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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:


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…

The CIA Magician: John Mulholland

It is a misnomer to call John Mulholland (1898 - 1970) a “spy” or “operative.” He was neither for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1953 to 1958. He was a pedantic scholar who did field research and wrote reports. Largely criticized by people who seek to take down his reputation as “The World’s Master Magician” (a title he shared with Thurston). Mulholland was a tall, gangly man with wide ears, a distinct sense of offbeat humor and was married to his wife Pauline for forty years, and was also involved with his secretary Dorothy Wolf longer than the relationship he had with his wife. His wife Pauline accepted this as a condition of their marriage, saying after his death, “Johnny was so much man that he could not be served by one woman—his Renaissance spirit so great.” Mulholland took over the editorship of magic’s MOST esteemed magazine, The Sphinx and…

Edward Gallaway is S. W. Erdnase

To read the full story, the full case of why Edward Gallaway is Erdnase, get my book The Cardsharp and his Book.

I know this will come as a shock to some, particularly those who hold on to the old rumor that it was an Andrews. However, this rumor cannot be substantiated. We have to trace this rumor back from Vernon to Sprong to a Drake son who would have to get it from his father who we don't even know had any direct contact with Erdnase. Yet some believe this like it is an irrefutable fact. It isn't. It simply is a hypothesis and a not particularly good one. If the name Andrews played…

Magic Knowledge Base - Help

Anybody who has a customer account and subscribes to our free 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…

Why Why Ebooks?

It’s been several years now since Chris Wasshuber and his venture,, 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… 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.