Summary Of Book Tests

In this Step, we have been forced to alter our usual approach dealing with Types and Technique before Tricks, as Book Test cannot be classified under such general headings as Types—and technique varies in almost every case. However, rather than publish half a dozen bare effects, we have given in this Step, ten routines which can be applied as Book Tests. That is more than enough, quantity means nothing—quality everything.

Any Mental programme is the better for ONE Book Test—provided it is reasonably short, direct and stunning. Anyone who thinks in terms of two or three book tests for one programme—is asking for trouble. The choice with the Ten Routines given in this Step is pretty wide, and I think it safe to say that if you cannot find at least one Book Test out of this lot— that you can do, then any others that exist wouldn't suit you either. There will be one or two more Book Tests to come in further Steps—but they will be specialities, like the big one due for disclosure in Step Twelve (Publicity Stunts).

Remember that a good Mental programme must be varied. One good Book Test is as valuable as one good Prediction. However, in choosing which book test you intend to use, bear in mind what sort of effect it looks like from the audience point of view. For example, you might do a book test where a word is located and is later revealed written on a Slate. If this is so, you would naturally avoid a Prediction which involved a word written on a slate. Don't excuse repetition by telling yourself "well one is a Book Test and one is a Prediction". As far as the audience are concerned they are the same.

Another thing to watch particularly with Book Tests is that you offer CLEAR instructions at all times. Whenever you do something which is going to involve counting to pages, lines and words—there is scope for the human element of error. Your Test can be ruined because the Spectator, not understanding your instructions, counts to the wrong word (See Step Five). Likewise it is as well to remember that when one man looks at a book and finds a word, he alone can see it and the audience are left to suppose he is telling the truth. Whenever it is practical—get the word in writing on a Board so that all can see, or have someone check it. Remember you are performing to an audience and not one man.

Lastly, whether you are using a fake book or an ordinary book, avoid any of the ridiculous phrases that are commonly used in these experiments. Never use such terminology as "I have here a perfectly ordinary copy of the Reader's Digest"—what else is there but a Perfectly Ordinary Copy— unless you have a prepared one?

It is amazing how the psychological suggestion of trickery can be "telegraphed" to an audience—by trying to "Over prove" that fcverything is innocent. Unless it is imperative, never have anything exaiAined—that's another point. If something is given for examination in order to prove that it is not prepared, the audience are justifiably liable to think—"well he didn't find out how it works". The most likely time for anybody to think a thing is faked, is when you tell them it is ordinary!

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