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.