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DougTait
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Sebring, FL
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David; You have received some great, and seasoned advice. May I also recommend that you take time to read books ABOUT magic and magicians as well as magic (teaching) books.

This art has an amazing history and some very interesting and colorful characters with wonderful stories. As you advance in your magical journey, I think it is important to know something about those who trod the path ahead of you.

Good Luck
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
Giuseppe
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Atlanta
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Go for it, David Sak. I just recently found Dunninger's complete Encyclopedia of Magic (which is kind of outdated but you can still learn great tricks). Just go and look on the computer at the library for a book on magic, read through it and learn. Smile
DavidSak
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I am just wondering how efficient books are in comparison to videos. I mean, sometimes when I read description of magic tricks in books, I get all mixed up with the finger movement and which does what. Aren't videos much more effective when it comes to learning new tricks?
Sid Mayer
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Santa Fe, NM
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Be sure to talk to the librarian. He or she will know what they have on hand and what they can get for you from other libraries. Most librarians are very helpful.

Look into low priced paper back books as a good start to building a library. Also check out "remaindered" books on the bargain tables at your local book store.

The books versus videos question has been explored many times on this forum. It all comes down to a matter of opinion. Many younger people have grown up with television and are visually oriented. Personally, I prefer books by a large margin (although some books are much better organized and have better process descriptions than others).

Do not scorn older books. Basic principles haven't changed much over the years. New is not necessarily great. Your own imagination will help you to modernize outdated presentation ideas.

Try to exercise patience. It's easy to learn some tricks. It takes time to become a competent performer.

Keep at it and good luck,

Sid
All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
Hushai
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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Libraries are great places for learning about magic. I agree that the children's section of the library is NOT to be scorned by the adult magician -- kid's books often have more adequate, more detailed instructions for manufacturing your own props than books meant for adults do, and I personally often need that. Bill Severn's books are especially good that way, and are usually (it seems to me) found in the children's section of the library. I learned from Severn how to make production tubes from tin cans, for example. Someone above suggested keeping notes on what tricks are found in what library books, so you can go back and find them again later, and I have done that myself. I have also used the library's photocopy machine to make my own copies of favorite tricks cheaply (and legally, I understand, as long as I make the copies for my own personal use only). Another thing: if you find a particular library book especially good, you know it will be worth it if you decide to spend the money to buy your own copy -- there's no gamble. Hooray for libraries!!
mnmagic
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Within the last couple of years I have found the libraries in the area have a lot of classic magic books such as Tarbell and Greater Magic. I would bet it isn't too uncommon for a magician to pass away and his/her collection to be donated to the library.

Check out college libraries too. Found some cool stuff I was able to borrow from a different school through a loan program.

Shawn
Hushai
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mnmagic writes, "I would bet it isn't too uncommon for a magician to pass away and his/her collection to be donated to the library." That gives me a thought: maybe living magicians, as well, should consider going through their libraries and donating the old magic books they don't use anymore, or have multiple copies of, etc., to their local public libraries. And, of course, when we make our wills we should think of that, too.
mnmagic
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I certainly love the idea of making magic book available to those who want access to them but I may not have been totaly clear in my above post.

Before I would consider donating them to the public library I would look for a SYM (Society of Young Magicians) club that has a book library and see if they would have a use there.

My mind is not made up on this issue but I tend to think most of the books we would have in our collections are full of strong working material that many people are using in their shows. This stuff should probably not be in a library. If it a book on history with some tricks also that would to me be a different story. Let me know what you think. I may just change my opinion. Do you think it hurts or helps the industry.

shawn
Peter Marucci
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DavidSak writes: "I am just wondering how efficient books are in comparison to videos."

Personally, I find it just as easy to learn from a book as from a video.

Efficient? Possibly video, for the reasons you state.

But a video cannot possibly give you the depth that a book can -- the historical significance, the variety of subtlties (a video is very one-dimensional, in that it shows one perfomer's take on a routine and ONLY that performer's take; even when the performer is trying to show how others do it, you still get it filtered through his handling.)

If humanly possibly, I would opt for books every time.

But, if for some reason, videos work better for you, then don't go crazy trying to learn from books and skipping videos!

Do what suits you best!
Hushai
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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mnmagic writes, "I tend to think most of the books we would have in our collections are full of strong working material that many people are using in their shows. This stuff should probably not be in a library. If it a book on history with some tricks also that would to me be a different story."
Yes, this is a good point. I guess I was thinking more of books like the extra copy of Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic I happen to have, not really advanced stuff.
The point about giving books to the SYM before the public library is a good one, too.
dillib
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You'll probably find Henry Hay's Amateur Magician Handbook in the library, which is highly recommended for beginners.
aagrawal_2000
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I started from a library book, but it wasn't one of the famous ones. It was just a book that got my interest going.
Aus
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Quote:
On 2003-07-04 21:30, Frankft wrote:
Many of the new tricks ARE the older tricks wrapped up in new marketing and usually with a tiny "improvement" to justify their existence.



I second this statment because I've seen it. If anyone doubts this have a look at Viper that's been marketed on the back of the linking ring, and then have a look in one of the Tarbell courses for a similar effect.

Magically

Aus
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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If anyone is near Brown University, I suggest a trip to their special magic collection.

The list sounds awesome.

I only wish they would lend their books at

0 cost through ILL.(interlibrary loan)

Harris Deutsch
Nearly Normal Library Patron
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
rgranville
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My library has it's catalog online. (In fact they just auctioned off their card catalog cases on ebay!) Anyway, a quick perusal revealed books by Hugard, Fulves, and Annemann. Hardly "kiddy" stuff!

Smile
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Re: Older Books.

Etu Readers (mini ha ha)

I am now looking over (again)

The Buckley Books.

Specifically the one with the first reference (that I am aware of) for the Muscle Pass for a coin. It was used as a hidden sleight not for the coin that falls up.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Sean
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A note about donating books to libraries: I'm all for donating books and I think libraries need all the support and donations they can get. However, if you do donate books, talk to the librarian and make sure the book you donate is going to end up in circulation. Make it a condition of your donation. Many libraries sell donated books to help raise money and there's a chance your book will end up in someone's private library or on the shelves of a used book store.

Let me also add that the kid's section of the library contains a wealth of magical information. I did much of my research for my YA novel about magic through those books.
Bill Palmer
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When I was a kid, I went to the Houston Public Library and read the Hoffman books, Illustrated Magic and a dozen other classics that I now own. I still use material from those books, and I guarantee that I can fool most people who have never seen those books with that very material.

The Hoffman books were especially valuable when I was framing the Merlin act, 20 some odd years ago. I needed something "new," so I built a broken and restored watch that used a watch target that comes right out of Hoffman.

I made it from a Dove in Balloon.

I still have it and it still works. There is good reading in old books.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Hushai
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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I've been so inspired by this discussion of magic books in the public libraries that I visited mine today. I was shocked to find that two separate books in the "magic" stacks had had several pages cut out of them, presumably by library patrons who wanted the tricks on them but were too cheap to use the photocopier. Has anyone else run into this criminal practice? People who do this ought to have their wands busted and their legerdemain licenses revoked.
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