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The Best Books for Beginner Magicians?

Suggestions and recommendations for the best start to learning magic!

I regularly get asked by beginner magicians on what are the best books for magicians when starting to learn magic. Where do you start when there are quite literally thousands of books to choose from. Some say there are more books on the subject of magic written than any other subject. Now I’m not quite sure of the truth behind this but I do honestly believe that it could quite possibly be true that there would be more written on the subject of magic than any other performing art! So it’s easy to see how a beginner could get overwhelmed and confused as to where to start, and also easily get discouraged if buying books that are far to complex for their skill set and level.

The art of magic is so diverse and there is just so many categories of magic to consider, but just like anything when starting out, it’s always good to get a solid foundation of the general principles before deciding to focus on one or two specific niches or genres of magic.

Below is just a small list of some of the categories of magic you could find when looking for a book on the subject so its easy to see why there is just so many out there to choose from.

  • General Magic tricks

  • Impromptu Magic

  • Stage magic

  • illusions

  • Parlour magic

  • Close-up magic

  • Escapology

  • Pickpocket magic

  • Mentalism

  • Hypnosis

  • Séances

  • Children's magic

  • Mathemagic

  • Gospel magic

  • Street magic

  • Bizarre and Shock magic

  • Comedy magic

  • Quick change magic

  • Camera tricks

  • Classic magic

  • Mechanical magic

  • Card Magic and cardology

Although there are loads to choose from, it’s always good to go by suggestions and recommendations when starting out so I have decided to add a list of some of my favourite books I feel would be perfect for the beginner magician...Or in fact anyone interested in the art of magic! These books will become an important part of your magic library.

General and Impromptu Magic

Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic

An extremely popular book in the magic world and one most magicians will be familiar with. Master illusionist Mark Wilson compiled the most comprehensive magic "teach-in" ever assembled. The book reveals the secrets to more than 300 classic tricks-from sleights of hand to levitation which is all clearly and carefully explained in this 500 plus page book.

It's all here: Card Magic, Coin Magic, Rope Magic, Mental Magic, Make-at-Home Magic, Sponge Ball Magic, Billiard Ball Magic, Cups and Balls Magic, and Magical Illusions. Mark Wilson devoted more than two years of research, writing, and technical preparation to this book. More than 50,000 still photographs were taken of the detailed execution of the tricks considered worthy to include in this course, and these photographs were edited and converted into hundreds of simplified line drawings.

Its thoroughness makes Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic especially recommended for the beginner with absolutely no experience in magic. At the same time, its scope and depth has earned this book a place in the libraries of many of today's most accomplished magicians, professional and amateur alike!

The Practical Encyclopedia of Magic by Nicholas Einhorn

Possibly a modern simplified version of the Mark Wilson Course in Magic in colour from a tremendously nice guy (Nicholas Einhorn) in our Magic community too!

This book shows you how to perform amazing close-up tricks, baffling optical illusions and incredible mental magic. It reveals the secrets of over 120 magic tricks, with over 1000 photographs. A wide variety of tricks are covered, including magic with cards, matches, rope, silk, thimbles and money. It also includes an intro section on the all-important illustrated history of magic and magicians, from the origins of the art in Egypt through to the magic of today, featuring magicians such as David Copperfield and David Blaine.

This book reveals the secrets of a wide range of tricks and explains how to achieve a polished performance. It explains how to grip, shuffle and control cards, do tricks with glasses, napkins, cutlery, straws, cups, sugar cubes, matches, string and rope, and how to create the impression of mind-reading and thought transference. Once you have learnt the basic techniques, there are also many tricks to perform with coins and banknotes. With over 120 incredible magic tricks and more than 1000 step-by-step photographs, this book will enable you to amaze all your friends and family.

Magic with Everyday objects by George Shindler

I have to mention this as George is not only a wonderful family friend ours but a extremely talented and entertaining magician too! He always taught me that its all about the entertainment factor, to be nice and they will like you and your magic!

Magic with Everyday Objects is an easy to follow how-to manual for novice magicians or those interested in picking up a few easy tricks to entertain at a moment's notice. Although Old school, the magic and patter are still relevant today and so much fun to perform. If what your after is to learn some fun, easy tricks that you can do any time and anywhere then this book is well worth having for reference in your library.

The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne