A Beginner wants to study these books. Will they help me?

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 » 04/20/07 04:26 AM

Hi Genii Forum members.

I'm a new member here, and this is my first post. I'm honored to be here, in same place as Richard Kaufman ( I learned the Pass from his DVD ), and many other top magicians in the field.

I consider myself an advanced beginner in magic. I began one year ago, and perfomed every sleight and flourish, and trick in Royal Road to Card Magic. I can do them all very well. I spent 8 months on the book.

Now I moved to Expert Card Technique, and bought some magic DVDs ( On The Pass, Control Freak by Oliver Marica, The Very Best of Jay Sankey, Daryl's Card Sleights DVD set ). I'm also reading books on presentation and theory ( Beyond Secrets by Sankey, Strong Magic by Ortiz ).

Currently, I'm practicing stuff from Expert Card Technique and Card Control ( by Buckley ). I want to learn more effects from classics. So I plan to get Card Magic of Paul LePaul, Marlo's The Cardician,Vernon Book of Magic and The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings.

My question is, are there books worth reading? How are the quailty of the effects? I'm fairly fimilar with various card sleights and mechanics and shifts, I'm I good enough to read these books?

Also, any other recommendations of other books/DVDs are welcomed! I prefer books as they have much more material in them.


~ Feras
P.S excuse me if my English is not the best, as its not my first language!

Postby Guest » 04/20/07 11:52 PM


Certainly, you're good enough to read the books, how much you'll understand at this time in your magic education is another question....but don't worry. Just jump in and start learning. After a while you'll develop the habit of going back to your books and re-reading them to get new insights. The LePaul book is excellent with several very good effects as is Expert Card Technique with the wonderful illustrations by Donna Allen.

Remember, don't try and learn everything at once. Think of yourself as sitting at a large meal that you have a very long time to eat. The best way to enjoy it is by small bites, well chewed.

Good luck.

Postby Guest » 04/21/07 12:37 AM

While I'm sure others will speak up with some fine suggestions, I would just like to congratulate you for your preference of books.
While video's are a wonderful resource sometimes, books are the best way to learn and I think all will agree with me that your leanings towards book learning are a very good thing indeed.
Good luck on your wonderful journey.


Postby Guest » 04/21/07 01:26 AM

Hi Feras,

I worked on engineering projects in the Emirates for years in the 90s and you're the first person from the region I've ever heard of with an interest in magic. I think it's terrific.

Kul Ikhtiaratikum hia mumtaza jidan, ya akhi! Khasatan Jennings wa Vernon wa Ortiz. Mabrouk!

Joe E. Pike

Postby Guest » 04/21/07 02:54 AM

Hi again. :)

Thanks alot gentelmen! I will pick up these books. No worries about being overwhelmed by material, as I plan to concentrate on one book every 2-3 months ( or more, as needed ). The reason why I have to buy alot at once, because of the expensive international shipping. :(

I added Stars of Magic to my list. Plus Ed Marlo's DVD Prime Time. I want to see the master in action. ;)

Nice language Joe ;) . To let you know, magic is indeed coming to our region. I know about 6 or 7 magic hobbyiest, mostly from UAE. Though I'm the only one who takes his hobby seriously.

Thanks again.

~ Feras

Postby Guest » 04/22/07 07:45 PM


I think you are taking a good, sensible approach to learning card magic.

I would also suggest that you start looking for different ways to apply your knowledge. For example, think of 10 different ways of revealing a card selection. Come up with new places to find them, new places to have the name written and things like that.

I would also recommend that you start working on coins. Get The New Modern Coin Magic, Coin Magic by Richard Kaufman, and Expert Coin Magic by David Roth.

Also, get Roger Klause in Concert.

Postby Guest » 04/22/07 11:12 PM

Hello Feras,
Two things:
1. Your english is perfect.
2. Given your good list of books and video materials, your having worked-through "Royal Road", and are eager to devour more, it doesn't sound like you're a beginner to me! :D

Postby Guest » 04/22/07 11:18 PM

--I dare-say that if all "beginners" were more like you, some of us codgers would be a lot less grumbly!! ;)

Postby Guest » 04/22/07 11:22 PM

I'll second what Dave said. Too many "beginners" watch a handful of DVDs and think they know something. I also agree with the comments about your choice of books over DVDs.

If you're around people who smoke, learn Jarrow's Hanky Panky when you get Stars of Magic. It's just a great trick, but you have to have people who smoke cigarettes which is dying out in the US.

Postby Guest » 04/23/07 01:46 AM

Feras, you mentioned the expensive shipping costs. Several of the classic books you mentioned are available as ebooks for immediate and zero shipping cost download from Lybrary.com www.lybrary.com

You will find Vernon's Book of Magic and about 500 other ebooks on magic. LePaul's will be soon availabe as PDF, too.

These are mostly PDFs which you can either read on your computer or print out.


Postby Harry Lorayne » 04/23/07 05:50 AM

Feras: These people don't want you to know 'cause they want to keep 'em to themselves, but - check out HARRY LORAYNE books. They're written just for you. Guess who?
Harry Lorayne
Posts: 968
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: NY

Postby Marc Rehula » 04/23/07 08:14 AM

My suggestion would be to SLOW DOWN.

My instinct is to give you a couple titles that are important to me, but from what you say, I'd recommend sl

The sources you say you're studying are great, nice basics and even some wonderful intermediate stuff. Slow down and ABSORB the material. It's too easy to collect tricks, instead of practicing magic.

I'd recommend stop buying and focus on practicing the tricks and rehearsing your performance. When your personal style emerges, THEN it'll be time to seek other stuff out. Go to lectures, learn about and WATCH other magicians.

I'd say that just reading the books isn't enough. You've got enough to keep you occupied for the entire year at least.
Marc Rehula
Posts: 80
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Guest » 04/24/07 12:35 AM

Hi again!

Mr.Bill Palmer , you see, coins are not used in my country ( they are in circulation, but in Saudi, we don't use them much ). Thats why I'm not really intrested in coin magic. Though I have the first video of Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy. Just for general knowledge.
As for applying knowledge, don't worry about that. I even created some tricks of my own. :)

castawaydave and David Alexander , thanks for the words! I was just like many other beginners. However, I talked to the right people, and they guided me very well. Plus, Hugard's tips in Royal Road helped me greatly.
I'll check the smoke effect. I'm a college student, and smoke is very common here. :)

Mr.Chris Wasshuber , actually I'm a fan of your site! I bought Expert Card Technique from lybrary.com, because of the added chapters by Vernon and Daley. I also have several books from your site ( Card Control, Danial Garcia's notes, Annemann's Card Magic ).Though sometimes, I prefer the printed version For collection!

Mr.Harry Lorayne!! This is an honor! ( no offense to the great members here, but .. He is Lorayne! ).
Mr.Lorayne, I was just going to say that I added your "Close Up Magic" book to the list! I'm sure I'll be a fan. ;)

mrehula , I'm very aware of taking your magic slow. In fact, thats what I was doing in the past year, and still doing. As I mentioned in my previous post. I'm concentrating on one book for 3-4 months, or more as needed. The reason why I'm buying alot, is because of international shipping.

Thanks alot gentelmen. I really appreciate the help. I'll be ordering today the books, along with a good supply of decks.

~ Feras

Postby Guest » 04/24/07 10:20 AM

I have been working on magic as a hobby for over 20 years and while I can do some great tricks and I have knowledge of many moves and techniques I dont feel that Ive learned the right stuff yetfor me! I think a big part of this is never really defining who I am in magic and what character I want to bring to magic. If I had done that up front, Im sure I could have weeded out plenty of routines that I thought were essential learning at the time, simply because they did not fit with my definition of magic or with my character. I also could have saved a lot of time and money along the way. To study all the great magic literature for the simple fun of it is great. However, I can agree with some of the others that if you are in pursuit of finding your persona to create a finely tuned magic act you do for years you dont have to be in a great rush to collect tricks nor do you have to learn everything out there. What are your goals in magic? Do you want to just study it for a hobby, do paid entertainment, etc.? Ultimately, I agree that books give you the most for your money, time, and make you think for yourself. Books are the way to go.

With that, I must recommend two things for you that I found helpful in building my own library. One is a booklet by Jamy Ian Swiss called Theories II which can be purchased from his website. I dont think it is sold elsewhere. It has some essays on theory and how to study sleights, but I really enjoyed the book listing. It has many titles, some that are out of print, but you can find them if you are patient, and you may have to pay more for them of course. The list is fairly updated too. This list has helped me to establish a nice library of titles. Some I know have tricks I will never ever perform, but I love to read and study for the sake of learning and to understand the thinking of the creator.

The second is the wonderful stuff Michael Close is putting on his website. He has a series of immediate downloads (save you on shipping costs) that you can get that really bring a wealth of info to you quickly and in a form that is expertly laid out. Most of his ebooks have embedded video clips just to show you a certain move or technique without being the sole focus. It seems you are interested in card magic and he has plenty to keep you busy there for some time. If you want to start on this material I would say to get his Closes Lecture Notes 2005 On the Road Again. It has a few tricks from his Closely Guarded Secrets work, but it is filled with wonderful essays that will give you some great theory to ponder. He also has a recommended reading list in there of some great books, such as the Card College series. Later, you can get his excellent e-version of the Workers series and even if you never perform a trick from it I think you can learn a great deal just from his construction, timing, and presentations of the effects.

No matter what you do I think it is great you want to learn from books and that you are so eager. You may try to define your goals in magic and just dont try to take in too much and end up accomplishing little in the end.

Postby Guest » 04/24/07 12:52 PM

Brian Rasmussen , what a wonderful essay! Thanks alot for the advice,many points taken!

Will look into Mr.Swiss and Close. Thanks.


~ Feras

Postby Guest » 04/24/07 01:49 PM


The reason I recommended the coin books was primarily because the sleights you do with coins can also be applied to other small objects, such as balls, dice, and even poker chips.

Postby Guest » 04/28/07 11:27 AM

Bill, I realize that coin sleights can be applied to another everyday objects. ;)

Thats one reason I bought Roth's DVD on Expert Card Magic Made Easy. :)

Thanks for all your advices guys. I'm waiting for my books to arrive at the moment. :)

~ Feras

Postby Guest » 04/28/07 12:20 PM


It is important to remember one of the major principles of show business: Always leave them wanting more.

If you are performing for friends and family, have several short routines of a few minutes each and then stop. Nate Leipzig, who was a great artist, only performed when asked. Since you're only starting, be gentle when you start something....borrow a coin, do something interesting, and then stop. If they're interested, they'll ask you to do more. Follow up with one or two strong things and then stop. Leave them wanting more....always.

When you do that, you'll find that people will welcome you and ask you to perform because you know when to stop.

Best of luck.

Postby Guest » 05/09/07 07:38 AM

Thanks David!

I read that before, and applied it in numerous occasions. I do one effect, wait for response, then do another.

However, sometimes I feel that the situation is *frozen*, like they want me to do something, but are shy of asking. Then, I go on with the routine.

;) No worries David. I got the basic magic presentation techniques covered!

~ Feras

Postby Guest » 05/09/07 09:21 AM

Expert Card Magic Made Easy isn't going to help you with coins and other small objects -- unless they are flat and flexible. ;)

Postby Guest » 06/01/07 07:35 PM

Medifro-I'm new as well,and this is my first post. Have you considered learning tricks with cigarettes? Henry Hay has a section devoted to it in his "Amateur Magicians Handbook"
Whoever mentioned about not getting too many tricks,they're right.It's all to easy (esp with online auctions) to wind up starting a collection before you've really gotten a grip on any of them. I'm exploring coin magic as I'm a cashier part time,and figure it fits.

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