Recommended Magic Books for Beginners

Even in the modern age, many magicians still prefer to learn magic tricks from magic books. In fact, some of our best-selling items are books on card tricks and other magic tricks.

Keep reading to learn why magic books are a great option to learn magic tricks (especially over YouTube magic tutorials) and see our list of resources for beginners.

Naypes magic book cover with parlor magic by Roberto Mansilla

Why Learn from Magic Books?

Books are not the only way to learn magic tricks. Magic downloads and video magic tutorials are also very popular among magicians. But, it is also an unfortunate reality that videos often do not have the space to contain the same level of detail included in a magic book.

A good magic book often features much more than just the secrets to magic tricks. There is typically a discussion on the history of a magic trick, specific details on how to execute a particular sleight of hand move, different ways it can be performed and a variety of other subtleties that help you transform a trick into a memorable experience for your audience.

While books will often contain photos or illustrations, there is no video component. As such, you’re also forced to interpret the instructions in your own way. This differs from magic videos where it’s easy to just watch and copy what you see. If every magician performs exactly the same way, the art of magic will never evolve.

Reading a magic book can also be done at your own pace. You can stop or start at any point, easily re-read anything you need or jump around with ease. If you use bookmarks or an annotator pen to take notes or highlight your favorite sections, they’re also super easy to reference whenever you need.

Do Magic Books Reveal Magic Secrets?

One of the biggest myths about magicians is that they don’t share their secrets. If you go to any magic convention, you’ll see tons of magicians gladly sharing magic secrets while they jam with their friends.

You don’t need to travel to a magic convention to learn magic tricks though. Just head to section 793.8 of your library to find beginner magic books. The secrets to famous magic tricks have been revealed there for decades. You just needed to know where to look.

It’s important to note that there is a big difference between magic books and YouTube magic tutorials or other magic exposure videos. Magic books were written to help people become magicians. While, on the other hand, YouTube channels filled with magic tricks revealed videos that expose magic tricks from shows like America’s Got Talent or Penn & Teller: Fool Us do nothing but devalue the art of magic.

Magic exposure videos treat magic tricks like a puzzle that needs to be figured out. They think a magic trick is nothing more than finding the invisible thread under the floating bill or the flash paper used to make the coin appear. This thought process completely disregards all of the other elements that make magic such a unique form of entertainment. As such, this also causes many people to think negatively about magic.

That’s not to say all magic videos are bad. Just like with magic books, videos that are designed to help you learn magic, like our free card magic basics lessons, are fantastic resources for any interested magician.

Back to the books though. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably pretty serious about learning magic tricks and party tricks that you can perform at parties or other gatherings with friends and family.

Here are some of the best magic books for beginners: Magician joshua jay performs a magic trick on the cover of his magic book for beginners

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s more than enough to get you started. Nearly all of these magic books have been read at some point by all types of magicians from amateur magicians to professional stage magicians like David Copperfield and famous street magicians like David Blaine and Dynamo.

At the end of the day, what’s most important is that you find a magic book which is filled with a wide variety of magic tricks. A good magic book for beginners should have a bit of everything from card tricks to coin tricks, mind reading, sleight of hand, rubber band magic, rope magic, money magic, bar bets and even some effects you might be able to use in a virtual magic show over Zoom.

As we mentioned before, the library is a great place to start. Most bookstores will also carry some beginner magic books. However, the best option is definitely to visit a magic shop near you, or even easier, an online magic store like Vanishing Inc. Beyond having magic tricks for sale, a good magic shop also allows you to meet other magicians that can help you on your journey.

What Do You Do Once You’ve Learned Beginner Magic Tricks and Basic Sleight of Hand?

Two women laughing and smiling as magicain Ben Seidman performs The Oracle System mentalist trick for them

Combine a few of these magic books for beginners with some of our other recommended resources for beginners in magic and you’ll have the basics down in no time. From there, you can really do anything. Magic is a great hobby with many mental and physical benefits, and also, potentially, a fun career.

Once they have the card magic basics down, some magicians continue to explore a bit of everything. Others choose to perform magic in a specialty they enjoy most like close-up magic, children’s magic, mentalism, or corporate magic. What’s most important to understand is that magic is a constant learning process. Whether learning a new trick or reading a book on magic theory, there’s always ways to improve.

If you need some inspiration, you can check out our team’s favorite card tricks or our list of the best magic tricks for school, work or hanging out with friends and family. We also have some easy mentalism tricks and easy magic tricks with coins you can do today, or you can amaze your friends with these easy card tricks.

If you’re like us and also love playing cards (we especially like Bicycle Playing Cards and the custom Star Wars Playing Cards), then you’re also going to want to read up on how to do magic tricks with cards. There’s no better way to learn card magic than with Royal Road to Card Magic by Frederick Braue and Jean Hugard or Card College by Roberto Giobbi. These are two of the best books for beginner card magic.

For more suggestions check out the top 10 card tricks sold this year and our list of 5 intermediate and advanced card tricks every magician should learn. If it interests you, you can also read up on the fascinating history of card tricks.