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The International Brotherhood of Magicians

28 May

Dennis Anyone? Old magic magazines and stuff

Category: Article   Posted by: C. DENNIS SCHICK

 Dennis Anyone? Old magic magazines and stuff.


Recently the widow of a magician who died a month or so ago, called me asking for some advice about what to do with the stacks and stacks of old magic magazines which her husband left in their basement. (It later came out that there also were hundreds of magic books, DVDs, and a ton of magic tricks and props.) I thought about her dilemma, talked with several people, looked through the ads in current issues of The Linking Ring, and exchanged several e-mails with her. Here are some of the ideas I had and passed on to her. While they primarily concern the magazines, most of the ideas also apply to the books, DVDs, and tricks.


SELL OR GIVE AWAY? My first question was whether she wanted to SELL them or just get them out of the house? It is likely that SOMEONE would pay her SOMETHING for the magazines, and I recommended that she try that approach first. I gave her the names and contact information for two vendors who regularly advertise in The Linking Ring, who say they buy magic magazines. I talked with one and he was a bit discouraging, saying that there is little or no market for current issues of old magic magazines. When he asked for more information, I told the women to try to do at least a general inventory of what she had (numbers, years, titles, etc.). This also applies to the books, DVDs, tricks, and props. Make a list.


AUCTIONS AND ESTATE SALES: There are vendors who will either BUY entire lots of these kinds of things, and/or will AUCTION them off for the customer, keeping a percentage.


GIVE TO LOCAL MAGIC CLUBS:  Local magic clubs may be willing to take magazines (and books, DVDs, and tricks) and either sell them to club members (giving the money to the donor, or putting it in a youth or scholarship fund); or just allowing anyone to take whatever they want, knowing it will have a good home. 


GIVE TO LOCAL LIBRARY(IES): Over the years, magician after magician has said that they got their first inspiration or learned their first trick, from library books. So putting books (and DVDs) in a local library could lead to inspiring generations of future magicians. And think about the LEGACY this would leave for the magician who died. Some clubs (IBM Rings, SAM Assemblies, youth and junior magic clubs, etc.) have their own libraries, too.


GIVE TO MAGIC CAMPS:  There are a number of Summer Magic Camps around the country who would love to have more books, DVDs and even tricks themselves) in their permanent libraries.


GIVE TO MAGICIANS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES: Some time ago I read that magicians and magic clubs in small, poor countries have almost nothing, and encouraged magicians to help. Giving magazines (even old), books, and tricks would be a tremendous boost to magic in those countries.


BIG PROBLEM:  A major problem beyond LOCAL distribution of magazines and books (and even large apparatus) is the WEIGHT of them, and the corresponding HIGH COST to SHIP them. This might even force local distribution, unless the shipping was paid on the other end, or the amount paid was high enough to include the shipping.


GIVING AWAY SECRETS? One last thought: Having read a blog some time ago about the bad idea of giving magic books to public libraries (because magic secrets would be given to the general public), my answer is that magic books are already in public libraries. Also, magic secrets are everywhere, from the Internet (especially YouTube), and many retail stores (Target, Walmart, Kmart, etc.), to brick-and-mortar and Internet magic stores.


If you have any thoughts or suggestions regarding these matters, please send them to me, Dennis Schick, at  








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