Don't over look the basic books

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby Magicadz » Jul 2nd, '15, 11:45



I realise that searching through books is seldom page after page of usable mind-blowing material but more of a treasure hunt. I love that feeling of chills up the spine when you read a routine and realise the strength of what you've found and also that you are in a position to obtain the materials pronto. Found such a routine in a series of mentalism booklets called Sensational Mentalism. I was sat in bed with my hot chocolate and felt like rubbing my hands together like a schoolboy.

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby DaveWise » Aug 30th, '16, 18:46

Magicadz wrote:I realise that searching through books is seldom page after page of usable mind-blowing material but more of a treasure hunt. I love that feeling of chills up the spine when you read a routine and realise the strength of what you've found and also that you are in a position to obtain the materials pronto. Found such a routine in a series of mentalism booklets called Sensational Mentalism. I was sat in bed with my hot chocolate and felt like rubbing my hands together like a schoolboy.


Wholeheartedly agree. And there's a lot of wading through antiquated language... but every now and then you find a gem. And then discover it's been repackaged as a video download on some website. Wamp wamp!

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby tommymcc84 » Oct 21st, '16, 11:27

This is an awesome thread for someone who pretty new to magic and loves going through old magic books! A great fillup. Keep all the great book ideas coming then I can start my hunt for them... Thanks!!

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby Mandrake » Oct 21st, '16, 12:24

Just in case anyone needs a nudge, also don't forget The Learned Pig Project which hosts hundreds of magic books, vids and articles online. At one time a closely guarded secret resource, it's now open to anyone who takes the trouble to go find and register. Newcomers should go to http://www.lybrary.com, register then log in to their account, scroll down to the bottom left hand side and click The Learned Pig Project.

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby EndersGame » Mar 21st, '18, 02:49

Mandrake wrote:Just in case anyone needs a nudge, also don't forget The Learned Pig Project which hosts hundreds of magic books, vids and articles online. At one time a closely guarded secret resource, it's now open to anyone who takes the trouble to go find and register. Newcomers should go to http://www.lybrary.com, register then log in to their account, scroll down to the bottom left hand side and click The Learned Pig Project.

The Learned Pig Project was a fantastic resource.

I don't have an account at lybrary.com, but didn't Marko from Panama finish The Learned Pig Project in 2011?
http://themagicwiki.com/magos/www.thele ... index.html

There is still an active page here:
http://thelearnedpig.freeservers.com

But the applying for membership link brings you to a dead link for the original site:
http://www.thelearnedpig.com.pa

I remember being a member of The Learned Pig many years ago (after passing the requisite "let me check that you're actually a magician" entrance test), and it was an excellent repository of classic magic texts.

Presumably the lybrary.com collection is just a static archive?

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby Mandrake » Mar 21st, '18, 10:38

Lybrary bought TLP when Marko had to retire from maintaining it, Lybrary is a very active site devoted to selling books in various formats , well worth checking out.

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby magicofthemind » Mar 21st, '18, 14:20

There's a useful listing of free public domain magic books here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments ... _old_book/

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby Mandrake » Mar 21st, '18, 23:35

An excellent resource Barry, thank you!

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby Lady of Mystery » Mar 22nd, '18, 12:01

That is a cracking page Barry, how have I never known about that until now?! :)

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby magicofthemind » Mar 22nd, '18, 15:43

Thanks, both. I'm surprised it found me so long to find it, too. I just Googled for "public domain magic books"!

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby EndersGame » Mar 25th, '18, 13:08

Yes thanks Barry, that's a great link, some terrific resources there!

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby AJ1 » Jan 9th, '22, 06:17

To come back to the original post, I agreed 100% There are some many gems in beginner books. I always go back to the following books:

1. The Magic Book- Lorayne
2. Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic
3. The Amazing Book of Magic- Jon Tremaine
4. The Amazing Book of Card Tricks- Jon Tremaine
5. The Illustrated Compendium of Magic Tricks- Nicolas Einhorn
6. Tarbell
7. Stars of Magic
8. The Art of Close-Up Magic- Ganson
9. The Art of Astonishment- Harris

There some many fantastic material in the first 6. Most of those 6 books are considered beginner's books. Superman in The Amazing Book of Magic is my go to impromptu effect and it always slays the audience. Also I combine some tricks, for example combining the "See Through Card Trick" in The Amazing Book of Card Tricks, with Torn and Restored Card" in Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. The end result being an easy to do miracle, that can be done on the spur of the moment. Card is selected, torn in 4 pieces, covered with a hanky and given to a spectator to hold. The deck is now held up to the window by another person. When the handkerchief is examined, only one corner remains. The deck is removed from the window and amazingly the selection is restored, stuck to the window---on the other side. ie. Outside. And yes, the corner fit exactly. Blaine/ Copperfield eat your heart out.

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby EndersGame » Jan 10th, '22, 14:41

Even though parts of the book are outdated, the classic Royal Road to Card Magic also has some great tricks worth coming back to.

Some of my own favourite tricks from it that I recommend are:
  • Poker Players Picnic
  • Thought Stealer
  • Designed For Laughter
  • Do As I Do
  • Gray's Spelling Trick
  • Gathering of the Clan
  • Rapid Transit
  • Circus Card Trick
  • Three Cards Across
  • Everywhere and Nowhere


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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby mark lewis » Jan 13th, '22, 04:32

I have never found the Royal Road to be particularly outdated except in a tiny few places. I would still like to know what "diachylon" is though! Having said that I think at least 90% of the tricks therein are just as effective now as they were when the book was first published. I do many of them. However, the main value of the Royal Road is the little hints on how to present magic scattered throughout the book.

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Re: Don't over look the basic books

Postby EndersGame » Jan 14th, '22, 08:53

mark lewis wrote:I have never found the Royal Road to be particularly outdated except in a tiny few places. I would still like to know what "diachylon" is though! Having said that I think at least 90% of the tricks therein are just as effective now as they were when the book was first published. I do many of them. However, the main value of the Royal Road is the little hints on how to present magic scattered throughout the book.

Good points, Mark. I'm currently working through Royal Road again, together with your annotations, and the videos by R. Paul Wilson and Rudy Hunter. Aspects from RRTCM that are arguably somewhat obsolete include things like the method taught for the Glide, and to some extent even the chapter on the Backslip given that most magicians don't really use it.

But you're totally right about the tricks - there's some real gold there. And the hints and tips on presentation throughout the book are excellent. I also like some of the alternative handlings you suggest. I'll be posting a review of your annotated version in a few months time once I finish getting through everything carefully for the second time.

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