To carry on in the vein of Bill Wheeler's response....
I am a huge fan of the book, but, to be truthful, I am not finished with it. I have read it, cover to cover once, and skimmed through it any number of times. But reading it alone doesn't suffice.
Further, I doubt most of the people who are really getting into Carney's text are finished, either. (Or maybe I'm just slow....)
I'm spending a substantial amount of time finding and making the right props, working a couple of the routines, thinking about how to make them work for me and how to make them better. I really can't say when I'll be finished...if ever.
Carney's book has sent me chasing after other books...Victor Farelli, Ross Bertram, Sharpe's "Conjurer's Secrets" series, etc. In all cases, they have been worth the chase, and I am looking forward to exploring Carney's other suggestions as I have the time. But this, too, is prolonging a truly thorough read.
I guess I liken Carney's book to the slow food movement. His point is to examine what you're doing, to stop and regard the history and development of an effect, to learn the effect and see where it takes you...and where you can take it.
All of these things take time. Fortunately, it's a book that is worth the time it asks.
I see it in direct contrast to the tape or DVD of the month mentality. This is stuff to live with for a while...stuff to savor.
One more issue: This past year has seen what amounts to a core dump of exceptional material into the market. The GLUT that Racherbaumer talks about has reached truly gargantuan proportions. If I start listing the MAJOR books and re-releases (ebook and otherwise) of incredible periodical information--not to address the exceptional materials on video, DVD, and through contemporary periodicals--I could be here a long while and would be in dire fear of missing half of them. Trying to actually READ everything would be something between a full time occupation and a Sisyphean task.
Pick your guru...Baker, Vernon, Marlo, Harris, McBride, Ortiz, Burger, somebody...ANYBODY...simpatico, do the work, and see where it takes you. Carney's Book of Secrets seems to be one sane, worthy path to help magicians cultivate good habits and make good choices with their time, money and lives.
But, truth be told, only time will tell.
Again, Dustin you made a spectacular pick--a book worthy of praise and attention. But a non-trivial discussion requires a familiarity that I haven't achieved, yet. And this book requires a non-trivial discussion.
It reminds me of the John Cage mantra,
I have nothing to say, and I am saying it.
Having typed so much and said so little, I withdraw for a time to think some more....