Best Books About Magic: Top Titles for Enchanting Reads

The world of magic has captivated the minds and hearts of readers for generations. With numerous books available, picking the best ones can be a daunting task. In this article, we will explore some of the most highly recommended books about magic, featuring a mix of classics and modern masterpieces that delve into diverse systems, techniques, and experiences of magical practitioners.

From historical works to fiction and everything in between, these books offer unique perspectives for readers seeking insights into the mysterious realms of magical practice. Whether you’re a seasoned magician looking to deepen your knowledge or a beginner discovering this fascinating world for the first time, these selections will surely engage, inspire, and enchant.

As we dive into the enchanting world of magic books, remember that each title offers a distinct approach and perspective, reflecting the diversity and complexity of magical traditions. With that in mind, let’s embark on this spellbinding journey and discover some of the best books about magic that await readers like you.

The History of Magic Books

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Throughout history, magic books have played a significant role in the development and understanding of magical practices, rituals, and beliefs. These books, often referred to as grimoires, contain various spells, rituals, and magical techniques meant to help individuals harness their own inherent powers and abilities.

One of the earliest records of magical texts can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who used papyrus scrolls for writing down spells and magical rituals. Similar records have been found in ancient Greece and Rome, where texts such as the Greek Magical Papyri contained a wide range of spells, hymns, and rituals.

During the Middle Ages, the popularity of grimoires grew, particularly in Europe. Books like “The Lesser Key of Solomon,” “The Book of Abramelin,” and “The Picatrix” were considered highly valuable and coveted resources for magical practitioners. These books often focused on ceremonial magic, invocation of spirits, and talismanic practices.

In more recent times, magic books have continued to evolve, covering a diverse range of topics and magical traditions. For example, the 20th-century magician Mark Wilson authored a series of books on magic that emphasized stage performance, illusions, and sleight-of-hand techniques.

Modern magic books also encompass a wide array of subjects, from alchemy and witchcraft to various cultural, historical, and theoretical perspectives on magical practice. Owen Davies, a professor of social history, has contributed to the field of magic history with his book “Grimoires: A History of Magic Books“. In this work, Davies traces the development of magic books over time, examining the cultural, social, and historical factors that influenced their creation.

In conclusion, the history of magic books is a rich and fascinating field, reflecting the evolution of human understanding and practice of magic throughout the ages. From ancient papyrus scrolls to modern scholarly texts, these books continue to serve as important resources for anyone interested in the study and practice of magic.

Types of Magic

Close-Up Magic

Close-up magic is a type of performance art that is delivered to a small audience in an intimate setting. This type of magic often involves sleight of hand and manipulations with everyday objects such as playing cards, coins, and even cell phones. One popular form of close-up magic is card magic, which involves performing tricks and illusions using a deck of playing cards. Notable books that teach card magic techniques include “The Royal Road to Card Magic” and the works of Juan Tamariz.


Mentalism is a specialized branch of magic that focuses on creating the illusion of mind reading, telepathy, and other psychic abilities. Mentalists often combine elements of psychology, suggestion, and performance art to create astonishing feats of mental dexterity. Performers in this genre are known to predict future events, influence decisions, and reveal deeply held secrets. Mentalism is a fascinating field of study for aspiring magicians looking to add a unique twist to their performances.

Parlor and Street Magic

Parlor and street magic are forms of magical entertainment that are performed in larger venues or open spaces, often in front of crowds of people. Parlor magic can include anything from levitations to large-scale illusions, while street magic is usually more impromptu, with performers taking advantage of their surroundings to captivate passersby. Some famous parlor and street magicians include Juan Tamariz and David Blaine. These forms of magic require a strong stage presence and the ability to engage with diverse audiences.

Coin and Money Magic

Coin and money magic are specialized forms of close-up magic that involve manipulating coins, bills, and other forms of currency to create visual illusions or unexpected payoffs. Techniques in this realm often include palming, vanishing, and producing coins or bills seemingly out of thin air. One classic book on this subject is “Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo, which covers a wide range of coin tricks and sleights.

Rope Magic

Rope magic encompasses a variety of tricks and illusions that involve the use of rope, string, or cord. Performers in this genre might cut and restore ropes, tie impossible knots, or make objects appear and disappear using the medium of rope. Rope magic is an accessible form of magic for beginners, as it typically requires minimal props and can be performed impromptu. Additionally, learning the basics of rope magic can provide a foundation for exploring other forms of magical performance.

Learning Magic Tricks

When it comes to learning magic tricks, having the right resources is essential. A well-written book with clear explanations and illustrations can greatly enhance your understanding of various tricks and techniques. In this section, we’ll explore some of the best books for those looking to learn magic tricks, from beginners to more advanced magicians.

Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic

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Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic” is a comprehensive guide for beginners that covers everything from card tricks to illusions. This book is perfect for those who want to learn the basics of magic and start performing tricks right away. The detailed explanations and step-by-step illustrations make it easy for anyone to follow and understand the concepts.

The Royal Road to Card Magic

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For those interested in card magic, “The Royal Road to Card Magic” is an excellent choice. This book teaches the fundamental techniques and skills required to perform impressive card tricks. Readers will build their understanding and proficiency through well-structured lessons and practice routines.

13 Steps to Mentalism

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If mentalism is your area of interest, “13 Steps to Mentalism” is a must-read. This book delves into various aspects of mentalism and provides readers with the necessary knowledge to perform mind-reading and other psychic tricks. The easy-to-understand instructions and practical examples make it an outstanding resource for learning mentalism.

Some noteworthy books for learning magic tricks include:

When choosing a book, it’s important to consider your skill level and the areas of magic you’re most interested in. Remember that practice is key to mastering any magic trick, and having several quality resources at your disposal can make your learning journey more enjoyable and productive.

Influential Magic Works

The Books of Wonder

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The Books of Wonder” by Tommy Wonder is an acclaimed two-volume collection of the legendary magician’s finest work. Known for his creativity, innovation, and skills, Tommy Wonder shares his techniques, philosophy, and performance insights throughout these pages. Students of magic can expect to delve deep into not just magic tricks but also the theory behind the art. As a comprehensive resource, it caters to both beginner and advanced magicians.

Card College

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Card College” by Roberto Giobbi is a celebrated series of books focused on card magic. Spanning five volumes, it covers a wide range of techniques, tricks, and theory behind expert card manipulation. Geared towards newcomers and experienced magicians alike, Card College provides clear instructions, thorough explanations, and helpful illustrations. Roberto Giobbi builds on the foundation laid by greats like Frederick Braue and Jean Hugard, creating a modern, accessible, and extensive card magic resource.

Other Notable Works

Aside from “The Books of Wonder” and “Card College,” there are other influential magic books that contribute to a magician’s library:

  • New Modern Coin Magic” by J.B. Bobo: Known as a classic work on coin magic, this book covers various techniques, routines, and principles for beginner to advanced students.
  • “13 Steps to Mentalism” by Tony Corinda: As a comprehensive guide to mentalism tricks, it tackles topics such as telepathy, prediction, memory techniques, and mind control.
  • Expert at the Card Table” by S.W. Erdnase: A foundational resource on card manipulation and cheating techniques, this book has been a must-read for seasoned card magicians for over a century.

A magician’s library can also include digital resources like magic downloads and audiobooks, offering greater flexibility in accessing the world of magic. Regularly studying and adding to one’s library not only increases knowledge but also strengthens understanding of magic theory and performance.

Noteworthy Magicians

A discussion about magic isn’t complete without mentioning some of the key figures who have not only mastered the craft but also contributed immensely to its growth. Here are a few such noteworthy magicians:

David Pogue

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David Pogue is a knowledgeable magician and author who has an exceptional talent for explaining complex concepts clearly. He has numerous contributions to the world of magic, including many instructional DVDs, and shares his knowledge and insights in informative ways. With his neutral and confident approach, David Pogue has gained the respect of many fellow magicians for his dedication and skill.

David Blaine

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David Blaine is considered one of the most influential magicians in modern times. Known for his unique and groundbreaking street magic, Blaine has achieved significant recognition and fame for his stunning performances. His magic, confidently delivered by blending mind-bending tricks with a clear and neutral tone, leaves the audience speechless. David Blaine keeps redefining the standards of what a magician should be capable of achieving.

Darwin Ortiz

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Darwin Ortiz is an exceptional card magician, gambling expert, and author. His focus on the deceptive and psychological aspects of magic has made him a highly knowledgeable and respected figure in the industry. Ortiz’s attention to detail and the clarity of his presentation has led many people to aspire to follow in his footsteps.

Ken Weber

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Ken Weber is a distinguished magician who has also gained significant recognition for his expertise as a magic consultant and author. With his confident, knowledgeable, and clear approach, Weber has helped numerous magicians improve their acts and connect with their audience. His contributions to magic are valued by many and continue to shape the future of performance magic.

Henry Hay

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Henry Hay made lasting contributions to the world of magic through his efforts to compile and preserve magical knowledge in his well-regarded books. Hay’s work ensures that the art of magic remains accessible and well-documented for future generations of magicians to learn and embrace.

Tom Ogden

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Tom Ogden stands out as a talented and versatile magician with a deep understanding of stage magic, close-up magic, and mentalism. His impressive career has seen him perform at prestigious events and share his expertise as an author and magic historian. Ogden’s passion for the craft is evident in the clarity of his performances and writing.

In conclusion, these six noteworthy magicians – David Pogue, David Blaine, Darwin Ortiz, Ken Weber, Henry Hay, and Tom Ogden – have made significant contributions to the art and evolution of magic. Their commitment to perfection and their expertise in their respective fields have inspired countless aspiring magicians around the world.

The Art of Magic

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The art of magic has captivated audiences for centuries, providing both entertainment and a sense of wonder. A good magician can capture the imagination, inspire others, and keep secrets that make their tricks truly magical.

In order to develop their skills, magicians often attend magic conventions, where they can learn from experts, share their knowledge, and network with fellow enthusiasts. One well-known magic shop and publisher in the community is Vanishing Inc. They offer a wide range of resources for magicians including books, videos, and props, ensuring they have the latest tools and techniques at their disposal.

For those looking to dive into the world of magic, a great starting point is to explore the vast literature available. From classic texts to modern books, there is a wealth of knowledge waiting to be discovered. Some popular titles include:

Each of these books provides unique insights into different aspects of magic, from card tricks and mentalism to stage illusions and the business of being a professional magician.

The process of learning magic can often be challenging, requiring a commitment to practice and an understanding of different concepts such as pacing and audience engagement. One vital aspect of a magician’s success is their ability to keep the secrets of their tricks while still creating an engaging and entertaining performance. This balance between revealing and concealing is essential to the practice of magic.

In conclusion, whether one is a hobbyist or a professional magician, investing time in studying the art will lead to mastery and the delight of audiences everywhere. The world of magic holds many secrets, and discovering them is just the beginning of a magical journey.

Magic in Fictional Literature

Magic has been a significant element in fictional literature for centuries, often playing a central role in fantasy stories. Its presence in these narratives gives them a unique charm, allowing for imaginative and sometimes unexpected occurrences. Readers are drawn to these tales not only for the element of wonder but also for the depth and complexity of the characters involved, as well as the blending of romance and magical intrigue.

Harry Potter Series

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One notable example of magic in literature is the renowned Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The wizarding world created in these books captures the essence of magic on many levels, from the enchanted objects to the various spells and potions that drive the story forward. Many young readers developed their love for the fantasy genre through this iconic series.

Mistborn Series

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In recent years, other popular fantasy books featuring magic have gained recognition. “The Final Empire” from the “Mistborn” series by Brandon Sanderson is one such example. It tells the story of an oppressive empire surrounded by ash-ridden skies and an intricate magic system called Allomancy, which revolves around the manipulation of metals.

Other Magical Novels

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Additionally, novels like “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo and “Girls of Paper and Fire” by Natasha Ngan further exemplify magic in literature. These works feature well-developed worlds, magical abilities, and gripping storytelling that often include themes of romance, adding another layer of excitement and emotion for readers.

Sometimes, magical elements are entwined with folklore and cultural heritage in fantasy literature. For instance, “Six Crimson Cranes” by Elizabeth Lim brings to life a captivating tale inspired by East Asian mythology, where a young princess embarks on a quest to break her siblings’ curse.

In conclusion, magic continues to be a prominent component in fictional literature, particularly in fantasy. It enchants and captivates readers, opening the door to limitless possibilities and allowing them to explore otherworldly realms.

Occult Magic

Occult magic encompasses various practices and belief systems that involve the use of spells, rituals, and magick to influence the physical world and achieve desired outcomes. In this section, we will discuss some of the best books on occult magic to help readers build a comprehensive library on the subject.

The Book of the Law

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The Book of the Law” by Aleister Crowley is considered a classic in occult literature. This enigmatic text is the foundational scripture for Thelema, a religious and philosophical movement that emerged in the early 20th century. Crowley’s work explores the central tenets of Thelema and offers insights into the practice of magick.

A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult

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A History of Magic, Witchcraft, and the Occult” by DK is an extensive guide to the evolution of magical practices throughout human history. This highly illustrated tome not only covers various magical traditions but also traces the origins of spells, rituals, and magick systems. It is an excellent resource for both beginners and advanced students of the occult.

Other Notable Books on Witchcraft

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In the realm of traditional witchcraft, “The Crooked Path: An Introduction to Traditional Witchcraft” by Kelden and “Traditional Witchcraft: A Cornish Book of Ways” by Gemma Gary are recommended for those seeking to delve into the practices and principles of this specific path around spells and rituals.

For those interested in exploring advanced levels of traditional witchcraft, the works of Andrew D. Chumbley and the Cultus Sabbati are essential reads.

Furthermore, “The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts” is an influential work on ceremonial magick and demonology. It reflects the historical fascination with dark forces and offers insights into the practices that sought to harness their power.

Lastly, “Wicca Book of Spells” by Lisa Chamberlain is an excellent grimoire for those venturing into the world of Wicca, a modern form of Paganism. This best-selling book provides a solid introduction to the practice of magick, including spells and charms, creating talismans, and summoning spirits.

In conclusion, building a well-rounded occult library involves collecting works that cover various magical traditions, practices, and historical perspectives. The books mentioned in this section offer a strong foundation for those interested in exploring the world of occult magic, spells, rituals, and magick.

Photo and Illustration in Magic Books

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Magic books often utilize photos and illustrations to effectively convey the techniques and concepts they discuss. High-quality images can significantly improve a reader’s understanding of the material, providing visual guidance and support as they learn new tricks and techniques.

One notable example of this is Joshua Jay’s work, a renowned magician and magic book author. Jay’s books often feature clear and detailed photographs that showcase the essential steps and nuances in executing a particular magic trick. By using such visual aids in conjunction with written instructions, readers are better equipped to grasp and master the concepts presented.

In addition to photographs, illustrations also play a vital role in magic literature. These artistic renderings can be particularly helpful when depicting abstract concepts or providing a more stylized and creative portrayal of a trick. For instance, hand-drawn illustrations can emphasize specific finger positions or angles within a given routine that may not be readily apparent in photographs.

Moreover, illustrations can capture the essence and mood of a magic performance, inspiring readers and fostering a sense of wonder and curiosity about the art. This combination of visual elements not only educates, but also entertains readers and keeps them engaged in the learning process.

In conclusion, the interplay between photos and illustrations establishes a comprehensive and accessible learning experience for magic enthusiasts. By offering both practical and aesthetic value to readers, magic books, including those by Joshua Jay, effectively combine visual elements to enhance and enrich the learning experience.

Betting Tricks and Bar Games

Bar bets and games have long been a popular form of entertainment in social settings. These challenges often involve performing seemingly impossible feats with everyday objects or deceiving one’s companions through clever tricks. To master these skills, there are a few books that provide an excellent starting point.

101 Bets You Will Always Win

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101 Bets You Will Always Win” by Richard Wiseman is derived from Wiseman’s popular YouTube channel, Quirkology, this book offers an engaging introduction to bar bets and games. Readers can expect to find a range of fun challenges, perfect for entertaining friends and capturing the interest of spectators.

100 Ways To Win a Tenner

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Another recommended book on the subject is “100 Ways To Win a Tenner” by Paul Zenon. Although some readers may find the explanations a bit wordy, they can still enjoy the decent selection of betchas included in the book. These entertaining bets can add a unique twist to any social gathering.

Confident Deceptions

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For those who want to combine bar bets and magic, a perfect option is “Confident Deceptions” by Jason Ladanye. As a student of the renowned magician Darwin Ortiz, Ladanye demonstrates his refined skills in both magic and gambling routines. The book showcases his unique talent for achieving maximum impact through his performances.

These titles offer readers a wealth of information on mastering betting tricks and entertaining bar games. Whether it’s fooling friends, winning bets, or just having fun, these books serve as valuable resources for anyone looking to improve their skills and knowledge in this fascinating area of entertainment.