My Top 5 Magic Books For the Beginner Magician

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Posted on 7th Mar 2016 15:57:33

As it was just world book last week I’ve decided to belatedly jump on to the book list band wagon and list a few magic books that I feel are important or even essential reading to anyone wanting to start out in the crazy world that is magic.

Often at gigs/in the pub/most places to be honest I get asked how I first got into magic and how I go about learning new tricks. Well in a part answer to one of those questions, I learn many of my tricks from reading books aimed at magicians that teach the mechanics and often presentations.  The books though I will list could be said to be aimed more at the layman (that’s non magician to you and me) as they start right at the basics. They are regarded as classics in the magical literature world and countless generations of magicians have studied them and even keep them close on hand as they suddenly find something inside that they still wish to use.  Of course nowadays there are literally hundreds of magic DVDs, videos and tricks etc to buy but I will concentrate on just the books. In no particular order here are the books that I first started reading. Some of these are quite old now but the information in them is still great...


Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic – Mark Wilson
This is a monster book that is quite regarded as a classic, having still been in print since 1975. Mark Wilson is a name that is synonymous with magic books. Born in 1929, he is regarded as one of the first, if not the first TV magician starting in 1955! This book teaches everything from card tricks, rope magic, and theory to even building basic illusions. This is a magicians bible.

Mark Wilson's Compete Course In Magic 

The Royal Road to Card Magic – Frederick Braue & Jean Hugard

Another classic book from way back… First published in 1949 by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue, this book concentrates on, as the tile gives away, card magic. Step by step from basics such as shuffling the deck to a large collection of simple card tricks.

Royal Road To Card Magic 

Card College Collection – Roberto Giobbi

Like the last book this series concentrates on cards. This is a newer book and could maybe be seen as the successor to the Royal Road.  Split over 5 volumes, this huge course takes you from total beginner to expert!

Card College - Roberto Giobbi


 Modern Coin Magic – J.B Bobo

A step away from cards now with a book about coin magic… If I do end up teaching a trick to someone who asks for something quick then a coin vanish is one of the first things I show them. Just think how many people have a coin on them at any time of the day?  Coin magic I find is particular tricky beast to master so takes a fair amount of time and dedication. With this book though you have everything you need. I myself prefer to use American half dollar coins or old English pennies to do their size and thus visual impact.

Bobo Coin Magic

 Self-Working Series - Karl Fulves

Karl Fulves released many books on self-working magic, this is magic that does not require much technical skill and could probably be learnt fairly rapidly, maybe by using mathmatical principals. Now this is great for these who just want to learn a quick novel trick to show (or annoy??) the family/boss/pet dog. Books in his collection include book on table magic, paper, cards, numbers and mental magic

Karl Fulves - Self Working Magic


Ok so this list is not exhaustive but they are some good books that will help see what kind of world I live in and help gain an interest in magic as a hobby. The problem these days is many new magicians use DVDs mainly, missing out on a lot of printed material (Wow I sound old!). Maybe another time I will tell you all how I first got into magic myself. 

On Saturday the 12th of March I will be performing close up at Cabaret without Borders, a charity event I perform at every year raising money for MSF (Doctors without Borders. This will be a great night. There maybe tickets left.. More details at their facebook page. Straight after this a drive to Manchester airport and the onto Barcelona and Valencia!! Woop