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Profile of Russo
I work p/t at a Library for past 16 years - even at 80(70years Pro) still have to make up for cost of living L-O-L The kid section of the Library has a few good books on EZ card effects - plus other Magic- try it - our library ALSO gets loans from other Libraries in the county - try it - less expensive than buying. RR
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Profile of Oscar.Abraham
I think that most modern magicians, myself included, have forgotten the basics of magic; therefore, I'm more inclined for the books that started it all for many of my heroes in magic -- yes I'm talking about "The Royal Road to Card Magic", by Jean Hugard, Frederick Braue. I haven't finished reading it, but the material in it, and the way it's described (the effect, methodology, concepts) really makes this book a great way to start a raw beginner.

Here's a clip by Jason England where he mentions his top 10 books for a beginner in magic:

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Profile of mrjinglesusa
Thanks for this resource. I'm just getting back into magic and bought The Amateur Magicians Handbook (Hay), Modern Coin Magic (Bobo), and Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. Can't wait to dive in. That should keep me busy for awhile. LOL
Harry Lorayne
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Profile of Harry Lorayne
Don't know if I'm allowed to do this - but I'm gonna' try - just to feed my ego a bit - this is a post my Merc Man in a different thread:

"Said it before but it's probably worth saying again.

In 1978 (aged 14) my Christmas present was The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne. Maybe hard for teenagers these days to believe but back then, there were families who did not have a lot of money; and apart from a few sweets (candy) a book would potentially be your main present.

I adored reading my Dad's few magic books - mainly from the 1930's and requiring apparatus of some kind. When I started reading Harry's The Magic Book, I felt as if I'd been transported to a parallel universe; whereby superb close-up magic, with every-day items, was indeed possible.

We are now nearly at Christmas again - almost 40 years later. As I type this post sat at my kitchen table, there are 2 books in front of me - may the Lord strike me dead on the spot if I'm lying. Harry's 'The Magic Book' and Quantum Leaps (I was cross referencing something last night). I'm looking at The Magic Book as I type. It's battered and bruised - having been regularly read. More than any other magic book that I own, there's bits of torn cigarette packets with notes written on, sticking out of it. The odd torn playing card with other references scribbled. And of course, the more recent post-it note.

The fact is this book has been my inspiration in magic for nearly 40 years. I have used literally everything within. Despite, like many of us in our adult lives, having wasted a lot of money over the years on the latest magic 'flim flam' it IS the material within this book that I return to time and time again. Because one thing I have learnt about how magic is perceived by an audience is that you earn the greatest respect by performing with borrowed, or 'normal' items. For example, there is hardly anything within the card section that cannot be performed with a beat-up, borrowed pack of cards. Nothing within the coin section that needs expensive gaffs (in order to produce a similar effect in the eyes of spectators). Where else can you get so much workable material with a piece of paper & a pencil? A handkerchief, table items, etc.

What's more, it taught me the most important elements of magical entertainment - presentation, routining and misdirection.

It also taught me a very, very important lesson. That it is the basic, clearly defined easy to follow plot that gets the best reaction.

Over the years, I've spent time and money learning different versions of 'The Colour Changing Deck'; or buying gaffs to get Aces to transpose, etc. I've spent money on further gaffs to get coins to go through a table; or pass from hand to hand. I've bought (and sold on) these gimmicks and flim-flam; along with countless others that achive matrix-style routines, etc. The reason being that all most gimmicks do is over-prove what you don't need to be over-proving anyway.

The classics of magic will live forever; because they have an easy to follow plot. When you use ungaffed or borrowed items and throw them into the mix, it's just so much more rewarding. Added to which 'less is more'. If you can go out with minimal props, you will generally work harder on your presentation - because you are building upon the basics - by actually using the basics. Does that make sense? I hope it does. In other words, you tend to put more energy into your performance. A prop isn't doing the work for you. I've worked with other magicians that rush at break-neck speed from prop to prop; akin to a magic dealer demo (only to then vanish to re-set their gimmicks). However, arrive at a table; borrow a few contrasting coins and a table napkin, and you are ready to entertain. And what I can genuinely say to guys (still reading my rambling here) is that people aren't stupid. If they can see you are working AND entertaining them with what are clearly not 'magic props' you will get one hell of a lot of respect.....and in many cases, you will stand out.

Harry (I believe) wrote this book for people who had an interest in starting out performing magic. It has the clearest of instruction; and covers so many useful principles of magic.

I would not only unreservedly recommend this book to people starting out; but also to any magician that wants to make a living as a professional, magical entertainer.

Indeed, it's title of 'THE Magic Book' could not be more deserving.

It is, in my honest opinion, the GREATEST book of magic ever produced.

Words cannot express my most sincere gratitude and thanks, to the Master himself.......Mr Harry Lorayne"
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Profile of DeeGood
A veeery useful thread, thanks!
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Pacific NW
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Profile of ActionJack
I have been reading this thread off and on over the last couple of weeks and finally got through it. I have taken some of the advice given and am well on my way to starting my own magical library. Currently concentrating on Royal Road to Card Magic and Card College Vol 1.
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Profile of Chessmann
I went to Half Price Books the other day and found a hardbound edition of "Scarne's Tricks" - containing both "Scarne on Card Tricks" and "Scarne's Magic Tricks".

I've spent time over the last few days reading each trick, marking the ones I want to keep in mind. There is so much good material, and such a variety of methods, I'm sure just about anyone would find plenty of material. Instructions are very clearly written.

Sleights are minimal. I've read through the first 33 tricks and don't think I've encountered even a DL! Smile
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
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Profile of Cryptghost
I have been slowly studying the books suggested by Bob Cassidy in the 39 Steps to Mentalism,

I am currently also reading the Secrets of the 'Amazing Kreskin: The World's Foremost Mentalist Reveals How You Can Expand Your Powers', which I am really enjoying.

I also went into my local Magic shop in London 'Davenports Magic' and they suggested 'Easy to Master Mental Miracles' by Richard Osterlind, which has been fantastic to watch. Mr Osterlind is an amazing performer and tutor too.
Theodore Lawton
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1615 Posts

Profile of Theodore Lawton
I've been reading Beyond Secrets by Jay Sankey. It's a collection of short essays about magic, presentation, your audience, acting, what you say, how you say it, what people see, you name it. It doesn't contain tricks! The essays are very thought provoking. I know as beginners we want to learn tricks- the more the better. But, I have to highly recommend this book to anyone interested in thinking about their magic and presentation. What better place to start than when you are beginning? Best yet, it's free!

256 pages and it's available here:

The other 2 free downloads are good as well, but the fact that Jay gives away Beyond Secrets for free is amazingly generous. I'm not quite 1/3 of the way through it and I already know I'll be reading it again. It's that good.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.


God bless you and have a magical day
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Profile of debjit
Coin Magic:
NEW Modern Coin Magic by J.B.Bobo

Card Magic:
Card College 1-4 by Robert Giobbi
The Royal Road To Card Magic by Hugard & Braue

General Magic:
Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson
Tarbell Course in Magic 1-8

13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda
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Profile of Sharktale
I have been lucky. One day I went to second hand book shop in UK (Oxfam) and found first magic books:
- The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne,
- Magic and Showmanship By Henning Nelms,
- Mark Wilson’s Complete Course In Magic

These books have changed my life!!!
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