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Splurge, Merge, and Purge

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One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Winston Churchill.  

“If you cannot read all your books...fondle them -- peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances.”

Phil Willmarth was the international editor of the Linking Ring and a former IBM president. He was also a fellow lover of books.  Fortunately for the magicians in my area, he was also a local resident. We would have lunch together once or twice a month, and dinner together with the same frequency. He was an amazing repository for knowledge of our craft and he seemed to know just about everyone.

Phil died on September 16, 2014. I purchased his library, an amazing collection of books that he accumulated and which included libraries of friends of his who had passed. Over the years, it always surprised me that Phil was able to produce an obscure, high-level card book just when I needed it, even though he would never have referred to himself as a card man. When I would ask what he was doing with a book that held little interest for him, he would just smile.

The purchase brought about what I refer to as my "splurge, merge, and purge." The original purchase was the splurge. Now I am merging his library with mine and identifying duplicates. The final piece of the process is the purge which I'm now in the process of doing. I am listing the duplicates (along with the bizarre books) on the website for sale. If you're interested, check out the Used Book section. If you have a particular interest, you may find a search for words such as bizarre, mentalism, and collectible to be fruitful. If you already know what you want, you can search by author or title.  

Of course I have split this 3-step process into four phases.  As of this month (January of 2016) I have completed the first two of them.   Most of the items in the next phase will be softcover pamphlets and lecture notes. Phase III will start after I recuperate from the first two and will continue until I come to my senses.  Bottom line, I'll be posting used books irregularly to the site for the foreseeable future. On the up side, it has allowed me to spend even more time with a good friend.


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