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I wrote about the subject of how buying magic books from local book stores can pay good dividends.
Today let me write something similar.
For some time now, I have been meaning to buy the Magic of Alan Wakeling. However, I have been dragging my feet to do the one thing a sensible magician should do right away. I stiffened my Scrooge-like resolve not to part with my money, even though I know the book is a good investment. Even though the book is not expensive. Even though I have been itching to get hold of a copy.
When I started looking for it, some good online stores had it in stock. Lately, I discovered Amazon.com says it’s out of print and of limited availability. Still the book can be had from other online sellers, but it will take a lot more efforts to find extant copies.
Enter Bob Dureza. He works in the Bureau or Internal Revenue. A semi-professional magician, he possesses a large library of magic. If you want to know something about the art (history, moves, trivia, titles of books, props, etc.), ask Bob. He probably knows the answer and will take you out of the misery of your ignorance.
When I mentioned to him that I wanted to have a copy of the Magic of Alan Wakeling, he came back with an answer in .0001 seconds. “Go to Cutting Edge at Megamall,” he said. “They have a copy. It’s not expensive. They’re selling it for maybe P2,000.”
I was ecstatic. The softbound book sells for $38 online (plus shipping that will cost an arm and a leg). The hardbound copy goes for $75. Shelling out P2,000 for a locally bought copy looked like a good bargain to me.
So panting and puffing, I went to Cutting Edge at Megamall the next day, and lo and behold! the lone copy of the Magic of Alan Wakeling sat on the shelf ready for my taking.
Barely able to control my excitement (and fearing somebody will grab the copy before I did), I almost screamed at the sales guy, “I’ll get that!”
He gave me a surprised look. “It’s P990,” he said.
I felt like in heaven. The book cost less than my prepared budget. “Give it to me,” I said.
And so he took the book from the shelf and handed it to me. It smelled ink and paper. Well, what did I expect? It’s a real ink-and-paper book.
In my glee, I also bought on the spot two bridge size bicycle decks for P175 each. It’s kinda expensive for a deck of cards, but the words of Paul Potassy, uttered years ago, on the advantages of using bridge decks rang on my mind. I’ll tell you about it in a future post.
Cutting Edge sells mainly playing cards, expensive knives and novelty items. But they sell also several books and instructional DVDs on magic.
If you are looking for something rare, drop by the store. You may be lucky, as I was, to find a gem like the Magic of Alan Wakeling.