One of the questions I do get asked is what are the essential books for a magician or what are my favourite books on magic (not specific to illusions). I think I have too many “favourite” books depending on the specific subject matter but I do think there are a handful of essential books all magicians should read and try to understand.
Books on techniques and effects are aplenty but books that are essential for all magicians in terms of a fundamental thinking in magic are few. And, the great thing is these 5 excellent books are enough to give you material that will require a lifetime to fully understand and master. The amazing thing with these reads is that you will learn something each time you read the book and as your own level of magic progresses.
At first reading, some of the books may seem overly simply, some may seem dry and some may feel over theoretical. But, the information contained within will determine if you will be an average magician or a great one.
While most are written for the close-up magician in mind, the material covers the roots of all performance. Besides, I personally feel one needs to be a close-up worker first before progressing to stage. This progression is also evident when seeing a stage performer in action. If there is a lack of psychology, thinking, motivation and basically a senseless stream of actions, chances are, this stage performer was never a serious close-up magician.
I’m not going to go into detail to why these books are essential or even review them. But, trust me, if you can understand and apply what are written within these pages, you will be a better magician than most.
Here is a short list of must-read books for magicians, in order of importance.
Magic of Ascanio book Vol. 1 “The Structural Conception of Magic”
Five Points in Magic, Juan Tamariz
Strong Magic, Darwin Ortiz
Showmanship for Magicians, Dariel Fitzkee
The Enlightened Magicians, Michael Jeffreys
And for interest, here are the books that are most influential in the development of my close-up show. Occasionally, I perform a 45-minute formal close-up magic show for selective events. While, I have had hundreds of influences from multiple sources, these books formed the foundation of my original routines, approaches and presentations. (In no particular order)
Book of Wonder, Tommy Wonder
Expert Coin Magic, David Roth
Stars Of Magic (Compilation)
Steel & Silver, Paul Gertner
Martin’s Miracles, Eric Lewis
Magic of Gosh, Albert Goshman & Patrick Page
The Annotated Magic of Slydini, Lewis Ganson
The Book of John, John Mendoza (Out of Print – No Image
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