A few comments on Ray Ricard’s checklist of small-format magic books . . .

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.

—Tom Sawyer

February 21, 2013

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