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Orange County, CA
52 Posts

Profile of jefkve
Erdnase. Started later in life and was looking for a good book on the subject of cards, and all sources said that this was the one to get. In retrospect, it was perhaps tougher than a complete novice should start with, but certainly eye opening. I keep going back to it because I'm POSITIVE I haven't gleaned all there is to learn in there...
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Newark, Delaware
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Profile of TomWay
Hoping it's ok to reawaken a sleeping topic...

My grandfather gave me his copies of "400 Tricks Anyone Can Do" by Howard Thurston and "Illustrated Magic" by Ottokar Fischer, but at 7 they were over my head. I recall my school library had a book that I checked out once every couple weeks or so that had a trick where you'd pass a loop of string through your neck after wrapping it around your neck, grabbing it with your mouth somehow, and clapping your hands. Can't recall the name of that book. There was also a book on the history of magic that included purported tales of Harry Houdini learning slackline walking and picking up needles with his eyelids as a young boy in Appleton. Wish I could recall the name of that book, too.

But, my favorite "first" was Bill Tarr's "Now You See It, Now You Don't." Such a fantastic book for a young lad (probably 12 by then) to learn progressively more difficult technique and its application!

Dick Sitnick, proprietor of The Prop Trunk Magic Shop in Rockville, Maryland in the mid 1970s turned me on to, of course, the Amateur Magician's Handbook, which became my well-worn bible.
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Profile of dawnzubair
The first magic book I came across was in 1993, as a kid. In India, the small neighbourhood shops would often wrap cookies and candies in papers torn from old books or news papers. I was handed out some snacks in one such paper torn from an old book. It had a partial explanation for magic squares. I had never come across anything like that and ran to the shop to ask for the following page. The following page was used as a wrapper for something else but he was kind enough to hand over the remainder of the book to me. It did not have the front cover and a few pages, nor did it have the back cover and a few pages. It was a very old book with the pages turning into darker shads of brown. I believe the next stage of deterioration would be crumbling pages.

The book had many magic tricks sprinkled over in the remainder of the pages. Along with the magic tricks, it had some trivia, 25 fascinating facts, some jokes, riddles, tongue twisters. I am sure it wasn't a magazine because it did not have any ads. I am sure it was not "Reader's Digest" either. A neighbour kid who came to stay at his grandma's for summer holidays "borrowed" that book from me in 1995 never to be seen again. I collected a few amateur magic books after that while looking for that particular book. But without a name, author's name, I couldn't find it.

Would anyone know which book I am referring to here? It brings so much of pleasant memories.
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who finally has
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Profile of dmcknight
Mine was even before I thought about doing magic, it was in the elementary school library - "Tricks Any Boy Can Do". This was probably published in the 1960s or earlier, and I would have been reading it sometime in 1972-1974.
I didn't get serious about magic until the 5th grade in 1975 when my sister bought me a copy of The Magic Magazine, sold on the grocery store shelves for a couple of years before going belly up. Not to be confused with the latter MAGIC magazine, this one was published by Byron G. Wels and was fairly pedestrian.
My best early books were Henry Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook and the Mark Wilson Course in Magic which came with a close-up mat, decks of cards, rope, and some other accessories.
I later found that TABCD book on eBay. I need to dig it out and see if anything jogs the memory 50 years later...
"Success" is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
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Agent of Chaos
3528 Posts

Profile of gaddy
Spooky Tricks by Ames & Wyler from the "Scholastic Books" book fair at school, circa 1977. Bizarre magic has been with me since the beginning!
*due to the editorial policies here, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
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Culpeper, VA
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Profile of gwferguson
The first magic book I owned was The Jerry Lewis Book of Tricks and Magic (1962), a Christmas gift from my favorite aunt. I must have been about seven and thought this was the greatest thing EVER WRITTEN! Subsequent raids on the public library yielded a surprising number of magic books intended for adults, especially given I grew up in a small, Southern factory town where one wouldn’t expect to find such things. The books I referred to most were Henry Hay’s The Amateur Magician’s Handbook and Harry Lorayne’s The Magic Book.
Magical Moments
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340 Posts

Profile of Magical Moments
I am not absolutely certain but I think my first magic book was MAGIC TRICKS AND CARD TRICKS by Wilfred Johnson. If I am not mistaken, it was the Dover version which combined both books into one volume.

Technically speaking, my first magic book was a Johnson and Smith catalog.
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Sunny SoCal
442 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
200 TRICKS YOU CAN DO by Howard Thurston, 1926 edition, red cover, inherited from my father. Still have it in a box behind another box in my garage somewhere, I think. Never found it useful, as it kept calling for things like zinc oxide powder (for waterproofing hands) and misc. outdated prop items that I didn't have available.
Never try to teach a pig how to sing. You will waste your time, and it annoys the pig.
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Profile of Cookiegod86
Guy Hollingworth's Drawing Room Deceptions. Ended up purchasing it from Tannens while I was looking for cool playing cards. Still have no clue what drew me to it but it's solid.
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