Mar 23, 2011

Happy 137th Birthday Houdini

I came across today's Google doodle and I was surprised that it commemorated the birthday of one of the most famous and successful escape artist of his time, Harry Houdini.

Mar 22, 2011

What I want in a magic book

As you may know, I learned magic from books and I have a lot of books and e-books on magic. Unfortunately, I don't find all the material that's in there useful. There are just a lot of bad tricks in there that are not really performable in shows.

There are a lot of bad magic books out there. Some have bad photos, bad instructions and the worst is a lot has bad tricks in them. With a lot of bad things in a lot of magic books, I really can't blame those who prefer to learn from videos.

The solution I could see is to include the following things in the description of a book.

1. List of tricks with descriptions.

This may not be applicable to beginner's magic books but for intermediate or advance books (especially e-books) this would really be helpful. I have books that contain over 50 tricks that are most of the time essentially the same. I think having descriptions would help us to know if your book is really worth buying.

2. Simpler instructions

Okay here is something that not all may not agree with me. I have to say that most e-books have instructions that contain a lot of jargon. Well they expect you to know how a sleight for a trick is done however they don't even care to explain how it is done. Even worse is that they keep on using acronyms or abbreviations for a sleight mentioned at a beginning of the trick. Example of this is something like "DL top two cards then do the DS then cull the rest..." I wish they include even a simple explanation or method for any necessary sleight for the tricks.

3. Clearer pictures

Here is a problem with a lot of books. Either they have bad drawings or really blurry pictures. I really have to say that I hate e-books with bad photos that you can't even understand if a picture is explaining something necessary. Also something related with this is that if a photo is placed beside a text only to see that the photo is for an instruction for another page. I think that if you can't place a good photo, don't place it at all.

I just have to say that these are the things that I wish I could see in magic books. In this way I could really appreciate not only the tricks in it but also the magician who took the time to write a book.

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