Some advice for a beginner?

Oct 19, 2023
tl;dr - I got some magic books, is it better to do one book at a time or is it okay to read multiple books and learn coin and card magic at the same time?

Hi everyone!
I've just started to get back into magic a bit over two months ago. I used to do A LOT when I was younger, mostly card tricks in my twenties, nothing really fancy, but a good little routine that would entertain people at parties. Anyway, recently my kids have gotten to the age now that magic is really cool to them, So I decided to do a few coin tricks and couple of card tricks. They were blown away and now constantly demand that I pull more money out of their ears, so that they can go buy candy. Anyway, this seemed to have lit a fire in me again to get back into learning magic. But this time, instead of watching a few youtube videos and perusing some books in the library, I would get a few books of my own.

So I got RRTCM, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and Mark Lewis's Complete Course book after doing some research and reading opinions on the subject in the forums. And just for laughs I got 13 steps to Mentalism, because that has always been interesting to me.

Now... Apart from 13 steps, which is just for fun reading, I realize that I have quite a few starting off points. Where do I start? Currently I've decided to start with RRTCM and I've been enjoying it as some of it is familiar from what I learned in my twenties. But would it be wrong of me to also start with Bobo's book as well and learn both at the same time? Or would it be better to stick to one book and build a proper foundation in card magic before moving on to coins? Or alternatively start with the Complete Course in Magic and do that alone? Eventually, I'll be reading all the books anyway, but just wondering if I'm going about it, efficiently...

My goal is to have a nice little routine with some variety between cards and coins. Typical close up magic I could do at a dinner table for friends and family. I'm not planning on being anything more than a hobbyist. Maybe do some stuff for my kids birthdays as well, but essentially just a simple stuff.


Elite Member
Aug 5, 2017
WA state USA
I’m in the peanut gallery here but I think you could use all the books at once in beginning to relearn some magic. They all have something to offer plus can switch between books to avoid burnout.

I say dive into BoBos… you can learn the “kneezy” vanish. Learning how and why the principles work in that trick will help you in other areas of magic.

If efficiency is key (it’s a good idea!) you can read thru a magic book reading only the effects and essays, then return to effects you liked to read the explanations of those effects. That way you don’t waste time going thru explanations to tricks you don’t plan on learning. After some time passes you will come back with more skills and discover things you overlooked or effects you think your audience will like.

Good luck and welcome to these forums.
Oct 19, 2023
Thanks for the advice! Yeah, that seems to be a more fun and better way to go about it. I’ll start reading Bobo’s and read Wilson’s as well, just to familiarize myself with the material.


Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
New Jersey
I'm guessing you mean Mark Wilson's Complete Course not Mark Lewis. If that is the case, that book is where you should start. Read it cover to cover. There are a lot of easy to learn effects there that you can come back to an learn. But more than that, by going through the entire book you will get a good sense of a lot of different areas of magic and the connections between them (misdirection, getting ahead by making moves when the audience isn't expecting it, using knowledge as well as sleight of hand, etc.). Just don't point at the empty hand like Mark tells you to (coins, sponge balls, etc.). Then Royal Road. Bobo's book is really dense and can be read in conjunction with Royal Road or even jumping around to read effects that interest you.
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Oct 19, 2023
Ah yes, Mark Wilson’s book. I’m basically going through each book 1 chapter at a time. Bobo’s book is pretty hefty, but fun to practice some of the sleights. Royal Road is what I’m mainly using to practice my card tricks. Wilson’s book is really fascinating and really rounds it all out for me.
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