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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » How many magic books exist? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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EvilClown
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I suppose that is possible, but the amount of space that would take would be extraordinary. I can get about 250-300 books on a tall IKEA Billy bookshelf WITH an extension. Think about that, assuming the books were all shelved and not stored in boxes, etc.
mindmagic
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Quote:
On Nov 3, 2019, EvilClown wrote:
The LoC does not keep a copy of every book it receives. The law only applies if you choose to register your copyright.


The law seems to be much wider here in the UK, but I'm not a lawyer.
Topper2
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On Nov 4, 2019, mindmagic wrote:
The law seems to be much wider here in the UK.....

In theory that might be the case but in practice it is not. Just look up a few titles in the British Library catalogue and you'll soon see the problem. Some old books that have had multiple editions and reprints have multiple entries in the catalogue because they have a copy of each of the editions, whilst other books have no entries at all. So you cannot go by naked numbers.

One example, Ian Adair, who claims to have written over 100 titles has only about 40 entries under his name when you look it up, and at least half of those titles are not by the Ian Adair we know. Thus one of the entries under his name is: "What is driving male mate preference evolution in Jamaican field crickets?" With due respect to the erudition of Ian, I doubt his involvement with this! Interestingly the 5 volumes of Encyclopaedia of Dove Magic are missing, along with dozens of other titles. So just going by a library catalogue is a futile exercise.
Dan Andrus
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I can complete this interesting thread by providing a final answer. It's 37.
EvilClown
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Andi Gladwin in his new Astonishing Essays booklet says he has heard of a collector with 50,000 volumes.
Rachmaninov
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Copperfield ?
Delimbeau
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Thanks guys for all the input. I haven't heard back from Denis Behr, yet, unfortunately. Cheers, Luc.
EvilClown
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Copperfield or Byron Walker would be the best source, I would think.
Delimbeau
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Hi Guys, I got a response from Denis, He also doesn't know. As stated here before, he also says it depends on the criteria.

I would like to point to my other angle, which got a bit 'snowed under': do magicians write more books than other professionals?

Thanks, Luc. Smile
EvilClown
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If you include lecture notes, it's possible. It's hard to think of a field where income is so often dependent primarily on selling "stuff" to others in the field.
Rachmaninov
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I agree. Magic is a strange world, commercially speaking. With his own rules.
Topper2
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Quote:
On Nov 9, 2019, Delimbeau wrote:
do magicians write more books than other professionals?


No, that would be unthinkable. Even if you discount 'professional' subjects such medicine, law and history (each of which outpaces magic by such a huge amount as to leave magic on the starting blocks) and concentrate just on hobbies and interests I'd be surprised if magic can compete with chess for example.

One feature of magic books which tends to set them apart from other disciplines is that many books of very venerable age still remain in print and are consumed by generation after generation of practitioners, so if you look at a list of currently available titles it tends to be larger than it would otherwise be; however with chess for example the ever increasing refinement of technique renders the huge flood of opening books entirely redundant after a few years only to be replaced by a fresh deluge. And as for tournament bulletins, they are never ending.

Basically there are far fewer magic nuts in the world than there are lawyers, medical professionals, history students and chess players - hence fewer books are to be expected even without considering other factors (e.g. how 'bookish a subject is).
Rachmaninov
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I’m not sure there is less magic practitioners than in médecine, chess or law. Everybody now knows someone around him who is doing magic.

Another question would be how much people on earth are interested in magic, being a practitioner. Of course one would need to define what a practitioner is. I would say it is someone who has already purchase a magic product (trick, book, dvd, download…) and who has performed a magic trick for somebody at least one time. It would represents hundred of thousand people on earth.
Topper2
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Quote:
On Nov 9, 2019, Rachmaninov wrote:
I’m not sure there is less magic practitioners than in médecine, chess or law. Everybody now knows someone around him who is doing magic.

I suppose it depends what company you keep! Personally I've run into a hell of a lot more people who play chess and have a few chess books than who perform magic tricks and study the art.

There is one similarity though, namely that chess is going online both for databases and for playing games against opponents all over the world, whereas magic is depending more and more on DVDs etc; so in both cases the need for books is on the decline.

As to law, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London has over 310,000 legal texts and I defy you to find a magic library approaching that.
https://ials.sas.ac.uk/library

The Royal Society of Medicine also has a thumping big library such that if you removed all the medical books and replaced them with magic books you'd most likely have hundreds of feet of empty shelving!
https://www.rsm.ac.uk/the-library/

The Institute of Historical Research is similarly endowed and holds over 200,000 titles:
https://www.history.ac.uk/library

Chess obviously can't come close to matching the above scale but when the chess book collection of the late Lothar Schmid was sold a while back it contained 50,000 titles.

The British Library holds 25 million books but it's magic selection (i.e. magic as a performing art) isn't so hot really.

I've a feeling magic books would total a little bit less than people here seem to imagine, but it's all guesswork so we can only express opinions.
Topper2
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I've just looked at the Magic Circle of London website and this is what they say about their library collection:-

"The Magic Circle headquarters.... houses arguably one of the most complete collections of magic books, over 6,000 for loan or reference"

https://themagiccircle.co.uk/public-events/2-uncategorised

If this collection is anywhere near complete then that puts an entirely different complexion on things, it means that magic books are to be measured in thousands rather than tens of thousands and this makes magic books lag far behind the other disciplines I mentioned above. The law, medical, history and chess libraries I quoted do not themselves have anywhere near complete collections yet their holdings are measured in hundreds of thousands of titles and, in the case of chess, tens of thousands.

I think we can say that some of the estimates for magic books suggested in this thread are wildly over optimistic.
Rachmaninov
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Thanks Topper for this complete answer. There is more books published in other fields.

But for the measurement, no, magic books are in the tens of thousands number for sure (existing collections of 10 000 - 20 000, I’ve heard of 50 000 too). Personal collections are above institutions ones for obvious reasons, they are far richer !
Ado
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Too many. But that's ok: most discuss underwhelming and badly crafted magic.

P!
walidosama
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This may not help you but there's a lot of books why don't you look for the number of classic of each type of magic
like stage - street - table- mentalism and so on
Comedy Writer
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Ray Haining
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Quote:
On Dec 16, 2019, Comedy Writer wrote:
17


Love it!
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