Card tricks are probably the easiest form of magic to perform and learn today. But that was not always the case. I have been performing magic for literally decades. I grew up in the Mid-West and somewhat isolated from other magicians. My father showed me a card trick when I was eight, but unfortunately he did not know any other card tricks, only the one. I wanted to learn how to perform more but there was no one to ask for help. I found a few magic books at the local book store and a few more at the public library, but for the most part I was on my own to figure out how to learn card tricks. Many of the books were outdated and poorly written. Eventually I was able to train my brain to understand what the author was trying to teach. Reading magic books is a lot like reading any other type of technical manual. You really need some experience in the field before it becomes easy to decipher the author’s meaning. I have a suspicion that it wasn’t always the author’s fault. I think that some of those old magic books were just patched together from an assortment of articles, and the authors themselves weren’t necessarily magicians at all. When I occasionally found what I thought would be a great magic book because it had a famous magician as the author, I was often disappointed. It turns out famous magicians often hire ghost writers to write their books. Sometimes the ghost writers are skilled writers but they just don’t understand their subject. On the other hand, occasionally I would stumble onto a magic book that was not only well written but had unique and creative card tricks. Sadly, those books were few and far between in my youth. In today’s world the medium of choice to learn magic is video. However, I still actively search out those rare great books of card tricks.