Part One Pencil Reading

Pencil Reading is the Art of standing some distance away from a person who is writing with a pencil, and being able to discern from the visible movement of the pencil, what is being written.

A simplified explanation of the Art is that, by keeping a careful eye on the movement of a pencil used in writing, adding to that the movement of the hand and elbow, you can very often tell what is being written.

The Art of Pencil Reading is not new, its existence has been realised for many years—but its application is by no means extensive. In fact, it would be reasonable to say that the average well-read Mentalist knows aboui pencil reading, but has never tried it. The reason why the average mentalist has never tried it is because first and foremost, it sounds like hard work and that is enough to scare him, and secondly, in so much as that it is known to be uncertain, the element of risk deters any who may otherwise be interested. To some extent both of these things are true; it is hard work, but not terribly hard and it is liable to fail—but you can by certain measures increase the odds for success substantially in your favour. In order to satisfy yourself that this is perfectly true, now is the time to prove the point. Before you read on and find out how to make the work easier—and how to eliminate the danger of failure, get someone to sit down some ten feet away from you and to write a few numbers on a piece of paper. See how many numbers you can get by watching the movement of the pencil as they write! When you have done that—you may be more inclined to agree that it is not easy and that, shall we say politely, "you slipped up just a little"?

It occurs to me that in case there should be any misunderstanding at thi£ early stage, 1 should state that when the Art of Pencil Reading is being applied, you do not see the actual writing. If you were able to see what was written—either during or after—you would have no need to resort to pencil reading.

Before we concern ourselves with "how to do it"—shall we see if it is worth while anyway? Let us have a look at the virtues of the art and see if time spent on a little study will be rewarded with something of practical gain to our knowledge.

I invite you to consider for a moment that to an enormous extent. Mental-ism relies on something being written. Half the apparatus available to the mentalist is concerned with something written. Think of Clip Boards, Billets, Fake envelopes. Slates and so on. Invariably, these appliances are contrived to convey to the mentalist the word or sentence written by the spectator. We must therefore agree that the importance of the written word in Mental-ism—is very great. Now think; wouldn't it be wonderful if you could tell what was written—without any appliance? If we have someone simply think of a word, write it down fold the paper and drop it in their pocket—then without touching the paper or handling any apparatus—you tell them what they have chosen? 1 am a perfectionist—or 1 like to think I aim at the very best, and to achieve this sort of thing to my mind—is approaching perfection in Mentalism. Let us be honest, if you could go one step—and one step only further—get it to the point where they do not have to write—but just think— then you would not be a Mentalist—you would be a genuine thoughtreadcr.

If Pencil Reading will do this for you—do you think it is worth your time and trouble? I do—that's why I am going to tell you how!

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