Starting with magic can get overwhelming. There are thousands of magic tricks everyone would like to learn. But where to start? As discussed in our previous post, we are strong advocates of magic books. So, over the following paragraphs, we will give you tips on great beginner books for different types of magic.
When You’re Finding Your Niche
You came into magic and want to learn a trick or two, but you’re not sure if you’d like to go for cards, coins, or something else. Karl Fulves’ Self-Working book series covers numerous genres of magic.
The Self-Working book series is an excellent choice for beginners or anyone looking to broaden their repertoire with easy tricks. Self-working tricks require minimum to zero sleight of hand, making them easy and quick to learn. You can focus on the performance thanks to the simple methods.
I Want To Be The Card Master
Many of us have seen movies like The Sting and Maverick, where the main character can perform incredible things with a deck of cards. Who would not want to be able to do that?
As with everything, we have to start at the beginning and build a great foundation. One of the absolute best books for that is The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue.
This fantastic course will take you from the basics (correct grip, overhand shuffle, etc.) to the more advanced techniques (Double Lift, The Pass, Top Change, various palming techniques, etc.). Every technique is followed by a chapter with multiple effects using the said technique. This lets you immediately learn how to apply the techniques in practice.
Another excellent source for beginners is the Card College series by Roberto Giobbi. Roberto is one of today’s best authors and teachers, and Card College is considered his best work.
The first two volumes of Card College were written at the same time, and they are intended to give you the best start in card magic possible. It could be presented as a modern and extended The Royal Road to Card Magic. Roberto explains everything in great detail, accompanying all explanations with multiple illustrations.
I Want To Read People’s Minds
As one wise man said, mind reading is bul****t. Well, it was Ondřej in his second Fool Us performance. And he’s not wrong.
The real ability to read people’s minds does not exist. It is only through devious techniques and with the help of ingenious tools that magicians and mentalists can make it feel real.
Mentalism is often perceived as easy due to a lack of sleight of hand involved. “Mentalism is easy to do… badly.” - Max Maven.
The difficulty of mentalism lies in the performance side. What do you have to master to become a great mentalist? You have to write a captivating script, understand stage movement and the importance of language, create a unique atmosphere, and work with your own and your spectators’ body language.
The fundamental book of mentalism is 13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda. Each of the thirteen chapters covers one essential principle or gimmick. You will learn how to use the Swami gimmick (nail writer), perform tricks with billets, and get information from somebody’s actions and body language (lip and muscle reading).
In our opinion, the most important of all the thirteen steps is the last one, Patter and Presentation. Tony Corinda covers everything from the performer’s appearance, speech, patter, and timing to selecting good effects for your shows.
Another fantastic book is Practical Mental Magic by Theodore Annemann. It is full of effects and routines. It includes book tests, Annemann’s signature Pseudo-Psychometry routine, mentalism with money and playing cards, and effects with billets and the Swami gimmick.
I Want To Make Money Appear
Coin magic is often regarded as one of the most challenging branches of magic. Being able to manipulate coins flawlessly takes a lot of practice. It is more important than in any other genre of magic to build a great foundation and learn from a reliable source.
There is one book considered as the Bible of coin magic. It is Modern Coin Magic by J. B. Bobo. It was first published in 1952 and is still recommended as everyone’s stepping stone into the world of coin magic.
The book explains dozens of sleight-of-hand techniques, including various palms, switches, and vanishes. It teaches numerous tricks and even full-length routines. More experienced magicians will enjoy chapters devoted to magic with coin gimmicks (shells or double-faced coins for the classic Copper and Silver effect). J. B. Bobo even covered the work with the most used coin boxes - Okito and Boston.
We hope you now have a better idea of where to start. If you are not sure which book to choose, feel free to send us an e-mail. We’ll be happy to help you find your first book and get you started on your magical journey.