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Honored Member
Posts: 4,003
Reply with quote  #1 
Talk about "click-bait"!

But seriously, I had a passing thought this morning after reading a post about buying books.

We are so blessed to be able to have so many resources today, books, online magazines such as Reel Magic, DVD's and Zoom lectures.  It's incredible really, and some of it is even available for free.  Legitimately free, not pirated free.

So my thought process was basically this.  It wasn't that long ago that magic books were a lot harder to come by and yet magicians still learned and even excelled.

Harry Lorayne, for example.  Hopefully he'll chime in here, but I'm pretty sure Harry didn't have shelves full of magic books early on in his career.  I wouldn't be surprised if he said he had none at first.  I know he did mention going to the library as a child, but I don't remember him specifically talking about buying books.

My point being, here is one of the top magicians of all time, and arguably one of the most published, and he didn't require an extensive library in order to achieve.

Others like Jerry Andrus claimed to have never read a magic book, preferring to create everything on their own, uncorrupted by anyone's published works.

I just thought it was something worthy of pondering.  I'm not suggesting you not support the magic community and the industry that relies on sales, not at all.

But I am saying that maybe all of us could step back and reflect on what we DO spend our money on, spend it wisely and then when we do, get the most value out of what we've bought.  Go back to those books you bought long ago and crack them open again.  See what you might have missed.  And appreciate them for what they are.  Because we're all blessed.
Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Posts: 617
Reply with quote  #2 

Back in the mists, on the back cover of most comics was an advertisement for Ellisdons of High Holborn in London. Mostly novelties and tricks and jokes. But there were a few magic tricks featured. And a note that they had a catalogue. Send sixpence in stamps and it was yours. I could just about afford that and sent the stamps.

This was when the Royal Mail had a service that was something to be proud of. And in a couple of days, here it came. A Magic Catalogue of sorts. It was an extended version of the advert on the back of the comic. There were loads more magic tricks than I even knew existed. And, best of all a page and a half of books. Almost all of which I’d never heard of. And couldn’t afford.

The local lending library had Two magic books: Bruce Elliott’s “Professional Magic Made Easy” and “Royal Road To Card Magic.” And that was my lot for quite some time. I very gradually acquired a (very) few books of my own and have continued the gradual process ever since. The library acquired a few moreover the years and they found an eager reader.

In fact there were three magic books in the library. “Expert Card Technique“ had been stacked on the games shelf. Books on card play, chess and whatnot hid it in plain sight.

Today’s unremitting choice on the one hand seems like paradise, but I think I prefer my own introduction. I never became blasé, never took anything for granted. Still don’t.



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