The One Inch Bookshelf


Yesterday I spent way more time than I should have listening to some old man drone on and on about his theories on magic. He is a revered name so I have no intention of saying who it was or embarrassing him. He did nothing more or less than hundreds have before him.

I tire quickly of the standard answers given in forums and groups:

Read Nelms

Read Tarbell

Make it your own

Read Devant

Read <Insert the latest hot theory book here>

I seriously doubt if most of these pontificators actually read any of the stuff they are recommending.

As a young man I dutifully read Nelms’ Showmanship for Magicians, well most of it. It seemed to me as if he crammed a short essay into 300 pages. I’ve looked at, but not studied the large rasher of books on theory since then. Basically, there is only one book which has been rewritten dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Yeah, there may be an interesting twist or insight now and then, but certainly not a books’ worth.

While I continue to be a proponent of the Five Foot Book Shelf, a one inch shelf is ample for the theory section.

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