The Forgotten Art Of Re-Reading

By Joshua Jay - Sunday, December 20, 2020

The pandemic has been a humbling experience for all of us, but one happy byproduct of being taken off the road for an extended period is this: I’ve rediscovered my favorite magic books.

For my duties at Vanishing Inc. I’m required to read nearly everything that comes across my desk (so we know what to stock and what to recommend). Plus, there are always such an influx of magic books coming out that my “to read” pile seems never-ending. I so rarely go back to my favorite books and re-read them. But during the pandemic, I have had the time to revisit some favorites.

And so I present to you a list of books I’m rereading, which are fabulous:

Pure Effect by Derren Brown. Sadly not available anymore, this book is staggeringly good, and holds up so well. Derren wrote it long before he became a household name in mentalism, but it’s clear from his writing that he was someone who thought intensely about his craft. It’s a plea for magicians to add a feeling of magic and realism back into their work, and was a welcome reminder for me.

The Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder and Stephen Minch. Quite simply my favorite magic books. I am convinced everyone who reads these books will be better for it.

Caveney’s Wonders by Mike Caveney. I read this beautiful book when it came out a few years ago, and I was stunned at how Mike encapsulated his entire life’s work between two covers. There are so many great lessons here, but I hadn’t had a chance to revisit the book until now.

Theatre of the Mind by Barrie Richardson. This book caused a sensation when it came out, and I believe is partly responsible for the new renaissance in mentalism. I hadn’t re-read this book in years, and I was struck by its potency. Richardson had amassed a body of material through constant performances in banquet environments, and it’s all here, with the lovely little details one only gains through experience. A joy from cover to cover.

Reader comments:


Tuesday, 22 December 2020 16:55 PM - Reply to this comment

All great books - great advice to revisit. Have a great New Year, guys.


Wednesday, 23 December 2020 19:37 PM - Reply to this comment

2 days before this came out I started rereading the Books of Wonder!

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