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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #1 
I reckon everyone loves magic books here, even if you’ve augmented your library with DVDs, e-books or whatever. I’m wondering how many ‘mark’ their books; you know, underline, highlight, marginate or whatever.

JenniferG has helpfully shown us how to cover the books in a way that adds to their beauty and function, but what about the pages? Are they, for you, ‘tools’ to be used, modified and personalised - or objets d’art that you would never ‘vandalise‘ with pen or even pencil? What influences your choice of handling your books?

Personally, most of my books are marked (usually with pencil), but there are some I haven't gone that extra step with ... at least yet!
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Abecarnow

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Reply with quote  #2 
I absolutely mark them. I rate the tricks, put in memory tips where appropriate, notes on presentation, alternate ways of achieving set ups, I make lots of notes. My wife marks up her cookbooks, and she is a great cook. Sure, yes, mark up the books. It's my way of saying, "Thank you." If the book is totally unmarked, that is sad. 
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm not too precious about books as art objects (I buy for content, not condition or aesthetics), but I don't mark them up because, for me, it gets too distracting. I don't want every future encounter with a book to be mediated by what I thought during past encounters. If I can, I like to come at it fresh and see what I see from my current vantage point.
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Jack Deschain

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Reply with quote  #4 
I definitely do not write in my books but I take tons of notes on loose notebook paper.

It usually starts with my initial read through. I note which effects I like the most, what I like or don't like about any given effect, what other effects I can link it with etc. Then later on I will sometimes get more elaborate with modifications or new ideas to try if something isn't working for me.

It's just a system that works for me and I wish I would have done it from the start but I'm sure some people would hate my approach haha.
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Tom Kracker

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Reply with quote  #5 
I have small Post-It tabs scattered throughout the pages in many of my books.  I don't think I really write much in the actual books, but I have written notes on a separate paper and kept it on the relevant pages in the book.

Tom

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JoshP06

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Deschain
I definitely do not write in my books but I take tons of notes on loose notebook paper.


It's just a system that works for me and I wish I would have done it from the start but I'm sure some people would hate my approach haha.


That's how I do it. I would never write in my books.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #7 
 I wouldn't dream of marking a book.  They are too precious to me.  Instead, I take notes.
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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cowne
I reckon everyone loves magic books here, even if you’ve augmented your library with DVDs, e-books or whatever. I’m wondering how many ‘mark’ their books; you know, underline, highlight, marginate or whatever.

JenniferG has helpfully shown us how to cover the books in a way that adds to their beauty and function, but what about the pages? Are they, for you, ‘tools’ to be used, modified and personalised - or objets d’art that you would never ‘vandalise‘ with pen or even pencil? What influences your choice of handling your books?

Personally, most of my books are marked (usually with pencil), but there are some I haven't gone that extra step with ... at least yet!


I only have one paper book, Erdnase, which I haven’t scratched up but I don’t have any qualms about doing so should I need to. My mother taught me never to write in books, but that doesn’t count with reference manuals. My biggest gripe with the actual physical product is having to put your coffee cup on it to hold it open while you fumble through one of its moves. Maybe Jennifer knows the best way to convert books to spiral bindings.

Of course, if I had an old or rare book I wouldn’t mark it up.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'm in the no mark club.
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'll write down notes in a Google Doc, but I can never bring myself to permanently mark a book, what if I come back to it and my views have changed? Then I've got to scribble out the old and write in the new, it just gets messy.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #11 
My books will eventually be sold off and I don't want them marked up for the future buyer.  I'm in the mood to begin selling off some books but deciding which ones go first is going to be the challenge.
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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #12 
I have some books I purchased from Greg Webb when I lived in New York. He made copious notes on just about every page. At first I found them distracting and tried to avoid reading them. I realized later that those notes were an insight that although reflected Greg's thinking, inspired me to take published effects and tweak them, if necessary, to fit my style and skill set.

However, my preference is to keep the pages of my books free of notes. 
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abecarnow
I absolutely mark them. I rate the tricks, put in memory tips where appropriate, notes on presentation, alternate ways of achieving set ups, I make lots of notes. My wife marks up her cookbooks, and she is a great cook. Sure, yes, mark up the books. It's my way of saying, "Thank you." If the book is totally unmarked, that is sad. 


Well that's me, Mister Sad.

I make notes, but defacing the books is something that something inside me cannot countenance.

I do use bookmarks. By which I mean very soft paper, peeking out from the top. No indentations on the page. Cigarette papers are the right texture, although I say this as a non-smoker who hasn't seen a cigarette paper for decades.
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
My books will eventually be sold off and I don't want them marked up for the future buyer.  I'm in the mood to begin selling off some books but deciding which ones go first is going to be the challenge.


So Ray, when you decide on which ones you're going to sell, give me a heads up!
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Abecarnow

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Reply with quote  #15 
All the replies are fascinating. I am very respectful of my books, mind you. I do like the discussions, you raise good points. I'll write them down, somewhere, oh, here's a book!
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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #16 
I'm with Ray on not marking.

I use playing cards or sticky notes for markers.

I take notes electronically and reference back to where the effect is from so I can read the original if I need to.

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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hey RayJ, if you want to get rid of The Dai Vernon Book of Magic (assuming you have one), I'll take it!  Been looking for a reasonably priced copy in good condition for some time now.

Arthur

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead
Hey RayJ, if you want to get rid of The Dai Vernon Book of Magic (assuming you have one), I'll take it!  Been looking for a reasonably priced copy in good condition for some time now.

Arthur


Don't have that one, sorry!

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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #19 

No problem, Ray! I’ve owned the book 3 times already over the years, and had to get rid of it each time for various complicated reasons.  Now in my old age, I’m looking forward to re-reading it … when I eventually find a good copy.  

Incidentally, I know it's available as a download at library.com.  But I want a real book.

Arthur


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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #20 

For those of you who may be interested in why I got rid of The Dai Vernon Book of Magic:

The first time, I lost my entire magic book collection when my ex live-in girlfriend burned all my belongings.  These titles included Ganson, Slydini, Lorayne, Paul Harris, Goshman, and a host of other magnificent publications.

Years later, after having restocked my magic book collection, I had to sell them all when I was down and out and facing insurmountable debt.  Tony Spina at Tannen’s in NYC paid me $8 for each hardcover book, and $2 for each paperback.  

The third time:  About two years ago I bought a great copy of The Dai Vernon Book of Magic.  The price was so reasonable that I sold it through an online forum for much more than I had paid.  But right after going so, I instantly felt buyers remorse.  And that’s why I’m now searching for another copy.



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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abecarnow
All the replies are fascinating. I am very respectful of my books, mind you. I do like the discussions, you raise good points. I'll write them down, somewhere, oh, here's a book!

Abe, you are a naughty man! I like that🤣.
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marko29

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Reply with quote  #22 
I don't mark my books but I did something much more foolish: I used to lend them to friends. And sometimes I got them back really beat up!! Now I don't even say I have magic books.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko29
I don't mark my books but I did something much more foolish: I used to lend them to friends. And sometimes I got them back really beat up!! Now I don't even say I have magic books.


Aw, Mark, that would hurt! I only have kids asking for magic books, and I send them straight to the public library for entry level books.
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JoshP06

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead

The first time, I lost my entire magic book collection when my ex live-in girlfriend burned all my belongings.  These titles included Ganson, Slydini, Lorayne, Paul Harris, Goshman, and a host of other magnificent publications.

 



Yikes. That really sucks. What in the world did you do? I've heard of people not getting along but that takes it to another level.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko29
I don't mark my books but I did something much more foolish: I used to lend them to friends. And sometimes I got them back really beat up!! Now I don't even say I have magic books.


Well, you did get them back. I stopped lending books when I didn't get them back.
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JR Russell

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Reply with quote  #26 
Here's an article just written by Roberto Giobbi in his 'occasional' newsletter: Secret Newsletter #9
He has great info in his newsletter, sign up!

https://mailchi.mp/1b8ab3e4abb8/secret-letter-9?e=9db42ee711



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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #27 
Marking books is not my cup of tea...my preferred method is to take copious notes and revise anything which I deem to be essential to my life as a magician. My notebooks are jam-packed with notes, quotes and additional thoughts relating to magic.

These days we have been sold the technology to make life easier but im still happy with the old school methodology - writing and sketching in my journals allows me to reinforce my learnings and add colour to my thoughts.

And since reading the Roberto Giobbi article linked above, I now have a few more additional ways of thinking about such things.

Books are sacred, and in magic they are somewhat expensive too, so there is no way in the world that I'm going to begin highlighting and marking them.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR Russell
Here's an article just written by Roberto Giobbi in his 'occasional' newsletter: Secret Newsletter #9
He has great info in his newsletter, sign up!

https://mailchi.mp/1b8ab3e4abb8/secret-letter-9?e=9db42ee711




JR, thanks so much for that fascinating link. Wasn’t if interesting what Roberto wrote about how he had changed the ‘ratings’ of some of his books? To me, that’s a sign of some deep reflecting .. a great attitude!
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