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Profile of submagi
Don't forget, Now You See It Now You don't. That got me started..
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Profile of tdowell
Tarbell #1, Wilson's Course in Magic, Now You See It. Smile
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Profile of markkwan
Magic for dummies, now you see it and the self working books are all great books for the beginner magician.

Thanks to this post i actually placed an order for

Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers - Henning Nelms


Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic - Mark Wilson.

I will share my opinions when i receive it. Id love to get encyclopedia of impromptu magic, but the prices are sky high since its out of print.
What good is a night, when you can't break it.
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Profile of mastermagician91
Michael Ammar and Jay Sankey have very cool videos, along with: Ellusionist and some stuff at Most are not free but help a lot.
"Magic is not always magic...but the impossible is always possible" - Ricky Booska
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Profile of Phred
I have to second (or is it third or fourth)The Amateur magicians handbook. Hay's theory of Easy Hard Tricks and Hard Easy Tricks, should be required reading.
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Profile of indianajones
I would suggest starting with a video first so you can see what it is supposed to look like. Darly's encyclopedia of sleights Volumes 1-8 are a great start. But still use books to get the finer points.
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Profile of MagicDiva
The first magic book I ever read was Bill Tarr's "Now You See it Now You Don't." It is a great book for beginners. I loved it, because it rates the effects on difficulty. You are able to start out learning less difficult effects and watch yourself progress. I also love the Card College's; they are great reference books that I still find myself going back to. I would also agree that Daryl's videos are great for learning magic visually.

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Profile of rezamalek
I'd say Mark Wilson's complete course in magic, or the Tarbell course would be the most well rounded place to start.
Bill Palmer
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Profile of Bill Palmer
I have been a working pro for about 30 years. When I started, there were no videos at all to learn from, so it was books and people that were the sources for me. Now that there are so many good videos out there, it's almost like a smorgasbord.

Still, I would have to recommend the classic books -- the Tarbell Course, the Henning Nelms book, The Fitzkee trilogy, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, The Royal Road to Card Magic, etc.

But more than any of these, I would recommend to anyone who is serious about presenting magic well to enroll in some kind of drama program, either in school or in your local theatrical group. A person who is a decent actor can turn a ho-hum piece of magic into a killer with a good presentation.

And don't forget to occasionally seek the help of a good director.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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Profile of Hernan
I recommend, highly, Brad Burts card course on video. He even has a money back guarantee.
The focus is on teaching you the skills to do most card tricks. He does give you routines and patter. I do not think any other video focuses on teaching you core skills. And succeeds so well.

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Profile of focusedintention
I would recommend trying to find a place to watch some close-up magic and try to figure out which type of effects really impress you personally. For example, there are effects which are completely visual and require almost no explanation as you're presenting them, others are more based on mentalism or involve the spectator. Some are done with coins, other with cards, and yet others with more bizarre items. If you start by finding effects which really impress you it will narrow down your search as to what "type" of magic you would look for. Performing magic in front of your friends which *YOU* find amazing yourself will definitely show in your presentation and build your confidence. I personally find card magic very impressive and the Card Collage Series (5 Volumes now) are an absolute must.
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Profile of TheAmazingNick
I would recommend if you are starting out with cards, Royal Road to Card Magic. But pretty much anyone can learn anything from this book not just beginners either. And if you want to start with coins, I would go with bobo's modern coin magic. It has some great sleights and routines.
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Profile of artofmanipulation
I personally do not understand why so many people recommend books over video. If we were judge the cost and benefit of buying a book over a video or a DVD, I personally think that the only edge that books have over video is its affordable price. When I first got into magic, the first book which I bought is card manipulator by Mr Hugard. Some of the very simple and easy tricks are explained in such a way that left the reader in a state that is more confused before he reads the book. I find it extremely tough to visualize the required action and speed that is being described in the book. But learning through video is totally different. I do not know about the more experience magician out there, but for me learning through video best works for me. I guess the benefit of being able to learn a sleight the easily and effectively out weight the extra bucks that we have to spend on those video.
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Profile of RayBanks

Some people learn better from books and some learn better from videos. I have and have used both. Both have their place.

Your feelings could be tempered by the fact that your first book (Card Manipulations) is more of an intermediate book rather than a book for beginners.

Had you started with RRTCM or Wilson, you might have a different opinion.
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

Ray Banks
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Profile of rej19
I agree with the many others about Mark Wilson's complete course in magic. A great place to start. I enjoy Michael Ammars style of teaching on his videos and he usually has a variety of skill levels presented.
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Profile of vootrage
Get Daryl’s encyclopedia of Card Sleights. By the end of the eight volumes I guarantee your skill will have quadrupled.
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Profile of trixter
I would suggest:

Royal Road to Card Magic
Modern Coin Magic

And as for videos...anything that includes Jay Sankey, Michael Ammar, Jeff McBride, Greg Wilson or Max Maven. They have videos from beginner to intermediate. I really recommend when you have the money to pick up one of these.
Ashkenazi the Pretty Good
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Profile of Ashkenazi the Pretty Good
My list would DEFINITELY include:

Dead Rabbit Re-animation Techniques
My Two Bits
, and My Life in Horsemanship
76 Sleights That Have No Practical Application

And Michael Sankey McBride Wilson's Essays on the Art of West Coast Flower Arrangement.


We could have been practicing!
Robert P.
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Profile of Robert P.
It's good to see Bill Tar's books getting so much run. They are very, very good books.
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Profile of Sagethegrumpyowl
For card magic I would say Daryl's Encyclopedia of Card Sleights 1-8 and his Revelations Videos 1-5.

Books like Royal Road and Expert Card Technique are good but most of the sleights have been improved on as the books are quite old now, but hey great books, don't get me wrong.

I'm not to sure about coin magic but I hear Michael Ammar and David Roth are both excellent in their videos.

For history and theory of magic I'd read Eugene Burger's books, very deep.

Whatever you decide try to use vidoes and books to do your own magic. Don't rely on gimmicks... Smile
Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?
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