Unless I am mistaken, I am now approaching the second anniversary of my first post on this blog. It looks as though my first post here was December 22, 2010. In the period that I have been running the blog, several relevant truths, or semi-truths, have become clear to me. Well, they are not “clear,” exactly, but at least the semi-truths make acceptable hypotheses.
First, there are only a handful of people who are seriously interested in card-game booklets. I would say that there are probably about six (almost all of whom have been mentioned in this blog), including me, who are extremely interested in card-game booklets — apart from collectors in the magic field. I will discuss briefly those in the last-named category in a moment.
So that’s the first relevant truth — or, at least, the first thing that I perceive to be a truth.
Second, most of those who are really, truly, seriously interested in the topic are also interested in other things related to card games. Or, looking at it from a different point of view, they are not primarily interested in magic-collecting.
The field of magic-collecting does have a few collectors of the Professor Hoffmann card-game booklets — maybe as many as eight or so people, as a guess. That makes sense, because the card-game booklets are indeed related — however tenuously — to the field of magic. That is so because both “magic” and “card games” have to do with cards. Also, the fact that Hoffmann was a writer on magic makes all of his works of interest to some magic-collectors.
I think that most of the magic people are not intensely interested in the booklets. Also, I do not know of any magic people who are interested in card-game booklets other than those by Hoffmann.
I think that one of the indicators of this is that, on eBay, one does not see a lot of bidders who bid on even the scarcest Hoffmann rule-booklets that have come up. And normally, I have been able to buy Hoffmann rule booklets without mortgaging the farm. If I have really wanted a certain booklet offered on eBay, I have usually been able to obtain it. If a lot of magic-collectors were collecting the booklets, that might be something else.
Even worse, it is intriguing to me that few — probably none — of the magic collectors who collect Hoffmann booklets have ever contacted me about this blog. (I am talking about people I would not otherwise be in contact with.)
One exception to the apparent apathy, or semi-apathy, of magic collectors towards card-game booklets is John Cannon, of Aladdin Books and Memorabilia, in Fullerton, California. I think John pretty much knows what unusual Hoffmann booklets have appeared on eBay, and he has occasionally alerted me to Hoffmann and non-Hoffmann booklets.
I’m not trying to knock the magic-collectors. Also, everything in this post is based on my incomplete knowledge, and I could be wrong — on some of it. And I have not really promoted the blog meaningfully — anywhere! But it does seem a little odd to me that nobody in the magic field (other than people I was in contact with already) has contacted me, either to say, “Great blog,” or to say, “Terrible blog,” or to say, “Here is some information.” One wonders whether any of the magic people have even found the blog — other than those I was already in contact with.
For those who are interested in magic, by the way, it is a fairly simple matter to contact me. For instance, I have posted many posts on the Genii Forum (nothing at all relating to card-game booklets, though). And in the olden days, I wrote and self-published many books or booklets on magic history and magic collecting, and to some degree I had a little bit of a “name” in the magic-collecting field, especially as a collector of Professor Hoffmann stuff.
Well, the whole subject is a little amorphous, and the fact that I am not really “naming names” in the magic field (of people one might think would have contacted me) has made my position a little thin. I have also over-generalized in a few places. But I think the overall picture I have drawn above is reasonably accurate.
November 29, 2012