I have mentioned Ray Rickard’s 2005 checklist of small-format magic books a number of times on this blog, and I guess I should say a bit more about it. The title is A Short Title History and Checklist of Wee Books 1800-2005. In one or more future posts, I hope to discuss the book in more detail, but in this post I will state a few conclusions, because I suspect that a principal question in the minds of a few of you will be, “Do I need to buy this book?”
The particular thing that makes it of special interest to collectors of Goodall booklets is that fact that it lists card-game booklets by Professor Hoffmann. If you collect booklets published by Goodall, then that fact, along with the fact that the introductory material discusses the Hoffmann booklets a little, is probably going to be the principal thing of interest.
I will start out by saying that I have spent quite a bit of time with the book. I learned a lot from it. I enjoyed the introductory remarks by Ray Ricard. I am glad I have it. And I think that it is reasonably priced, or even low priced at the current price of $25 per copy. And when you consider that the current edition is a rather small one (150 copies, plus 10 copies of a deluxe version), it is surprising that new copies are still available, considering that the book was published in 2005.
If you are interested in seeing a listing for the book, you could check here: Byron Walker Magic Books.
For a lot of collectors — at the price mentioned above — the book would fall into the “must have” category. If you collect small magic-books, you would want the book. If you have any pretensions to having an extensive magic-book collection — well, you probably already have a copy. If you are a magic collector interested in books about books — you would want a copy.
However, the real question I want to try to answer in this post is whether you need a copy if you are a collector of Goodall’s card-game booklets.
And I think the answer to that question is, no, you don’t need a copy.
Well, you would probably “want” a copy. And you would not regret having it. But if you don’t have a copy, I don’t think need to rush out and buy one. And if you miss out on it completely, it is not the end of the world.
February 21, 2013