I love nothing more than reading a magic book. I've always thought that Magic books have so much more value than magic DVDs. Obviously this is personal preference and a bold statement. But I stand by it and have often gotten into deep discussions with other magicians, arguing the pros and cons of Magic books when learning new magic tricks.
Let me explain my reasons. Of course, you may well disagree, but if anything, my views may at least make you think about the values of a magic book from a different angle.
In this modern age of DVD, YouTube, Instant Downloads, and streaming videos it is easier and quicker than ever before to learn magic. We now live in an instant world where all the information we hunger is readily available. This clearly has it's positives, but it also has it's negatives. Because we can obtain this information so easily, it's true worth can be underestimated which in turn classes the information as easily discarded. Anything that is easily discarded has less worth. That brings us to a much slower way to learn magic: The magic book.
Magic books require time, and also reading a good magic book stimulates imagination. To read a magic book you need to be away from any distractions or interruptions. Within magic books are magic secrets. By that I mean magic tricks and routines that have been lost in time and lost in print. Are these points positives or negatives? I argue they are all positives.
Firstly, when you invest time in your magic book it gives you it's value. If something is instant, it's value may be less. Secondly, when you read your magic book works with your imagination to automatically create an image, therefore, when reading magic books in your mind you see yourself in the role of the magician. This helps build creativity and patter on so many levels.
Thirdly, if watching a DVD you can still be interrupted. People will sometimes ask you to do things. Essentially, if you are sat in front of TV, it is assumed you are relaxing and open to interruptions and conversation. When reading a magic book it will send out the signal do not disturb (in a nice way of course). Also, when reading magic books you can put music on quietly in the background, which has been proven to enhance learning.
Finally, there is the `hidden gem` magic tricks you will discover. To find gold you have to dig. Magic books are designed this way, and nothing compares to finding a trick that you immediately love. Its like flicking through CD's in a huge music store and finding an old favorite. There is an old saying in magic:
Put all these elements together and you have an excellent learning structure the magic book, plus when you learn particular magic tricks or routines you will have learn`t it with yourself in mind. This for me is the biggest advantage. When watching a DVD you are watching another person's perspective on how to perform magic tricks, and subconsciously you will be learning the performers mannerisms. I have no desire to be a mimic. The magic should be about the magician as a performer, not the magic tricks. Magic books give you the option to be yourself.
Don't get me wrong, DVDs and visual learning has it's place, and everyone learns their magic tricks in different ways. These are purely my views and preferences. Obviously to explain a technical move or sleight in writing is restricted, and to see it taught makes the learning process quicker, but who is to say that the performer you are watching is performing the move exactly as it was intended? I hope my thoughts at least throw a new perspective on magic books and the benefits of reading and the learning process.
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