, 2013 07:22AM)
Hi there priyanshu,

no it is not good to start with The art of astonishment, but great to continue with ( when you are advanced ).
Message: Posted by: Caz (Jun 11, 2013 05:09PM)
I've been reading Banacheck's book about mentalism
and of course I've been recommended Corinda's 13 steps.
Any other suggestions around mentalism for a newbie?
Message: Posted by: portpopo (Jun 20, 2013 01:40PM)
Caz- I would suggest TA Waters Mind, Myth, and Magick. Great stuff, lots of different material.
Message: Posted by: Luis Sirgado (Jun 27, 2013 01:44PM)
I would not recommend one, but three that belong to a series. Tarbell course in magic volume four, five and six. Here one can find plenty of mentalism effects.
Message: Posted by: secti (Jul 13, 2013 10:03PM)
Great suggestions, everyone!

I would re-submit Mark Wilson's complete course in magic; was my first book (got a hardcover copy) & I wore it out.
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (Aug 7, 2013 12:59PM)
I echo Wilson and Hay's books, and see finally in page 14 of the thread mention of "Magic, The Complete Course" by Joshua Jay. Great book, and it comes with a DVD! What is special about this book is it updates magic to the 21st century. He goes into detail about psychology such as what he calls "direction" instead of misdirection, and explains that top hats and sponge balls were cool when they were in fashion, but Magic should be updated to be more relevant today. Most of the tricks can be done with everyday objects. This is a beginners book that teaches professional quality technique and effects.
Message: Posted by: Tenacitiz (Aug 8, 2013 04:10PM)
It's nice to know I'm not the only one obsessed with expanding my magic library. Tarbell, Mark Wilson, modern coin magic, card college. All fantastic places to start in fact I'd have a hard time deciding what to grab if the house was burning down!
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (Aug 9, 2013 08:30AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-08 17:10, Tenacitiz wrote:
It's nice to know I'm not the only one obsessed with expanding my magic library.
[/quote]

It would be interesting to tally up the cost of our libraries. Things like the Card College series are not cheap. Then again, let's not, I can't have my wife find out that she could have gone on a two week cruise ;)
Message: Posted by: Premier Magic (Oct 31, 2013 08:03PM)
Every now and then you can pick up used copies of great books for really cheap on amazon used. Just an example I got 13 steps a few months ago for less than shipping cost me ($3.95) not that's its an expensive book but still 75%n off is great. So check there if your cash strapped like me.
Message: Posted by: MRSharpe (Jan 1, 2014 11:14AM)
I may have mentioned this one before, but it won't hurt to do so again. Magic Digest by George Anderson is a great book if you can find a copy. Unfortunately, it is out of print and has been for many years.
Message: Posted by: virtualwizard (Feb 4, 2014 05:38PM)
Not sure if John Scarne's book on card tricks has been mentioned but it was a great first book for me.
It's in paperback
Message: Posted by: SolidSnake (Feb 16, 2014 07:47AM)
For mentalism - Corinda and Annemann are great books and easily available. I have found it is difficult to get a hold of T.A Water's at the moment.

I would also highly recommend anything from Richard Osterlind - 'Easy to master mental miracles' DVDS.

Hope this is helpful.

For card magic - I started out with The Royal Road.
Message: Posted by: pkessler (Feb 24, 2014 08:36PM)
I've seen posts about the Seven Basic Secrets of Illusion Design by Duzer in other forums, but it merits posting here, as well. The Duzer book is a great touchstone for thinking about the workings of illusions. It does not contain plans, per se, but page for page is full of amazingly useful concepts. I'm a novice but it has been a wonderful source book the last few months.
Message: Posted by: ihave (Mar 29, 2014 10:12PM)
What about You Tube Video's, which ones would you recommend?
Message: Posted by: TyTheMagician (Mar 31, 2014 11:02AM)
None. Almost every YT teacher is an amateur. Some of them aren't even good enough at the tricks to be performing them, let alone teaching sleight of hand. Many marketed effects are also revealed on YouTube. This is bad. You don't want to support those that reveal effects that aren't there own. Books will teach you sleight of hand, misdirection, and patter. They'll make you a magician. YouTube will teach you to poorly perform a few card tricks. It'll make you a mere trickster who presents puzzles.

-Ty
Message: Posted by: Andrew Immerman (May 13, 2014 02:56AM)
Generally, for beginners, I'd make several recommendations:
1. Go with qualified works (rather than some YouTuber). The best and most experienced magicians in the world seem to stand by the classics. They're time-tested and proven.
2. Master self-working material first. It's classic divide-and-conquer: develop performance capability and confidence (with an audience), then develop the ability to execute sleights in the presence of an audience.
3. Work through each source completely and in order before moving to a next source.
4. Learn from books before videos. It's been my experience that books develop focus, discipline, and creativity. Books force readers to understand and adapt content rather than emulate instructors.
5. Work with an experienced coach. There's nothing like interactive learning.
6. Persist through challenges.

For a classic introduction to card magic (books):
- The Royal Road to Card Magic (Hugard and Braue)
- Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (Hugard)
- Scarne on Card Tricks (Scarne)
- Close-Up Card Magic (Lorayne)
- Our Magic (Maskelyne and Devant)

For a more modern introduction to card magic:
- Card College, Vols. 1-5 (Giobbi) [Book]
- Card College, Light, Lighter, and Lighest (Giobbi) [Book]
- Card College, Vols. 1 and 2 (Giobbi) [DVD]
- The Royal Road to Card Magic (Wilson) [DVD]
- The Five Points of Magic (Tamariz) [Book]

Andrew
Message: Posted by: djjkarate (May 13, 2014 03:03PM)
Oh, incase once hasn't tried, check out (in the United States) half price books.. I notice the quantity has been dwindling lately, but I've collect over 50 different books..
cheers,
don

:clownjuggling:
Message: Posted by: lopike (May 17, 2014 08:44PM)
Mark Wilson - complete course in magic
Joshua jay - complete course in magic
Jean hugard - royal road to card magic
Message: Posted by: Stace1701 (May 25, 2014 12:54AM)
Just got my copy of The Royal Road To Card Magic and let me tell you its GREAT!!!!! Can't say enuf I'm back into magic at 40 and learning what in the book is like finding a treasure chest. If you want to lean to be a great card Magician get the book.
Message: Posted by: Justin Lewis (Aug 27, 2014 12:38PM)
Paul at hocus Pocus just hooked my my little cousin who is new to
Magic with some really cool books. He said he has many books and DVD for new magicians. Give
Him a call. Hocus-Pocus.com
1800 407-4040
Message: Posted by: Mifune (Oct 4, 2014 09:11AM)
I don't understand very well, why the Light collection of Roberto Giobbi is not mentioned. I think that the skills that these books teach us are the most important thing in magic or mentalism, the timing, misdirection, presentation... These skills are usually forgotten by the beginner, lost in a lot of sleights. These collection of books are intended for the beginner, but instead of a lot of sleights, Giobbi gave us a handful of automatic effects that are easy in the technical part for helping us to develop the skills needed to perform magic. So my vote is for the Light collection of Roberto Giobbi.
Message: Posted by: seraph127 (Oct 9, 2014 11:14AM)
[quote]On Oct 4, 2014, Mifune wrote:
I don't understand very well, why the Light collection of Roberto Giobbi is not mentioned. I think that the skills that these books teach us are the most important thing in magic or mentalism, the timing, misdirection, presentation... These skills are usually forgotten by the beginner, lost in a lot of sleights. These collection of books are intended for the beginner, but instead of a lot of sleights, Giobbi gave us a handful of automatic effects that are easy in the technical part for helping us to develop the skills needed to perform magic. So my vote is for the Light collection of Roberto Giobbi. [/quote]

I recommend these as well. Giobbi teaches more than just procedure, he teaches presentation and routining - skills that are too often neglected in other books. Giobbi has also put together a free pdf document, [i]Introduction to Card Magic[/i] that is of the same level of excellence as his other writings.
Message: Posted by: bro kumis (Oct 23, 2014 10:07PM)
Hi everyone,

I'm totally new in magic, it is just around 2 months ago I started to train, and I focus on CnB. So far I learn the basic sleight from youtube and simple routine from some dvds, after spending 1-2 hours everyday, then I tried to perform it :) in front of some of my friends and I did it 3 times to 3 different group. my goal is to overcome nervous feeling :) and the result was - some sleight were executed cleanly but some not :) .
I do love close up magic , especially CnB and multiplying ball .

I need guidance to learn it pls advise what is the recommended book to learn CnB ? beside mark wilson course book.

Thank you,
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Oct 24, 2014 04:04PM)
Mostly great advice - from some who really know. Definitely stay away from my books!!
Message: Posted by: poolside (Oct 29, 2014 06:15PM)
Amen, Mr. Lorayne! I'm no longer a beginner at 58 years old but I am currently re-reading and thoroughly enjoying "The Magic Book" by some guy named Harry. Is it recommended for beginners? It is subtitled, "The Complete Beginners Guide to Anytime, Anywhere, Sleight-of-Hand Magic". Need I say more?
Message: Posted by: Remillard (Nov 2, 2014 10:04AM)
Wow, this was a long thread to get through but well worth it. Some great recommendations here that I will have to get to. I saw a discussion earlier about books versus DVDs. In my experience, I found that the best resource was a combination of the Card College books along with the DVDs. The books are great but I've found that I'm more of a visual learner. Using both in conjunction helped me immeasurably.
Also saw a mention of Strong Magic as a good resource for learning how to construct an effect or routine. I haven't read that book yet but it is definitely on my to do list now. I'm am kind of surpried that nobody has yet mentioned The Magic Way by Tamariz. I just recently read it and found it an excelent resource on constructing a routine.
Message: Posted by: russellajallen (Nov 13, 2014 12:14PM)
Maximum Entertainment by Ken Webber is great fortips on how magic mentalism should be performed.
Message: Posted by: Newsround (Nov 14, 2014 05:14PM)
I know everybody will have their own opinion, but Harry Lorayne's "The Magic Book" has been an excellent early read for me.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 2, 2014 03:38AM)
I don't remember if this has been mentioned, I didn't reread the whole thread, but I have to wholeheartedly recommend Magic by Misdirection By Dariel Fitzkee. Maybe I'm more experienced now and can just appreciate this more or something, but this book so far is one of the best books about the art of magic I have ever read.

I got mine for my Kindle for only $9.95.

This book is amazing. It will help you grow as a performer and entertainer.

By all means, get the Lorayne, the Giobbi, the Mark Wilson; as a beginner and beyond. But get this book and read it! It may just change the way you look at and approach our art.

:readingbook:

And while you're reading have a doughnut and coffee... :hotcoffee:
Message: Posted by: Nosson Weissman (Dec 3, 2014 10:23AM)
I've recently started TRRTCM. The book is pretty awesome!! I'm up to the practice routine for the overhand shuffle and I was hoping someone could help me with one of the steps:)
"6. Control the top reversed card only by means of the overhand shuffle control, which will give you facility in the run, the injog, and the undercut.
Again check your work. The original top card should now be the fourth from the top of the pack."

I'm a little lost.. How am I supposed to get the top card to the 4th from the top?

Thanks in Advance:))
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 3, 2014 07:04PM)
Welcome to the Cafť Nosson! Specific card control questions can be asked in the workers thread. You might be waiting a long time to get an answer here!

Having said that, with the card on top run 4 cards, injog the 5th, run the rest of the deck, get a break at injog, run off to break, throw packet of 4 to top. Card is now fourth from the top.

Hope that helps!

:hotcoffee:
Message: Posted by: Nosson Weissman (Dec 3, 2014 09:30PM)
Theodore, thank you so much!!!!! First, thank you for the clear instructions step by step, that was very clear:) Second, thanks for letting me know the right place to ask:)) I'm gonna check out your Facebook page :)
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Dec 4, 2014 03:13AM)
You're welcome! Reading about card control can be a little confusing at first.

Enjoy your journey! :hotcoffee:
Message: Posted by: intervalmagic (Dec 15, 2014 06:57PM)
So as not to confuse my magic students, I always recommend only one book to start with: Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. (I've repeated the complete title here in case some magic beginners find this last page of the thread independently.) Here's a shortened link to the Half.com listings for the book: [url=http://tinyurl.com/markwilsoncourse]http://tinyurl.com/markwilsoncourse[/url]. Regarding the Fitzkee book, I'm with Theodore Lawton; although, a magic student with a bit more experience might appreciate it more, as Theodore observed above. I'd also recommend Fitzkee's other two books in the famous trilogy, especially Showmanship for Magicians. While he wrote those books more than 70 years ago, the information still applies even in this modern age. A final piece of advice for beginners in magic who might read this post: Don't focus so much on the quantity of tricks to add to your repertoire but rather the ones that suit your personality best. Learn the technical aspects of the effects well, then spend a lot more time putting together presentations that mesh well with your performing style (i.e., Are you a natural storyteller? Are you a comedian? Do you have a special interest or field of expertise outside of magic you can incorporate into your routine?). This just scratches the surface, but if you remember one thing, remember this: Try to focus on presentation and entertainment value first as opposed to doing the latest tricks just because they're "cool" or because everyone else is doing them.
Message: Posted by: somethingupmysleeve (Jan 2, 2015 09:20AM)
As a beginner; thank you for this advice. I have Mark Wilson's book, and will be working through various bits that interest me. I also have the "Born to Perform Card Magic by Oz Pearlman" DVD for a more visual view of the card work. I'm trying to avoid the trap of doing the latest tricks just because they're "cool"!

Jon

[quote]On Dec 16, 2014, intervalmagic wrote:
So as not to confuse my magic students, I always recommend only one book to start with: Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. (I've repeated the complete title here in case some magic beginners find this last page of the thread independently.) Here's a shortened link to the Half.com listings for the book: [url=http://tinyurl.com/markwilsoncourse]http://tinyurl.com/markwilsoncourse[/url]. Regarding the Fitzkee book, I'm with Theodore Lawton; although, a magic student with a bit more experience might appreciate it more, as Theodore observed above. I'd also recommend Fitzkee's other two books in the famous trilogy, especially Showmanship for Magicians. While he wrote those books more than 70 years ago, the information still applies even in this modern age. A final piece of advice for beginners in magic who might read this post: Don't focus so much on the quantity of tricks to add to your repertoire but rather the ones that suit your personality best. Learn the technical aspects of the effects well, then spend a lot more time putting together presentations that mesh well with your performing style (i.e., Are you a natural storyteller? Are you a comedian? Do you have a special interest or field of expertise outside of magic you can incorporate into your routine?). This just scratches the surface, but if you remember one thing, remember this: Try to focus on presentation and entertainment value first as opposed to doing the latest tricks just because they're "cool" or because everyone else is doing them. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: mbwambwa (Jan 27, 2015 08:45PM)
This is an extremely helpful topic. I have had the Amateur Magicians Handbook for over 20 years and I still reference it. I also recently checked out Lorayne's The Magic Book at my library and couldn't believe how much I missed after having already read it a few times before over the years. The level of detail that each effect goes into is extremely helpful.

I would also recommend Bobo. Another classic that you can't go wrong with.
Message: Posted by: Asop (Mar 24, 2015 03:11PM)
Hi to everyone and thank you for all your advices!
I read all your topics and I bought "Complete Course In Magic" - M. Wilson, "Modern Coin Magic" - J. B. Bobo and "Royal Road To Card Magic" - J. Hugard & F. Braue.
I was attracted to "Now You See It, Now You Don't" and "Practical Mental Magic" because I want to have something about each important kind of magic but I have prefered not to exaggerate in the beginning :)
Now that I have the "material" I focuse on the method of learning and I'd like to ask you about it cause I've got some doubts.

Do you think that it's better starting with a single book (probably Wilson) and then continue with the others after a while, or do you think that it's better reading them together?

Thank you again!
Message: Posted by: Xsyllman (Mar 25, 2015 01:09AM)
Hi, Asop....O "Fabled" One? ;)

Like yourself, I'm also just starting on my adventure into magic. I'm middle-aged, recently retired, and looking for something to help keep my mind and my manual dexterity in shape. I'm also realistic enough (or narrow-minded enough) to realize that, unlike most others in this forum, I'll never attain the level of skill that people who've been working at magic for 30 years possess. And, I also realize that, were I to pursue many facets of magic (i.e., cards, coins, mentalism, rings, cups & balls, etc.), I'd likely gain little proficiency at any of them. So, I decided that cards would be a sufficient undertaking.

As a result, and based upon the many recommendations in the various threads of this wonderful forum, I obtained Hugard & Braue's [I]The Royal Road to Card Magic[/I], Roberto Giobbi's [I]Card College[/I] tomes, as well as two very wonderful Harry Lorayne books, [I]Deck-Sterity[/I] and [I]Quantum Leaps[/I] that were selling for a bargain on eBay. Using the first two as my "elementary textbooks", I'm beginning to learn the basics of card magic, while sneaking a peek at the Lorayne books for some instant gratification and inspiration (even though the Hugard & Braue book warns against 'skipping ahead' of the recommended course of study).

The learning, at least for me is slow, so I find that some self-working tricks help satisfy the hunger for a few tricks to learn as I study. In this regard, two DVDs by Ryan Schlutz ([I]Miracles Without Moves[/I] and [I]Effortless Effects[/I]) have been very helpful.

Then, lo! and behold, I happened to find a used book called [I]Stack Attack[/I] by L.R. Brooks (aka, Lew Brooks) that essentially employs one of the very first skills that Hugard & Braue's book teaches: a false shuffle. Or, as Mr. Brooks calls his, a "false false shuffle" or FFS. While I'm nowhere near ready to perform any of the tricks in his book, the very first one, [b]Order Out of Chaos[/b], appears to be one that even a rank neophyte like myself could eventually use in a basic repertoire to look better than I really am. Others have likely discussed this specific trick elsewhere in this forum, but the skills required are quite basic. (Obviously, one needs a good presentation to accompany his or her repertoire, so even this trick will require more work than just the basic card skills in order for it to truly be a success.)

At any rate, these are my thoughts or opinions or whatever. But again, I'm just a complete novice, so view these comments as whatever they may be worth to you. In any case, good luck and all success in your endeavors.
Message: Posted by: Asop (Mar 25, 2015 09:29AM)
Thank you for your answer Xsyllman,

I'm 25 so I realize that I'll never attain the level of many others magicians too, but I don't want to focuse only on a kind of magic, I'd like to have a general good knowledge of every important type of close up magic.
Maybe one day I'll find my way in magic like you did and I'll figure out that I'm better in one particular sector of the magic, but now I don't know it yet :)

Thank you again for your advices
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Mar 25, 2015 10:03AM)
You might want to start with my THE MAGIC BOOK.
Message: Posted by: Asop (Mar 25, 2015 10:45AM)
Hi Mr. Lorayne, it's a pleasure for me writing to you :)

So, if I got it right, your "The Magic Book" is a complete general course and not a scecific course in a particular argument of magic, isn't it?

Thank you
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Mar 25, 2015 11:02AM)
It was originally written for the public - for beginners. Cards, coins, etc.
Message: Posted by: Xsyllman (Mar 25, 2015 03:04PM)
Mr. Lorayne, in all my years of cluelessness about magic in general (and card in particular), yours is the only name I recognized when I first began to explore this art following retirement recently. The funny thing is, your name was familiar to me only as a memory expert, since I had seen you on a TV show back in the 1970s or 1980s, IIRC.

Anyhow, based on the recommendations of others on this forum (Vlad, in particular), I've acquired a couple of your books at my favorite local used book stores. Granted, they weren't from your website, but the content is what counts and I was able to save on a few of my "retirement pennies." The book you mentioned to Asop, [I]The Magic Book[/I], is one of the gems that the bookstore had and it looks wonderful (as does [I]Deck-Sterity[/I] and [I]Quantum Leaps[/I]).

Now, I just have to sit down and dedicate the time to practice and learn. Even though I don't have the same amount of time that Asop or others have, I'm still looking forward to seeing what you and others have offered. From what I've read thus far, it all looks fun. Best regards.
Message: Posted by: Xsyllman (Mar 25, 2015 03:14PM)
Asop, I'm not sure I "[I]found my way[/I]" in magic. You've got 30-plus years on me, so there's plenty of time for you to explore many aspects of magic and gain proficiency in them. For me, because I have comparatively less time available on the road ahead, my decision to focus on card magic was a pragmatic one. Rather than spreading myself too thin, it seemed better to limit my education to one area. Besides, I'm not looking to make this a second career or to do any paid work; it's simply to keep myself occupies mentally and to be able to entertain others. For you, though, I say "[I]Go for it![/I]" with all the gusto you can muster. Redeem each day with learning. All the best to you in your pursuit.
Message: Posted by: Asop (Mar 25, 2015 07:47PM)
I see that the book "Now You See It, Now You Don't" says the level of difficulty of every trick.
Could this be a good thing for a beginner?
Message: Posted by: oweosc12 (Apr 8, 2015 01:19PM)
It's been said loads of times, but the royal road to card magic is my pick!
Message: Posted by: Cosmic (May 13, 2015 03:48AM)
Hi all,

I have read quite a few of the pages of this thread and done a search of the forum, but I couldn't find answers to these specific questions. Please help if you can - thank you.

First, I am looking for books that give a good introduction to patter, performance and putting effects in a routine. So, not the nuts and bolts of specific effects,but how to perform, how to make patter believeable, how to decide which effects go where in a routine - including General showmanship and performance, developing character etc.

Second, I am wanting books on card effects (or, that include a big section on card effects) which are specifically organised by sleights. I have mark wilson's magic cyclopedia, and this is organised in chapters by card sleight - so all the self working tricks are together, all the overhand shuffle tricks are together and so on. Which other books (or videos or learning materials) would be organised like this, which you could recommend to a beginner?

Last question - what is the difference between the Magic cyclopedia and mark wilson's complete course? Is it worth getting the complete course if I already have the magic cyclopedia?

Thank you in advance,
Cosmic,
Message: Posted by: fsharp (May 20, 2015 02:42PM)
I have to thank Harry Lorayne for writing the "Magic Book". This book really got me hooked up to magic when I was a teenager (22 years ago). Little did I know that eventually I would become a full time pro. Thanks again Mr Lorayne for writing this book which was a great general introduction to magic, and generated my passion and eventually my career.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (May 20, 2015 03:48PM)
My pleasure, sir. HL.
Message: Posted by: John Palazzo (May 21, 2015 05:30PM)
"The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne gets my highest recommendation. My 1983 McGraw-Hill paperback copy is one of my magic treasures. Thank you Harry.

The Karl Fulves "Self Working Card Magic" books are nice as well. I like how Karl provides themes for the tricks to help a beginner get some grounding in presentation.

And I still love and recommend "The Amateur Magicians Handbook" by Henry Hay. My 70's paperback copy is in tatters and was my first source for magic and sleight of hand, although I spent a little too much time on the more knuckle busting sleights in AMH for such a young'en.

IMHO - "The Magic Book" has the best focus and scope for a beginner and of course, HL as a teacher. You can't go wrong with that combination.

-John
Message: Posted by: danhughes (May 25, 2015 09:41PM)
[quote]On May 13, 2015, Cosmic wrote:
What is the difference between the Magic cyclopedia and mark wilson's complete course? Is it worth getting the complete course if I already have the magic cyclopedia?[/quote]

Cosmic, Two books by Mark Wilson are repeatedly recommended here:

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic

The Complete Course is a huge 9x11 book, 472 pages.
The Cyclopedia is a tiny 4x5 book, but with a whopping 638 pages.

They are 95% identical, word for word.

The differences: The Cyclopedia lacks about 35 pages of minor material on cards and coins, and 9 pages on billiard balls.

That material has been replaced with 30 pages of "Make-At-Home" magic.

Other than that, they are the same book.

So if you have one, you essentially have both.
Message: Posted by: VanishingInc (May 27, 2015 07:43PM)
We have two suggestions regarding books for beginners that I think will really help, and they both happen to be free and by Joshua Jay.

The first is Josh's Under/Over, which is his treatise for young magicians and their parents. But truthfully, we've received so many positive comments about ADULTS who found this PDF to be extremely helpful that we suggest it for everyone.

Second is a collection called Magic in Mind, and this one is comprised of essays on ALL aspects of magic theory. It is, truly, a primer AND advanced course in how to excel in magic. Josh got permission from some of the finest magicians, and includes some of their finest work.

You can find both at www.vanishingincmagic.com.

Hope this is helpful.
Message: Posted by: danhughes (May 28, 2015 06:28AM)
[quote]On May 25, 2015, danhughes wrote:

Cosmic, Two books by Mark Wilson are repeatedly recommended here:

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic

The Complete Course is a huge 9x11 book, 472 pages.
The Cyclopedia is a tiny 4x5 book, but with a whopping 638 pages.

They are 95% identical, word for word... [/quote]

One more point about these two books - the Cyclopedia is terribly hard to use. Its tiny print is difficult to read, and you can't open the book and let it lay flat while you practice a sleight without breaking its spine. It's cute, but impractical. The larger book is much better for use in the real world.
Message: Posted by: MysticMagic (May 29, 2015 07:29AM)
I was wondering what everyone thinks about card college and Tarbell card sleights. Would one be better to start out with considering I am fairly new to magic.
Message: Posted by: Will Leiva (Jul 16, 2015 01:24AM)
Hey guys I was wondering if any of Slydini's books would be good for a begginer like myself? Im just so in love with his elegance in his performances. I just went on a binge watching any video I could find. Super in love with his knotted silk routine both sitting down and standing up with the two glasses (I'm sure I don't have to go into detail you all know what I'm talking about). Also quick question do you need it to be silk can you use bandanas?
Message: Posted by: magicshowprod (Jul 16, 2015 02:08PM)
I have to give my nod (as many have already) to Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic. I remember getting that book when I was a kid. It came with a faux leather cover and my name was gold leafed on the front. What I wouldn't give to get that book back. (Anybody have a picture to share of one of these?).

I was able to buy a regular softback copy of it for .49 cents from a book recycler. And it's in great condition too. I have just started reading it again and was shocked to find that all of the better magic I performed in my high school days all came from that book.

Trust me, you can't go wrong with it.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 22, 2015 09:02PM)
Magicshowprod,

Try the link below, about the middle of the thread..


http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=299472&forum=41


I hope the link works... I am typing this from a mobile device.

Take care,

Bruce
Message: Posted by: magicshowprod (Jul 23, 2015 11:39AM)
Wow BCS. That brought back some major memories! That was definitely the version I had as a kid. Thanks so much for sharing those pics! :)
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 23, 2015 12:38PM)
Magicshowprod... I am glad you enjoyed going down memory lane.

Did you also purchase from Louis Tannen way back then? I started collecting their old magic catalogs; so far I have catalog 6 through 18. I just love those old illustrations.

Take care,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: magicshowprod (Jul 23, 2015 02:21PM)
I did order from Tannen! How I wish I still had all of those things. That's great that you are collecting those catalogs. Like you said, the illustrations are classic.
Message: Posted by: Doug Trouten (Jul 25, 2015 05:47PM)
What a fun thread! Following the advice here, I've filled a few holes in my library. And following the advice in another thread, I ordered Harry Lorayne's "The Magic Book" directly from his website. Could I have saved a few bucks buying a use copy elsewhere? Sure. But doing business with the creator is a way to give something back to somebody who has given so much to an art I love.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jul 25, 2015 06:13PM)
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone thought that way. Your order received and the book will be brought to the Post Office early next week. Thanks & Enjoy! H.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 25, 2015 07:51PM)
Yes the Magic Book is fantastic... I own three copies; a paperback that is falling apart, a hard cover that is dogged eared with notes and the reissue that came out years ago.

Thanks Harry!
Message: Posted by: Jaymze (Aug 2, 2015 03:05AM)
Here's the only link you need: http://www.lybrary.com/the-amateur-magicians-handbook-p-565.html to get a good start in magic. The best beginners breakfast reading.

AND Join a Magical Society, (AFTER you've studied the book) to meet Magicians!
Message: Posted by: Rob P (Aug 14, 2015 03:14PM)
This thread has been great to read and I would like to toss in my thoughts from a true beginner and "entry level" point of view. I honestly can't say there is "one" great book to start with, and found that by reading several about the same topic I benefited the most. Here are the ones I own and have used so far:

Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic Book - Great all around book that teaches a little bit of everything, but not too deep into anything This has been on my book shelf since I was young, and is still relevant today.

"The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne - Another fantastic book that teaches a bit of everything, but also the philosophy behind it which I really enjoy. None of the other books seem to do this, and I find the philosophy very useful and insightful. If I had to pick one general magic book to own, this would probably be the one.

Karl Fulves Self Working Card Magic - Some people don't consider self-working "real" card magic, but as a true beginner it helped me learn a few easy tricks while I started working on presentation and confidence building without complicated moves to worry about. It's a fantastic book.

Royal Road to Card Magic-Hugard and Braue - This is my most recent book that I just started into based on suggestions from the Cafť forums. So far it has been excellent and progresses you one step at a time logically, and has been worth the money for sure.
Message: Posted by: Paul (Aug 21, 2015 12:11PM)
I've recently put out a little Kindle book for beginners which at $2.99 is bound to be value for money. The book assumes no prior knowledge.
If any beginner would like to buy it and then give it a verified review, contact me here when you've done so and I'll send you another magic e-book for free :gift:

Just looking for a few honest reviews from someone at beginner level. It is aimed specifically at beginners, not necessarily children. If you're over 10 and like reading you should be able to cope with it :) Obviously, this deal for Magic Cafť members won't last forever, once a few people have done it, it'll stop.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Magic-Tricks-Friends-Family-ebook/dp/B012BESS2E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440176202&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+do+magic+for+friends+and+family


Paul
Message: Posted by: agilulfe (Sep 4, 2015 09:26AM)
I would advice "Card College". You will find in one book : the technique, real good routines and a lot of matter to increase your comprehension of Magic. Roberto Giobbi is one of the great thinkers and an excellent pedagogue
Message: Posted by: Vigue (Sep 9, 2015 08:51AM)
Hi people. I know it may sound a bit weird, but can you suggest any Portuguese language books?

I can read English novels and fiction books, but magic books have a lot of technical words that make this a lot harder.

Thanks in advance!
Message: Posted by: magic_rice55 (Sep 24, 2015 11:32AM)
As a beginner, I personally like Joshua Jay's books. I feel they break things down very simply. After reading his books, I feel I can use these methodologies in both classic and more modern ways. I also love Mark Wilson's book. It is a must have and I have read it cover to cover many times.
Message: Posted by: magicshowprod (Sep 29, 2015 01:59PM)
I listen to a lot of the magic podcasts and it seems every time a performer is asked for a book recommendation, they name Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life." I guess it is a fantastic book for all performers and I can't wait to read it myself.
Message: Posted by: Shurikenstorm5 (Oct 28, 2015 09:06PM)
Introduction to card magic by Giobbi, but still not as great as mark wilson's complete course.
Message: Posted by: pancho247 (Dec 2, 2015 02:57PM)
I'm relatively new to magic, approx 18 months. I found Royal road, mark wilsons complete course and card college the most useful out of what I have read.
Message: Posted by: pcrpttc (Dec 10, 2015 07:47PM)
[quote]On Sep 9, 2015, Vigue wrote:
Hi people. I know it may sound a bit weird, but can you suggest any Portuguese language books?

I can read English novels and fiction books, but magic books have a lot of technical words that make this a lot harder.

Thanks in advance! [/quote]

Have you ever try to watch some great magic lecture? It might help you go along with some English magic book.
Message: Posted by: ColtonRaelund (Jan 30, 2016 07:40PM)
[b]I support Tarbell![/b]
Message: Posted by: o. (Feb 10, 2016 04:38PM)
I started with card college 7 months ago and I am really happy with my choice. It's so well structured and techniques are extremely precisely laid out and explained. additionally, I use Giobbi's CC 1&2 DVD which helps me to visualize the words and language used in the books.
Message: Posted by: jethro63 (May 9, 2016 09:59PM)
I have Wilson and Tarbell as part of a fairly decent book collection but looking back over 40 years ago the books that I remember enjoying as a kid might not resonate much with anyone else. I wouldn't say that I highly recommend them but for a very new beginner I thought they were very useful.

One was Henry Hay's Learn Magic (kind of a poor man's "Amateur Magician's Handbook"). http://magicref.tripod.com/books/hayhenrylearnmagic.htm

I take back what I said earlier, I would highly recommend it.

Another was David Robbin's Practical Magic http://magicref.tripod.com/booksjr/robbinsdavidpracticalmagic.htm

In the back of the book it had lessons on coin/card manipulations and even venting. I learned to front and back palm a coin and Hindu Shuffle from it, so I have happy memories of the book.

Another book that I found interesting was George Anderson's Magic Digest. http://magicref.tripod.com/books/andersongeorgemagicdigest.htm

I recall being kind of disappointed in it at first and somewhat ignoring it but I kept going back to it. It had interesting stories of magicians which I think is valuable towards building a sense of belonging to a new fraternity by knowing some of its history. It was a good all round introduction to magic
Message: Posted by: LoganPorterMagic (May 13, 2016 03:32PM)
Are there any books about performing magic for YouTube?
Message: Posted by: A. Evans (Jun 26, 2016 02:26PM)
13 Steps to Mentalism by Corinda
Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic by Dai Vernon
The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue
Message: Posted by: hr83 (Sep 22, 2016 12:39PM)
I have found the Royal Road to Card Magic to be a wonderful intro. Some of it I need a minute to wrap my hands around, like what the objectives are but I'm working on it.
Message: Posted by: spiltrap (Oct 15, 2016 12:58AM)
You can't go wrong with the Ammar videos.
Message: Posted by: spiltrap (Oct 24, 2016 12:32AM)
Agreed. I think anyone would be well served with any of Ammar's videos.
Message: Posted by: serjery (Nov 22, 2016 05:00PM)
Hey all!

This is a bit of a long-winded post, but I'll try to keep it concise.

I've been on and off practicing magic since I was a kid. Only recently did my interest reinvigorate and I decided to start with Mark Wilson's book. After about a month or so of reading through the various sections, I found my interests to lean heavily towards card magic and mentalism.

I decided to get some books that specialize in those fields. I picked up Royal Road to Card Magic a couple of days ago and so far it has been great. It's helped me practice my sleight of hands to make it easier to do.

Mentalism on the other hand, I am not entirely sure if I've made the right decision or not. I went to my local magic store to ask for some introductory books on Mentalism, and like many places, I was recommended Practical Mental Effects by Annemann, and 13 steps to mentalism by Corinda. My only concern while quickly skimming through these books, as well as reading some general reviews from newbies is that a) because both books are dated, some of the practicality of the routines in the books are hard to prepare for (with regards to finding the materials needed easily), and b) because of the somewhat dated language and writing style of these books, they are definitely challenging for a beginner looking to step foot into mentalism.

I am not sure whether these concerns are valid or not, so I thought I would ask in this thread specifically. If anybody also has some contemporary recommendations to allow me to get my 'feet wet', please do let me know! Regardless, I have already picked up Annemann's book as it priced very reasonably, and I do plan on reading it through. I am just not sure how easy it will be in terms of attaining the correct materials in order to do the majority of the routines provided in the book.

Thank you
Message: Posted by: Mobius (Dec 17, 2016 12:11PM)
Hi Serjery
Have a look at "The Thirty-Nine Steps: A Mentalists Library of Essential Works by Bob Cassidy.
It will provide a good basis to start your collection. Nothing like getting advice from one of the best. I don't think he lists any of his own work so it would be worth checking them out as well.
Good luck with your search.
Message: Posted by: art85y (Jan 16, 2017 12:16PM)
I may be a little out of synch with some on this one but I had been into magic for a little over a year when I forked out £60 for "Mind Myth & Magic" by TA Waters. It was an absolute revelation and I have still not read it all. Very little of it is inaccessible to a neophyte and the bits that are have given me excellent road signs on to the next stage of my learning. This book has been my "hitch hiker's guide to the galaxy" and I cannot recommend it too highly.
Message: Posted by: art85y (Jan 16, 2017 02:15PM)
I forgot what forum I was in so I would like to clarify my previous post - "Mind, Myth & Magic" is a mentalism book.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Mar 28, 2017 04:48AM)
My opinion:

For general magic three books stand out to me as great introductions:

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic; Harry Lorayne's Magic Book; and Zenon's Street Magic.

For card magic in particular then either: The Royal Road to Card Magic, or the more modern Card College are great - but the general texts above will certainly get you started.

I think that DVDs are great, so I'll include some here too.
For card magic, my favourites are definitely Gerry Griffin's Complete Card Magic and Big Blind Media's Card Magic Essentials set - both great value for money!
For coins I'd start with Michael Ammar's Complete Intro to Coin Magic
For mental magic I'd start with Osterlind's Easy to Master Mental Miracles series
Message: Posted by: anatuncay (Apr 6, 2017 12:33AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2001, Steve Brooks wrote:
[b]Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic:[/b]

For those of you just starting out, this decent sized hardback has been called the magic bible by some.

Though it doesnít cover everything (what book does), it has enough to keep you busy for some time! :nod:

[b]The Tarbell Course In Magic:[/b]

Though a little out-dated patter wise, this eight volume set of books is a must for any magic library.

This course was originally released through the mail in monographs, a chapter at a time!

Arenít you glad you can get the whole set at once? :D

_________________

Life is not a problem to be solved...

but a mystery to be lived. [/quote]

Where can I get these...
Message: Posted by: Tim Snyder (Apr 8, 2017 11:41AM)
[quote]On Apr 6, 2017, anatuncay wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2001, Steve Brooks wrote:

[b]Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic:[/b]


[b]The Tarbell Course In Magic:[/b]

_________________

[/quote]

Where can I get these... [/quote]


Check the famous online auction site for deals. Also check your local library system. You may be surprised by how many quality magic books they have available to check out.
Message: Posted by: zerofire2905 (Apr 16, 2017 08:24PM)
I suggest you guys to follow the Tarbell course in magic. It is a series that is really worth to try. Try to start with volume 4, 5 and 6.
Message: Posted by: anatuncay (Apr 19, 2017 12:13AM)
[quote]On Sep 21, 2001, kristel wrote:
The Karl Fulves series of books on magic are affordable and a good reference on many aspect of magic.



Andre Le Magicien

From Quebec, Canada


THANK YOU. :)





:bunny: [/quote]
Message: Posted by: zachwyman (May 19, 2017 09:26AM)
Definitely Tarbell and anything Michael Ammar / Daryl
Message: Posted by: bogie (May 21, 2017 08:59PM)
Mark Wilson's book was the very first book I ever bought and I thought it was great.
The second book was a Michael Ammar book that had lots of close up magic in it but I can't remember the name of it and can't find the title anywhere online now.
Message: Posted by: Doc Willie (May 31, 2017 04:00PM)
Dominic Reyes has made a book on practicing, which I think will be quite useful, available free here: https://na282.infusionsoft.com/app/linkClick/5782/d15fb2536d7cc285/6715414/11c067ba526a8686
Message: Posted by: PowerThirst (Jul 18, 2017 07:40AM)
Thanks for the advice! I just ordered Mark Wilsons beginner's guide as well as Roberto Giobbi's Card College volume 1 to get me started!
Message: Posted by: MudMedic (Sep 27, 2017 10:27AM)
The Tarbell series is pure, unmitigated evil!!

I purchased all eight volumes back in the eighties, and promptly loaned them to a tyro...then had to go buy all eight volumes.

I gave them to my brother-in-law...then had to go buy all eight volumes...

I lost them in the same flood that took my house in 2013...now I have to go buy all eight volumes...

Oh, how I now loathe those highly addictive volumes...

My faves: The Royal Road to Card Magic, Mark Wilson's Complete guide, the Dai Vernon Trilogy, and, of course Harlan (you bastid!!) Tarbell's series.
Message: Posted by: Joeni (Oct 3, 2017 07:35AM)
[quote]My faves: The Royal Road to Card Magic, Mark Wilson's Complete guide, the Dai Vernon Trilogy, and, of course Harlan (you bastid!!) Tarbell's series. [/quote]
Which ones are the "Dai Vernon Trilogy"?
Message: Posted by: Rik Gazelle (Oct 3, 2017 07:40AM)
[quote]Which ones are the "Dai Vernon Trilogy"?[/quote]
Probably
Inner Secrets of Card Magic
More Inner Secrets of Card Magic
Further Inner Secrets of Card Magic
Message: Posted by: Joeni (Oct 3, 2017 08:35AM)
Ok, my beginner's library consists of:
-> David Pogue - Magic for Dummies
-> Harry Lorayne - Magic Book
-> Jochen Zmeck - Handbuch der Magie (in German)
-> Mark Wilson - Complete Course
-> Joshua Jay - Complete Course
-> Bill Tarr - Now you see it...
-> Hugard / Braue - Royal Road to Card Magic
-> Stewart James - Encyclopedia of Rope Magic
-> J. B. Bobo - New Modern Coin Magic

Next year I'll dive a bit deeper into creating shows, effects and so on with the Dariel Fitzkee Trilogy and something more like Ortiz, Nelms or Tamariz.
Message: Posted by: Napi (Oct 4, 2017 12:30PM)
As a beginner, I've slowly but surely compiled some of the following titles:
- Card College (Roberto Giobbi)
- The Expert at the Card Table (Erdnase)
- Complete Course (Joshua Jay)
- The Tarbell Course

And a few other more esoteric/specific volumes. I like cards, but I'm more intrigued by everyday items that could be introduced somewhat naturally when out with friends (instead of subjecting them to a performance with specialized props):
- 13 Steps to Mentalism (Corinda)
- After Dinner Tricks (Walter Gibson)

Hoping to find Martin Gardner's "Encylopedia of Impromptu Magic," but it seems to be rare and quite expensive where I've found it on the usual online classifieds. On this note, it's not a book but I've heard great things about the "Anytime, Anywhere" video by Jay Sankey.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Oct 5, 2017 08:34AM)
I work p/t at a Library for past 16 years - even at 80(70years Pro) still have to make up for cost of living L-O-L The kid section of the Library has a few good books on EZ card effects - plus other Magic- try it - our library ALSO gets loans from other Libraries in the county - try it - less expensive than buying. RR
Message: Posted by: Oscar.Abraham (Nov 24, 2017 03:41PM)
I think that most modern magicians, myself included, have forgotten the basics of magic; therefore, I'm more inclined for the books that started it all for many of my heroes in magic -- yes I'm talking about "The Royal Road to Card Magic", by Jean Hugard, Frederick Braue. I haven't finished reading it, but the material in it, and the way it's described (the effect, methodology, concepts) really makes this book a great way to start a raw beginner.

Here's a clip by Jason England where he mentions his top 10 books for a beginner in magic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxlPryUjj94
Message: Posted by: mrjinglesusa (Dec 13, 2017 02:04PM)
Thanks for this resource. I'm just getting back into magic and bought The Amateur Magicians Handbook (Hay), Modern Coin Magic (Bobo), and Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. Can't wait to dive in. That should keep me busy for awhile. LOL
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Dec 16, 2017 12:02PM)
Don't know if I'm allowed to do this - but I'm gonna' try - just to feed my ego a bit - this is a post my Merc Man in a different thread:

"Said it before but it's probably worth saying again.

In 1978 (aged 14) my Christmas present was The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne. Maybe hard for teenagers these days to believe but back then, there were families who did not have a lot of money; and apart from a few sweets (candy) a book would potentially be your main present.

I adored reading my Dad's few magic books - mainly from the 1930's and requiring apparatus of some kind. When I started reading Harry's The Magic Book, I felt as if I'd been transported to a parallel universe; whereby superb close-up magic, with every-day items, was indeed possible.

We are now nearly at Christmas again - almost 40 years later. As I type this post sat at my kitchen table, there are 2 books in front of me - may the Lord strike me dead on the spot if I'm lying. Harry's 'The Magic Book' and Quantum Leaps (I was cross referencing something last night). I'm looking at The Magic Book as I type. It's battered and bruised - having been regularly read. More than any other magic book that I own, there's bits of torn cigarette packets with notes written on, sticking out of it. The odd torn playing card with other references scribbled. And of course, the more recent post-it note.

The fact is this book has been my inspiration in magic for nearly 40 years. I have used literally everything within. Despite, like many of us in our adult lives, having wasted a lot of money over the years on the latest magic 'flim flam' it IS the material within this book that I return to time and time again. Because one thing I have learnt about how magic is perceived by an audience is that you earn the greatest respect by performing with borrowed, or 'normal' items. For example, there is hardly anything within the card section that cannot be performed with a beat-up, borrowed pack of cards. Nothing within the coin section that needs expensive gaffs (in order to produce a similar effect in the eyes of spectators). Where else can you get so much workable material with a piece of paper & a pencil? A handkerchief, table items, etc.

What's more, it taught me the most important elements of magical entertainment - presentation, routining and misdirection.

It also taught me a very, very important lesson. That it is the basic, clearly defined easy to follow plot that gets the best reaction.

Over the years, I've spent time and money learning different versions of 'The Colour Changing Deck'; or buying gaffs to get Aces to transpose, etc. I've spent money on further gaffs to get coins to go through a table; or pass from hand to hand. I've bought (and sold on) these gimmicks and flim-flam; along with countless others that achive matrix-style routines, etc. The reason being that all most gimmicks do is over-prove what you don't need to be over-proving anyway.

The classics of magic will live forever; because they have an easy to follow plot. When you use ungaffed or borrowed items and throw them into the mix, it's just so much more rewarding. Added to which 'less is more'. If you can go out with minimal props, you will generally work harder on your presentation - because you are building upon the basics - by actually using the basics. Does that make sense? I hope it does. In other words, you tend to put more energy into your performance. A prop isn't doing the work for you. I've worked with other magicians that rush at break-neck speed from prop to prop; akin to a magic dealer demo (only to then vanish to re-set their gimmicks). However, arrive at a table; borrow a few contrasting coins and a table napkin, and you are ready to entertain. And what I can genuinely say to guys (still reading my rambling here) is that people aren't stupid. If they can see you are working AND entertaining them with what are clearly not 'magic props' you will get one hell of a lot of respect.....and in many cases, you will stand out.

Harry (I believe) wrote this book for people who had an interest in starting out performing magic. It has the clearest of instruction; and covers so many useful principles of magic.

I would not only unreservedly recommend this book to people starting out; but also to any magician that wants to make a living as a professional, magical entertainer.

Indeed, it's title of 'THE Magic Book' could not be more deserving.

It is, in my honest opinion, the GREATEST book of magic ever produced.

Words cannot express my most sincere gratitude and thanks, to the Master himself.......Mr Harry Lorayne"
Message: Posted by: DeeGood (Mar 9, 2018 06:07AM)
A veeery useful thread, thanks!
Message: Posted by: ActionJack (May 14, 2018 10:47PM)
I have been reading this thread off and on over the last couple of weeks and finally got through it. I have taken some of the advice given and am well on my way to starting my own magical library. Currently concentrating on Royal Road to Card Magic and Card College Vol 1.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (May 15, 2018 10:32AM)
I went to Half Price Books the other day and found a hardbound edition of "Scarne's Tricks" - containing both "Scarne on Card Tricks" and "Scarne's Magic Tricks".

I've spent time over the last few days reading each trick, marking the ones I want to keep in mind. There is so much good material, and such a variety of methods, I'm sure just about anyone would find plenty of material. Instructions are very clearly written.

Sleights are minimal. I've read through the first 33 tricks and don't think I've encountered even a DL! :)
Message: Posted by: Cryptghost (Jul 4, 2018 08:05AM)
I have been slowly studying the books suggested by Bob Cassidy in the 39 Steps to Mentalism,

I am currently also reading the Secrets of the 'Amazing Kreskin: The World's Foremost Mentalist Reveals How You Can Expand Your Powers', which I am really enjoying.

I also went into my local Magic shop in London 'Davenports Magic' and they suggested 'Easy to Master Mental Miracles' by Richard Osterlind, which has been fantastic to watch. Mr Osterlind is an amazing performer and tutor too.
Message: Posted by: Theodore Lawton (Jul 19, 2018 05:43PM)
I've been reading Beyond Secrets by Jay Sankey. It's a collection of short essays about magic, presentation, your audience, acting, what you say, how you say it, what people see, you name it. It doesn't contain tricks! The essays are very thought provoking. I know as beginners we want to learn tricks- the more the better. But, I have to highly recommend this book to anyone interested in thinking about their magic and presentation. What better place to start than when you are beginning? Best yet, it's free!

256 pages and it's available here: http://www.insidedeception.com/3-free-magic-pdfs/

The other 2 free downloads are good as well, but the fact that Jay gives away Beyond Secrets for free is amazingly generous. I'm not quite 1/3 of the way through it and I already know I'll be reading it again. It's that good.
Message: Posted by: debjit (Aug 15, 2018 08:16AM)
Coin Magic:
NEW Modern Coin Magic by J.B.Bobo

Card Magic:
Card College 1-4 by Robert Giobbi
The Royal Road To Card Magic by Hugard & Braue

General Magic:
Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson
Tarbell Course in Magic 1-8

Mentalism:
13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda
Message: Posted by: Sharktale (Dec 12, 2018 01:38PM)
I have been lucky. One day I went to second hand book shop in UK (Oxfam) and found first magic books:
- The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne,
- Magic and Showmanship By Henning Nelms,
- Mark Wilsonís Complete Course In Magic

These books have changed my life!!!
Message: Posted by: Masterallen (Dec 31, 2018 05:57PM)
The Royal Road to Card Magic
Message: Posted by: HeronsHorse (Jan 3, 2019 12:41PM)
I agree with The Royal Road as it was the first book I got and I'm still not finished with it 2 years later. Yes, really. I believe in MASTERING each chapter before moving forward, not just being able.
I also think it is imperative that new magicians(and many who already perform it would seem) read up on performance and misdirection and theory and the following are invaluable to me:
Showmanship For Magicians - Henning Nelms
The Fitzkee Trilogy - Daniel Fitzkee
The Magic Way - Juan Tamariz
Our Magic - Nevil Maskelyne & David Devant
Message: Posted by: HeronsHorse (Jan 3, 2019 02:35PM)
Magic and showmanship - Henning Nelms
(I put the wrong title)
Message: Posted by: Lucas Maillard (Jan 4, 2019 01:50AM)
I'll go for these one :

- Royal road to card magic
- Stars of Magic
- Scarne on card tricks

I also agree with HeronsHorse : Magic and showmanship is an amazing book, not only for the magicians.
Message: Posted by: Roberto Juan (Jan 8, 2019 10:35AM)
Ken Weber's Maximum Entertainment is a great book about performing magic!
(And keeping coworker's attention while giving a presentation at your job.)

Strong Magic (Darwin Ortiz) is also good, but I recommend reading this first.
Very easy to read and understand. Fantastic insights into the nature of entertainment.
Message: Posted by: Jed Maxwell (Jun 5, 2019 09:39AM)
If you are interested in learning mentalism I found Richard Osterlind's "Osterlind's 13 Steps" videos to be brilliant introductions. His "13 Steps to Mentalism" videos are great as well.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Aug 20, 2019 04:15AM)
For beginners wanting to learn card magic, it is hard to do better than "[url=https://www.robertogiobbi.com/site/product/roberto-giobbis-introduction-to-card-magic]Roberto Giobbi's Introduction to Card Magic[/url]".

This 150 page book was created in 2012 as a course for people starting card magic, and has just gone through a revision in 2019. Normally selling for Ä9.95, for a limited time Mr Giobbi is making the updated version available for free as a digital download in PDF format from his website here:

https://www.robertogiobbi.com/site/product/roberto-giobbis-introduction-to-card-magic

[img]https://i.imgur.com/aCA6PjM.jpg[/img]

The book has lots of illustrations, and links to youtube videos that show the moves that are taught. It also includes half a dozen card tricks. Much of the material is based on Giobbi's best-selling book [i]Card College 1[/i].

To learn more about it, check out a detailed review of this book elsewhere on The Magic Cafť [url=https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=698524]here[/url]. You can express your thanks to Giobbi via PayPal using the "Donate" link on page 154 of the book, but there's no cost to download it. It's excellent, and I only wish I had it when I began my journey into card magic!
Message: Posted by: art85y (Oct 16, 2019 05:21AM)
[quote]On May 15, 2018, Chessmann wrote:
I went to Half Price Books the other day and found a hardbound edition of "Scarne's Tricks" - containing both "Scarne on Card Tricks" and "Scarne's Magic Tricks".

I've spent time over the last few days reading each trick, marking the ones I want to keep in mind. There is so much good material, and such a variety of methods, I'm sure just about anyone would find plenty of material. Instructions are very clearly written.

Sleights are minimal. I've read through the first 33 tricks and don't think I've encountered even a DL! :) [/quote]

This is very illuminating, I always assumed Scarne would be full of sleights and DLs, I will now certainly seek them out.
cheers
Art