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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Books or DVDs (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Torquay22
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What should you learn from books or DVDs and I mean for both techniques and tricks and why
RobertlewisIR
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I think they're both important and you should use both--but you should also be smart about how you use both. First of all, some tricks are only available one way or the other. In that case, your choice is made for you. The first step is to figure out what you want to do, and learn that trick however it's marketed.

Assuming you could go either way, I actually recommend using a mix of both.

Books have some big advantages. They're self-paced. Instead of having to rewind and fast forward and pause and whatever, you just leave the book open to the right page and work it through until you understand it.

They require the imagination of the performer. This means that you can't just imitate what you see the performer do on screen. You have to bring something of yourself to it, and that's key. This goes both for methodology and for presentation.

However, sometimes, the technical information involved in sleights is difficult to convey in text (even with illustrations). So DVDs have an advantage in that they can show you what a move is meant to look like.
~Bob



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Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
Bulla
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This is a very broad question and it would be more effective if you could be a bit more specific. I suggest learning whatever interests you from books first. Books will teach you how to be creative in establishing patter and a character for yourself. DVDs are great for teaching you pacing and timing. Live performances will also show you how to interact with people if that is not something that you're good at.
AGMagic
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From a practical standpoint, I prefer books. I have 12" videodiscs, Beta and VHS tapes, 4 track, 8 track and cassette audio tapes, 78, 45 & 33-1/3 RPM records all of which are considered outdated and difficult to find something to play them on. DVDs will probably disappear in a few years because everyone has gone to some form of high def. video. Unless you forget how to read, books are always accessible. They are easy to bookmark, review and fast forward. They do, however, require some concentration on the part of the learner.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
RobertlewisIR
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There's another little secret that I don't mind sharing since most people will ignore it anyway. All these great new tricks are coming out on DVD--and many of them really are great. But because they're great, lots of people do them. On the other hand, if you look in some of the really old books (and I do mean the really old books), you'll often find brilliant material that no one else is doing. It's worth paying attention to our history.
~Bob



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Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
djurmann
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Re the above For a stupid number of tricks at a stupidly cheap price check out Harry Lorayne's Apocalypse, (from a time before DVD's *gasp)
TheRaven
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You are asking a question for which there is no single answer. Each person is unique and learns differently. Try each and see what works best for you. I also suggest you try a choice you didn't list... "other people". Join a magic club.
george1953
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I use both. I learnt magic in a time when there was no alternative to books. I still prefer books but admit some things are easier to learn by watching a DVD.
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
Torquay22
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Ok which contains better effects or is it just dependant on the book or DVD
MikeHolbrook
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"which contains the better effects?"
It depends on the book or dvd. Which do you think better suits your learning style? Also are you looking for a particular type of effect or a general intro to magic in all it's varieties? I think a book like Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic is great for getting you started.

Mike
motown
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In many cases the effects you find on DVDs are taken from a performer's published work. Darwin Ortiz is a good example. One advantage with books is that you get I far more material to select from then a DVD for around the same cost.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
Harry Lorayne
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Go to http://www.youtube.com/harrylorayneonvideo to see about 30-plus performances with a regular deck, all from my books and/or DVDs, or both - and then you can make an intelligent decision. Maybe?
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
5ublim3
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I recently found an interest in magic and my first purchase was the Royal Road book. Since then I have bought a few effects and find most to be on dvd or available as a downloadable video. I have personally found it much easier to watch and keep an interest in the videos but have also realized although most everything you need for the effects is on the video, quite often references are made to books for options and variations. Now I also want to say I really don't like reading. So I wanted to ask with things like Royal Road or Card College or in another area of interest to me 13 steps to mentalism, I see that dvds are available also, having that option I really would prefer watching, would I be missing a whole lot opting for that media? It also seems that the video versions may even be better as they have been "updated" more recently in my opinion..
On curves ahead, remember sonny, that rabbit's foot, didn't save the bunny.
Bulla
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The simple answer is yes. Don't think of it as either or, but instead try to have an even balance between the two. There are tons of gems hidden in plain sight in magic books.
rjthomp
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Books
DrewPett
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It's really a matter of opinion. Books often seem to have a bit more content and can say some things which may be hard to display in a video but the same could also be said of DVDs. I suggest both. I prefer books but often also like to see a performer do the tricks or sleights described so I can get more of a feel of how it should. Really though, it's all preference. Try out both and see what suits you.
Endless West
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I prefer the books, in fact I've started converting my older/vintage books to pdf's so I can carry them on my tablet and not cause any damage to them. I can also start and stop a book at any point that I have a few free moments.. A DVD is more of a commitment to sit down and watch, plus then my girl knows the secrets too if she's home when I'm watching. I'm personally not a television watched, though, so maybe that had some bearing on my preference.
I do, enjoy watching and learning from DVDs, don't get me wrong, books are just more fun and convenient to me.
metaljohn
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Although DVDs are good, books are far more detailed.

Take the Card College DVDs as an example. They are based on volumes one and two, yet they lack about 50% of the material printed in the books; and that's not even counting the awesome 80+ page chapter in Volume two on misdirection and psychology.
Slough Illusions
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Oklahoma
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I find books useful for gaining info and educating your self about the skill involved...BUT... I live in a rural area and don't get to see people perform magic. Which is why I use DVDs to see others do magic. I have learned a lot about showmanship, timing, and appreciation of skill(or lack-thereof) and watching the details like lighting, voice tone, use of music to entertain people. When I do this I am not trying to imitate but to learn.
pkessler
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I agree that for attempted acquisition of sleights and for basic performance issues, DVDs are proving more useful. But for bedrock theory, mechanics, and issues related to the imagination, books are better, and yield a far richer return on investment.
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