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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Reading Advice (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

malamoney
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Hi all. Just a quick background. I joined this forum over 10 years ago, but have not really contributed much over that time. I got into magic when I was in high school and continued on through college. Most of what I learned came from Expert Card Technique and various Michael Ammar videos. After college, I got wrapped in life, job, etc and as much as I always told myself I needed (and wanted) to put aside some time to continue learning about the art of magic, I never did.

However, during that time I was able to build up my magic library. I told myself that one day I was going to find (or make) time and if I bought myself a book or two each year, I'd be able to build up a nice collection that I could learn from when the time came.

Well, no time like the present. However, instead of just diving in and picking book after book, I was hoping that some of you could recommend a logical order in which I might want to go about reading the books in my library.

Here are the books I have on my shelf (and thanks to many of you on here that have helped me decide which books to buy over the years):

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

Seems I've got a lot of reading ahead of me, but I am very excited.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
Atom3339
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Spokane, WA
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I'd just dive in, reading what you feel like.
TH

Occupy Your Dream
duanebarry
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I would dive into The Amateur Magician's Handbook and/or Approaching Magic.

They each offer a lot to DO, and a fair amount to THINK ABOUT. It's a very nice balance.

They also each offer a variety of kinds of magic, which may then give some idea of which area(s) you'll want to explore next.

Enjoy!
Michael Baker
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It's hard to tell from your list, what type(s) of magic you prefer. You are covering ground from coins and cards, to Illusions. It's good that you also seem to focus somewhat on theory, but sometimes it helps if you have something practical you can apply that to.

Without going straight to any specialized topics, like cards, silks, doves, or whatever, I would recommend to any magician to invest in the Tarbell set. You can pick up the entire collection for probably less than what you paid for Greater Magic. There is enough magic in this set to last any magician a lifetime.

Along the lines of theory, with some incredible magic to back it up, Tommy Wonder's Books of Wonder (2 vol set) is hard to beat.

In another thread here on the Café, a few of us have been talking up the value of Magic Digest, by George Anderson. Tons of very practical tricks that are within the range of virtually any magician. Many areas of magic are covered. This is probably out of print, but copies pop up all the time for very little $$. Check Amazon or Ebay.

Books written/published by Richard Kaufman are usually well-done and informative. 90% of these are tomes on a single magician, so you usually get a very complete overview of that magician's material. Others by the author feature an amalgam of material from various performers. A lot of these books are OOP now, and sometimes the prices are high because of that. Kaufman's Coin Magic is my pick for the book to follow Bobo in any coin worker's library. It is a compilation of material from many magicians, so like Bobo's book, you get a pretty cool mix. David Roth's Expert Coin Magic is another Kaufman gem, but all material stems from a single magician (although a very prolific one).

If you want more on Illusions, Paul Osborne and Rand Woodbury have contributed numerous books. There are also plenty of smaller and cheaper books and booklets on illusions, like Tops Treasury of Illusions. Mixed in and among the mediocre are some really good illusions.

Considering the enormous quantity of magic books available, the recommendations could go on forever.

Like Atom3339's post above, you should just start reading what strikes your interest. Eventually, you'll probably gravitate toward specialized areas. You are likely to get recommendations (especially on these forums) for lots of newer books, largely because younger readers are generally exposed to these first because of current marketing. Don't overlook the older books. You might also try to pick up stacks of old magazines. If you can get these cheap, you'll find a ton of cool magic that only shows up there.

Good luck and have fun building your library!

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Michael Daniels
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I'd start with The Amateur Magician's Handbook - one of the best introductory books for magicians ever written in my opinion.

It will also help to consolidate what kind of magic you are interested in pursuing further.

Mike
malamoney
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The problem (well maybe not really a problem) is that I like a lot of areas of magic. Just when I convince myself that I'd like to concentrate on cards, I think "I'd really love to master some coin magic" or "multiplying balls are really cool". I am actually very interested in ball manipulations. I think it is a very visual form of magic. I like that. I have two sets of Fakinis and a few manipulation DVDs. I'm really all over the place in terms of what I'd like to focus on. Also a big fan of Fantasio's product.

The Books of Wonder are already on my list of "books I want". As are the Tarbell Course, Scripting Magic, Magic By Design, One Degree and many more.

I think I will start with The Amateur Magician's Handbook.

By the way, since I'd like to concentrate on books, I didn't mention that I have quite a few instructional DVDs as well. 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 bunch others. Sorry for the list, just emphasizing the point that I have a lot of magic-related distractions staring me in the face making it harder to decide where to begin.


Thanks for the suggestions. Keep 'em coming if you don't mind.

Thanks,
Mike
Ingo Brehm
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Difficult question. I would also just start and if you realize, that the book is a bit to difficult to understand, put it aside and try another one. For some of the books (e.g. Strong Magic) you need some knowledge about common effects to fully understand what the author wants to tell you. But I think we all started to discover and just dig through all these secrets. And you will read a lot of these books more then once anyway. Smile
malamoney
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I am very familiar with a lot of the concepts in magic. I believe I learned a fair amount back when I started out in magic. Spent many hours at Tannen's and Mecca Magic as a kid. I learned a lot from the magicians that ran Mecca Magic. Man I miss that place!

It seems that re-reading magic books several times is a popular theme among a lot of members of this forum. Learn, re-learn and then learn some more. I imagine I will pick up new things on subsequent reads of books as my knowledge expands.

Do many of you take notes while reading?

Thanks again.
motown
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I would start with the Mark Wilson book. There's a lot of magic that you'll be able to learn and perform in a reasonable amout of time, which I think would be rewarding to you.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
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Doh! I read the post wrong... I thought you had already read the books you listed.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
malamoney
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Nope. Haven't read them. I read a bit of The Amateur Magician's Handbook, but that was about 20 years ago, so a re-read is certainly in order.

Think I will start there since it was the first magic book I owned and a few of you have suggested I do so.
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