The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Recommended books for beginners (71 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3..6..9..12..15..17~18~19~20~21..26~27~28 [Next]
View Profile
New user
14 Posts

Profile of mysterrio
On 2001-11-25 22:25, Steve Brooks wrote:
Agreed! Learn 10 effects, and be the best that you can be, you’ll be glad you did.


I for one love this idea. In our magic club we have started to take old linking rings and other publications from the 40's, 50's and up to 2011 and learn a few effects from those. It helps to keep magic fresh because some things forgot appear NEW.
Mr Timothy Gray
View Profile
Veteran user
Rue d'Auseil
362 Posts

Profile of Mr Timothy Gray
I should like to add two wonderful books to the list, both by Marvin Kaye.


THE HANDBOOK OF MENTAL MAGIC (1975) is the companion volume and a fantastic start for any beginning mentalist.

What's so special about THE HANDBOOK OF MAGIC is not only it's diverse selection of tricks, but the numerous articles and essays on PRESENTING and PERFORMING magic. It is also rife with lists on other sources pertaining to each section of the book. MENTAL MAGIC repeats (though hardly reuses) this format, complete with an annotated bibliography at the back of the volume.

If you can find these two volumes, read them together, study them together and practice the material, you'd have a nice little show on your hands.
Yr. Obdt. Svt.,
Mr Timothy Gray

Specializing in the Occult Arts of Fortune Telling, Magic & Mediumship; Est. 1986
View Profile
New user
41 Posts

Profile of NLewis

There is a lot of advice out there on what books to use as a beginner. I suggest watching several videos, such as Alan Ackerman's "Expert at the Card Table", or even the Beginners Course of Magic by Lance Burton. I'm not sure if they still sell that -- but it's an excellent start.

If you are a serious conjurer, I would certainly suggest using "Expert at the Card Table", as it's the best practical treatise on card manipulation, IMHO.
View Profile
New user
United States
83 Posts

Profile of RachelMilano
I'm not sure this book is for beginners but it is a must down the road at the very least. STRONG MAGIC by Darwin Ortiz. Not a book about effects, but rather a book about how to perform effects. And read it several times. You get more out of it each time you read it.
I'd much rather regret something I've done than something I was too afraid to do. Have a great day. Rachel.
View Profile
Elite user
419 Posts

Profile of mahucharn
I second the recommendation for Strong Magic, it is a truly fantastic book.
View Profile
New user
66 Posts

Profile of ThinkThurston
This is a great thread, thank you for starting it. I'd like to add that Mark Wilson's course and Robert Giobbi's Card College get my votes for the best place to start. I also agree with Rachel and Manchucharn than Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz is must read as well as Derren's Brown's Absolute Magic. If you find a copy of Absolute Magic for sale, buy it!
View Profile
Special user
752 Posts

Profile of CarlZen
Hi I an not a beginner just joined a little lost.
View Profile
Loyal user
San Antonio, TX
253 Posts

Profile of terrillific
Thanks for the recommendation on Strong Magic. I’m going to read it. Presentation of magic is more valuable then the tricks themselves as I’ve seen.
I still like Mark WIlson’s Course and Harry Lorayne’s Close Up Card Magic. RRCM is a must as well as 13 Steps to Mentalism by Corinda. I wished I’d read Corinda a long time ago. I was going through my library of books I collected many years ago when I was doing magic regularly and have found some real gems.
Magic Midnight
View Profile
New user
29 Posts

Profile of Magic Midnight
I am a beginner and Mark Wilson's Course and Magic for Dummies has been very helpful. I was skeptical about the "For Dummies" book, but it was recommended by my local magic shop and it caters to beginners. Some of the effects are extremely simple and some are pretty amazing.
Just my humble opinion...
Merc Man
View Profile
Inner circle
Nuneaton, Warwickshire
2649 Posts

Profile of Merc Man
Without question, one book springs to mind for recommending to ANYONE interested in magic - but particularly the beginner.

Harry Lorayne's 'The Magic Book'.

This is the book that really fueled my enthusiasm for not only close up magic using everyday objects and sleight of hand, but also the book that drummed home just how important and enjoyable it is to READ magic books AND learn from written instruction. I can't remember the amount of times over the years when I've had enough up my sleeve to perform instant magic with odds & sods just lying around - including taking out my shoelace for the ring and string routine (more than once!) and writing numbers in wet sand on a beach in Tenerife!

The content far surpasses other titles I've read because the tricks are just so strong. Moreover, it will take you through a raft of the necessary sleights that you will need - and explains their technique better than anything I've read since. The reason it's so good is that the author (HL) works hard on conveying the written word so effectively; or to put it in my kind of talk - he grafts bloody hard...and I like that in a geezer. Smile

This was my Christmas present back in 1978 when Ken Brooke sold it to my Father for me (and we often only got one present in those days) AND to this day I use the material within. It's also a book that I often refer back to as it's such an enjoyable read. Moreover, although I've read it from cover to cover many times over the past 33 years, there's always something new to learn; such as a performance tip that you missed before.

It also got me interested in Coin Magic; the branch of the art that I adore most. How I'd love Harry to write a coin magic book - with the countless excellent effects in this book (not to mention the years of coin magic brilliance within Apocalypse) I'm sure it would be a winner (or what about 'The Magic Book Vol 2' Harry?) Smile

So there you go - my unreserved recommendation for the cream of the cream that makes learning and practice so enjoyable. To my mind (and placing the tricks aside for a moment) THESE attributes are the most important aspects that you will get from this masterpiece - obviously before moving on to more advanced texts. That said, with the wealth of material within this book, it's all that you really need not only to amuse friends BUT to actually go out and make a living/reputation from.
Barry Allen

"The rules of a sleight of hand artist, are three and all others are vain. The first and second are PRACTICE and the third one is PRACTICE AGAIN.
Edward Victor 1937 (Magic Of The Hands).
View Profile
Loyal user
Montreal, QC
280 Posts

Profile of metaljohn
Although, it wasn't my first book as I read it many years after being into magic, Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book is excellent. So much stuff in there that is not only great for beginners, but the impact on some of the routines is as good as some of the more intermediate stuff out there.

Royal Road To Card Magic is a book that I'm happy I read first. It teaches a sleight and then gives you tricks to practice those sleights. At the same time, there's a lot of little subtleties on performance and psychology. There's also a section on routining tricks together. It's also pretty cheap and costs only a few bucks.

Card College volumes 1 and 2 are also great beginner books for card magic. It covers all the sleights in Royal Road, plus a whole lot more. Chaper 27 on Theory in volume 2 is worth the price alone for the book.

While we're on cards, Close Up Card Magic is another great starter. I personally didn't start with this book when it came to cards, but the tricks are farely easy to do and the tricks are some of the best out there in my opinion. Wether you start with the other card books I mentioned or not, definitely read this book. You can't get it in it's original form, but it's one of the four books included in one by the same author (Harry Lorayne) entitled Lorayne: The Classic Collection volume 1.

Modern Coin Magic is another great starter for coins. You probably won't even use half of the stuff that's in this book as it is jam packed with coin sleights and tricks. Like Royal Road To Card Magic, this book is dirt cheap.

13 Steps To Mentalism is another book to get for mind reading effects. If you're new to mentalism, you'll see how devious some of the routines can be in achieving what appears to the audience as pure mind reading.

This list of books should get you started.

This is a book thread so I'll leave out the DVDs.
View Profile
New user
1 Post

Profile of Timma
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I am a complete newbie but my interest is in card magic and flourishes. I have strongly hinted to my wife that a great birthday present would be the RRTCM book and the Paul Wilson DVDs on the book, so here is hoping. I will also have a look at Card College as I have seen this recommended a number of times on this forum.

Can anyone recommend how to approach flourishes? I have seen ads for the Trilogy DVD by Dan and Dave, and this is the sort of thing I would like to learn, but I am wondering how advanced this is and whether there is something better that I should consider starting with?

View Profile
Inner circle
2087 Posts

Profile of panlives
On 2011-11-10 07:41, Timma wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I am a complete newbie but my interest is in card magic and flourishes. I have strongly hinted to my wife that a great birthday present would be the RRTCM book and the Paul Wilson DVDs on the book, so here is hoping. I will also have a look at Card College as I have seen this recommended a number of times on this forum.

Can anyone recommend how to approach flourishes? I have seen ads for the Trilogy DVD by Dan and Dave, and this is the sort of thing I would like to learn, but I am wondering how advanced this is and whether there is something better that I should consider starting with?


“The Encyclopedia of Playing Card Flourishes” is your best bet.

It will take you from the super-easy to the fantastically difficult.
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Big Sam
View Profile
Regular user
162 Posts

Profile of Big Sam
Looking over my book collection, three are the most dog-eared:

1. Amateur Magician's Handbook - Hay
2. Stein and Day Handbook of Magic - Kayne
3. Magic with Cards - Garcia and Schindler

Back in the early 70's these were the only ones available at the local bookstore and provided a great foundation. All the books mentioned in this thread can give you a good start, but I think the important things is to JUMP IN with whatever book you can find. Once hooked there are thousands more to enjoy and more being published every week. But rather than find the perfect starting place, just go for it and don't look back . . .

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes
View Profile
Elite user
402 Posts

Profile of maxnew40
I am a total beginner with card magic, so I got the Royal Road To Card Magic DVD and book. This really seems to be a great book/DVD. I imagine that it will take a year or more for me to work through it, but I wil learn so much!

View Profile
New user
58 Posts

Profile of Bugatti
Hi there - I can´t be bothered to read all 13 pages of this discussion, so sorry if my recommendation was mentioned before. Obviously, there are many classics, such as RRTCM, Tarbell, Wilsons complete course, etc., but I was surprised to find good quality and extremely strong material for the beginning magician in Joshua Jaay´s complete course. This book featured some tricks I didn´t even like to be in there, such as OOTW, order from chaos, etc.
View Profile
New user
United Kingdom
51 Posts

Profile of ibraa
All depends on your style and type of magic, but alakazam always has some good materials. Also, sometimes on eBay there are some rare books for sale.
Michael Landes
View Profile
New user
76 Posts

Profile of Michael Landes
The Secrets of Alkazar (Kronzek) on dover.
Leon Kai Valentine
View Profile
New user
1 Post

Profile of Leon Kai Valentine
Looking over a couple of pages has only inspired me further in my interest in starting magic. I'm still not a 100% sure of what kind of magic I want to focus into yet but I know I have a long but interesting road ahead of me.
Jim Sparx
View Profile
Inner circle
Far Out, Texas
1144 Posts

Profile of Jim Sparx
There was another thread by LeConte on recommended books and videos that was closed. Reading the four pages I did not see any recommendations for the Prof. Hoffmann books, all of which I consider classics. I did not read the thirteen pages in this thread, so I don't know if anyone recommended the Prof. Hoffmann books, if they did, it bears repeating. Not only do these books discuss the usual gimmicks, apparatus and methods common to this era, but they have one additional feature that makes them absolutely essential - they are free for downloading. Go to google books and type in "free e book" then enter Prof. Hoffmanns name. His most read books, Later Magic, More Magic and Modern Magic are there for the taking. There may even more.
Why these old, out of date books? Take a look at the contents in each book. They are an encyclopedia of magical history and they will give you some sense of the origins of magical thinking and how uncomplicated the simplest idea can be used to fool people. It is the simple things in life that make fools of us all.
The Hoffmann books, Henry Hay and Fischer's, Illustrated magic was what I checked out from the library when I was a kid in the 40s. I think they are worth revisiting.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Recommended books for beginners (71 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3..6..9..12..15..17~18~19~20~21..26~27~28 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL