Alright. I've had enough of n00bs coming here and getting mad at some of the more expirenced magicians for telling them that books are much better then DVD's. (BTW, this applys it ID's as well.) This essay is on why books are better, how books are better, the pros and cons, and the best books for beginners.
Books are much better then DVD's. Period. Ask any magician who does magic for a living and they will say 99% of the time that they have learned more from books then they have from DVD's. Of course there are some things, like XCM that you can't learn out of books, but thats a different subject. Back on track, books have more bang for your buck. A DVD generally contains 10-15 effects for around $30. A book of the same price would give you much more. Card college volume 1 is $30. You will learn so much more from that book then you can from 5 DVD's.
First of all watching a DVD, you have to have the remote in one hand, and the (cards, coin, silk, rope, exc.) in the other because you have to watch the explination over and over again. With a book, all you have to do if flip a page. The authors of the books that i will list later are all very sucessful magicians who are excellent authors and explain with words what most magicians can't explain with a video. Reading is much easier then having to watch some guy try to do a trick slowly, and explain whats going on.
The pros of books:
More bang for your buck
Easier to learn from
You have 2 free hands while learing a sleight
You can take it anywhere
The good authors are better then the best "visual teachers"
The cons of books:
When i think of one, i'll post it here
Now, the best books for beginners. I will start with people who are just getting started in magic and want to know what to start with. I would suggest Tarbell Course in Magic. It is a set of 8 books and covers everything from the history of magic to cards, coins, ropes, cups and balls, silks, sponge balls, everything. If you can't afford those, or your not sure if magic is right for you yet, get Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic. Its basically the beginner sleights of each gerne of magic. If you've decided what you like best is cards, i reccomend picking up Card College by Roberto Giobbi. It is by far the forefront of card magic and will take your magic to the next level. If you like coin magic, J.B. Bobos Modern Coin Magic is the way to go. It is known as the bible of coin magic, and should be in every magicians bookshelf wether you like coin magic or not... Some other good books would be The Royal Road to Card Magic, just about anything by Gazzo is good to learn crowd control skills and busking magic, also a personal favorite of mine is Terry LaGeroulds PasteBoard Presentations II.
If anybody wants to add anything to this, feel free.
Books and dvd's are for different people. i like having dvd's for things like coin magic, but i like books for a lot of other things, like stage magic. Whataver is better for you. Nowadays, magic is mostly coming out in dvd format, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Pros of Books:
A lot easier to find tricks,
Don't need to fast forward
Can read anywhere
Cons of books:
Books can be more exspensive
Some magicians aren't the best authors (Cough, gazzo tossed out deck, cough cough)
Pros of DvDs:
angle button (on some)
Cons of DVD's:
need a dvd player or computer (Big no-no)