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What are the best magic books for beginners?

This is actually a very hard question to answer because there are all kinds of beginners with all kinds of backgrounds and interests. I will limit myself to the performance of close-up where I gathered my own experience doing magic, and there I will focus on magic with cards, coins, and mentalism. If you want to take a shortcut and not read through the rest of my opinion here are the three best classics which are wonderful and affordable:

CARD MAGIC

If I would…

The Thirty-Nine Steps to Mentalism

This is an excerpt from Bob Cassidy's exceptional Fundamentals ebook. Many consider this ebook the best Bob has ever written. It lists Bob's 39 most important magic books to study to achieve mastery in mentalism. The unique feature of this list is that Bob explains for each title why it is in his list. So here we go ...

The Thirty-Nine Steps - A Mentalist's Library of Essential Works

Recent Thread on an Internet Magicians’ Forum –
Question: “What book or books are essential reading for someone just starting out in magic, particularly mentalism?”

First Answer:Annemann's…

Erdnase Resources

The search for S.W. Erdnase has and is being conducted by a small but very dedicated group of investigators, historians, magicians, and gamblers. I am part of this group of investigators. While we often champion entirely different candidates and disagree on many points there is something to be learned from each point of view. The list below is a chronologically sorted list of books and articles which I consider important reading on the subject:
The Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase (1902)
This book is the primary evidence we have of Erdnase. A close study and multiple readings of the book is, therefore, a necessary requirement to contribute anything meaningful to the search for Erdnase. The writing is very good and several at that time new moves and concepts are taught.
The James McKinney…

Jason England's 17 Card Books to Study

In September 2010 Theory 11 released a short video clip where Jason England introduced 17 books on card magic any serious card magician should read. It was titled "An instructional download on the things you can't download" (my emphasis). Well, I respect the talented guys at Theory 11, but they are a bit behind the curve when it comes to downloads because even back in 2010, 10 of the 17 books were available as download ebooks from Lybrary.com - and most of them for many years. Several more became available in the following years.

I can second Jason England's selection. These are all…

Magic Knowledge Base - Help

Anybody who has a Lybrary.com customer account and subscribes to our magic newsletter has access to our Magic Knowledge Base, a full-text search engine indexing thousands of magic books, magazines, instruction sheets, and other paper ephemera. If you are trying to locate an elusive description of an effect or move, if you are researching magic's history, or if you want to check out an ebook before purchasing, the Magic Knowledge Base will come in handy. It offers features we have not seen in other search engines.

You can access the Magic Knowledge Base from three locations: from the…

Why Lybrary.com? Why Ebooks?

It’s been several years now since Chris Wasshuber and his venture, Lybrary.com, became a part of the landscape of the magic community. To be perfectly frank (and Chris can confirm this), when he and I first started having discussions about ebooks on the various magic message boards I wasn’t just against the concept, I was vehemently against the concept. Not that our arguments were mean spirited (though Chris had - and in fact still has - to put up with some mean spirited comments): they were just spirited. We both argued passionately for our respective sides.

However, I argued as if Chris and his venture were a direct attack on…

Lybrary.com is the world's largest ebook retailer and publisher in magic (magic tricks, sleight-of-hand, mentalism, illusions...), gambling (poker, blackjack...), and games (bridge, chess...). We can offer exclusive contents you will not find anywhere else. Our ebooks and instructional videos will make you a more skilled magician, a better poker player, a more powerful chess and bridge opponent, or simply entertain and inform you.