How to study magic books?

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Guest » 09/02/06 09:05 PM

Hi all,

I'm interested in hearing how you approach the study of magic books? Do you read the book from cover to cover before you grab your cards, coins, etc? Do you read the "effect" descriptions before you study the method?


Postby Guest » 09/03/06 12:05 AM

Vernon has a good aproach to this. He said he would read the entire book, including the forward, the introduction, all that stuff.

He would do this to get a sense of who the author was and to get an idea of the authors syntax. This would help him in studying the book.

That being said, i dont think there is any good way to study a book apart from understanding what your reading.

I personally read every page of every book i own. I do this out of sheer pleasure. A perfect afternoon for me, is to watch college football followed by a good couple of hours of reading a new book.

I eventually read all of my books cover to cover. Some books i have done this quite a lot. For me its just fun.

Anyways, i hope that helps some.

Postby Guest » 09/03/06 04:15 AM

i think you should read a magic book at least twice, i do. i always have my cards when reading, if i find something i like, i learn it straight away.

Postby Guest » 09/03/06 08:31 AM

Thanks for the feedback. It's interesting how certain authors never include a description of the "effect" and dive right into the methodology instead. Perhaps that's to insure you actually read it. Currently, when provided, I'll read all the "effect" descriptions and then jump around to the "methodology" write-ups of the "effects" that appeal to me.

Perhaps, based on the Vernon advice, I will simply read the book cover to cover first. Even if an "effect description" doesn't interest me, perhaps there is valuable technique advice in the text of that routine that I'm missing.

Postby Guest » 09/03/06 09:33 AM

I think the key to your question is "study". Many of us tend to treat books as a collectors item, while some books may be like this I suggest getting yourself a reading copy as well. Highlight, take notes in the margin, dog ear the corners, remember this book is a tool for you to use. Having done nothing but coins for a long time I am now working with, notice I said working not mearly reading, the Card College series. I did read quite a bit of it before I got started to see how the book was presented and get a feel for the text. Look at the pictures, read any little boxes of information to see what they may reveal. Next I started at Chapter one and read the whole chapeter, then I picked up my cards and worked along with the author, slowly. In a book like these where technique leads to a trick I try and make sure that I am very comfortable with each slight as I go along. The key is too ingest it all slowly so you are sure you understand before you move forward. Eveyone learns in a different manner and has their own time table for working through book. My advise when working with something huge is take your time to enjoy yourself and don't simply force yourself through it. Have fun, that's the whole point anyway. Being a book guy, as one of the earlier posts points out, is feeling comfortable to put aside the rest of the world and enter into a new one all by yourself. You set the rules or the boundries, but most of all enjoy what you are doing. Sometimes your can't get throug a book, that's ok, try another, maybe you will come back to it later or maybe not.

Postby Guest » 09/03/06 10:35 AM

Yes, yes, yes!! It's like the ultimate form of escapism. I can enter that world with a book, some props, and everything else goes away. That was an excellent post!! I am also "working" my way through the first Card College book. Giobbi has written it in a very friendly format that makes the study that much more enjoyable. Kaufman and Minch are my other favorite magic authors who make it easy to study their subject's work.

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