Best Magic Books for Beginners

Even in our digital-first world, many professional magicians still say that the best way to learn easy magic tricks like (easy close up magic)[/easy-magic-tricks/close-up-magic/], easy mentalism and easy card tricks is from magic books. So, we’re here to help you find the best magic books for beginners.

women magicians learn magic tricks

Why You Should Learn Magic Tricks from Books

  1. Many Books Are Free: Some of the best magic books for beginners can often be found for free at your local library. This includes pretty much all the books featured below. (Books about magic are located in section 793.8 of the library.)

  2. Way Better Quality Than YouTube: YouTube magic tricks revealed channels are often run by amateur magicians that have barely practiced the thing they’re teaching. With books, you’re learning from a professional magician that has mastered the sleight of hand moves or magic tricks. This helps you establish a much stronger foundation that will serve you for years to come.

  3. Easier to Learn From: If you tend to prefer videos because you’re a “visual learner”, you might be surprised to hear that many magicians feel the detailed descriptions and photos from different angles in books often makes it easier to understand the most important details.

  4. Get More for your Money: Books are a much better value than most magic videos. While videos will often cover one trick and a few variations, books will generally feature a wide variety of tricks, routines and sleight of hand moves for you to explore. (That’s not to say we totally hate videos though. We actually have a free one available for you as a special bonus at the bottom of this article.)

  5. Learn the Best Magic Tricks: Beginner magicians that overlook books will often find themselves performing the same boring tricks that every other amateur magician learns online. What they don’t realize is that some of the best magic tricks in the world are often hidden away in books.

The secrets won’t be hidden from you any longer though. If you’ve read this far, congrats, you’re about to learn how to find the secrets to the best magic tricks you can learn today. Continuing our series dedicated to helping beginners get started in magic, our team of professional magicians has created a list of recommended magic books for beginners.

Best Magic Books for Beginners

1. MAGIC: The Complete Course by Joshua Jay

best magic book for beginners

Featuring a wide variety of amazing magic tricks for kids and adults, MAGIC: The Complete Course by Joshua Jay is often considered one of the best books for beginners in magic. It has helped countless magicians around the world not only learn magic, but fall in love with the art.

With this book, Joshua Jay set out to create the magic book he wished he had when learning magic as a kid. It is filled with crystal clear instructions and photos for easy magic tricks that you won’t often find in other beginner magic books. These are professional magic tricks that you can learn in minutes, and will perform for a lifetime. They are the secrets that professional magicians kept locked away for decades (or even centuries).

Joshua Jay also has some other books for beginner magicians worth strong consideration. The Amazing Book of Cards is great for those who specifically want to learn card magic tricks and Big Magic for Little Hands is sleight of hand magic designed specifically for younger magicians with smaller hands.

Buy MAGIC: The Complete Course

2. Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson

recommended book for beginners in magic

Every magician has to start somewhere. Even Las Vegas Magician David Copperfield, America’s Got Talent Winner Shin Lim and other famous magicians like David Blaine, Dynamo and Michael Carbonaro. For countless magicians, Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic is where they started their magic journey.

This beloved book is everything a beginner magic book should be. It covers a wide range of subjects from close up magic to stage magic and even large stage illusions. You can often find it for free in a library. However, it’s also very affordable and worth the investment to have as a resource. Many professional magicians will still go back and reference it from time to time when looking for inspiration. In fact, many even used it to find old classics of magic to repurpose for virtual magic shows over Zoom.

Buy Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic

3. The Amateur Magicians Handbook by Henry Hay

books every beginner magician should read

Now is a good time to remind you that magic tricks are not just for kids. Many of the reasons why kids should learn magic tricks also apply to adults. Knowing a few easy magic tricks is one of the easiest ways to amaze friends and family and be the life of the party. And you’re never too old to start learning magic tricks for adults.

The reason we mention this is because the The Amateur Magicians Handbook by Henry Hay is a top recommended resource for beginners in magic. It offers great magic fundamentals for all types of magic and is beloved by professional magicians. But, it’s also very text-heavy without many illustrations. So, while it’s great for adults, it’s not the best book for kids learning magic tricks.

Buy The Amateur Magicians Handbook

4.The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Street Magic by Tom Ogden

how to learn street magic for free

This incredible beginner book by magician Tom Ogden is a great introduction to the street magic popularized by David Blaine. These are mind-blowing magic tricks and awe-inspiring illusions that can be performed in any situation. It has clear instructions and illustrations, and is written in a way that makes it an easy read.

While The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Street Magic has a ton of great beginner magic tricks, it also focuses on other aspects of the art of magic. This includes the history of magic tricks and other essential performance elements. Everything from how to create a character, what you should wear, how to pick the right volunteers and even handle tough hecklers.

Buy The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Magic Tricks

5. Magic for Dummies by David Pogue

best way to learn easy magic tricks for free

Offering a more general overview of beginner magic tricks than it’s “idiots” counterpart, Magic for Dummies by David Pogue is also a great magic book for beginners. It is written in the same easy to learn from style as the Tom Ogden book above.

Featuring contributions from famous magicians Jeff McBride, Johnny Thompson, Gregory Wilson, Billy McComb, and others, this book offers a variety of easy magic tricks that generally require no sleight of hand. Each one can be learned in just a few minutes. You’ll be performing miracles with objects around your home and office from playing cards to coins, ropes, food, matches and more.

Buy Magic for Dummies

Choosing the Right Magic Book for Beginners

While this is a great starting list, these definitely are not the only magic books available to beginners.

girl performing magic trick

What’s most important is that you find a book that inspires you and helps you identify what type of magic you like most. A good magic book for beginners will often offer a full range of tricks from close up magic to stage and parlor magic.

There should be a little bit of everything from easy card magic tricks you can do today to easy coin magic tricks, money magic, rope magic, and even how to read minds or win free drinks with bar bets. Once you have an idea of the magic you enjoy, you can then check out some more focused beginner magic books.

Perhaps you don’t really want to spend a long time learning sleight of hand. Karl Fulves has created an incredible series of of “self-working” tricks. Essentially, as long as you follow the instructions as you go along, the trick will work by itself. Check out Self Working Card Tricks, Self Working Mental Magic and Self Working Rope Magic.

Or maybe you really want to focus on how to learn easy card tricks. Two of the best ways to learn easy card magic are Royal Road to Card Magic by Frederick Braue and Jean Hugard, and Card College by Roberto Giobbi.

RELATED: 10 Books Every Magician Should Read

As we noted before, the library is a great place to try to find most of these books. If they don’t have them, don’t worry. They’re available at most bookstores and magic shops. You can always search for magic trick stores near you or, even better, visit our online magic store.

Vanishing Inc. is the world’s largest magic store. We not only have the biggest selection of magic tricks for sale, but also a full team of professional magicians ready to help you with any questions you have.