erdnasephile wrote:I don't, Jonathan, but when you discuss books with your friends, don't you ever ask them what they like specifically about them?
I ask what they find works for them in performance, what they want in terms of magical moments, flow of effect and what they want for their audiences. The basics of character (mannerisms - flow of speech - underlying intent) and preferred audience dynamics usually don't permit a match between what seems clever in a book and what one can add to one's repertoire without much custom tailoring.
Do you recall that story of a man who leaves the tailor's shop with a new custom built suit - and a couple sees the guy - one says "oh that poor person, to have such a disfiguring limp, hunched back and stiff arm" while the other says "yes, but look at that suit, it's a perfect fit". ?? ;)
Which brings up a question - on the assembly trick - what would it mean to have the cards return to their packets "lest they be missed after staying out too long" ?
So what's in a book? Probably lots of things - though what will serve, inspire... who knows?