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Alfred M. Albers

Author & Magician

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Books, Books, Books

By Al Albers


          A few years ago, I wrote a commentary about the continuing influx of the “…Idiot’s Guide To…” and the “…For Dummies” books.  To say they are popular would be an understatement.  Don’t misunderstand; I think they’re great!  I just wish I had thought of this idea.  The myriad titles cover a wide range of topics, including learning magic, and I must admit that I have at least nine of these books.  Needless to say, if I see something that sparks my interest you can bet I’ll buy it.  


          I like books.  I have some college books from both my undergraduate and graduate years.  I have music books from my teenage years (when music was my driving force), and I can probably lay my hands on a couple of old training courses from my 24-year Navy career.  I have mystery novels, autobiographies, biographies, and three different encyclopedia sets.  I also have a few TV Guide “Collector Series Magazines” and a comic book or two stuffed in a bookcase alongside a handful of books with rather unique titles.


          Donkeys Can’t Sleep in Bathtubs and Other Crazy Laws is one such book.  It’s an amusing collection of “strange, but true” laws that are still on the books in the United States. 


          In my home office, I have five bookcases (each with five shelves) filled with magic books and, at last count, nine multi-drawer mobile containers full of magic magazines, many of which are out-of-print complete sets. 


          A few months ago, on my way home from work, I stopped in a local bookstore to purchase a new mystery novel.  As I walked the aisles, I suddenly found myself in the psychology section.  And that’s when it happened – my eyes saw the familiar two-color book cover.  


          “Gee, I wonder what topic this could be: biofeedback, hypnosis, self-improvement?”  


          I wasn’t even close; it was about developing one’s psychic abilities.  Lucky me … there was one copy left. 


          I guess it was only a matter of time before this particular topic would show up on a bookshelf.  I was somewhat tempted to pick it up and read a few chapters, but I resisted the urge.  One does have to make exceptions every so often.  Besides, I was sure there was an autobiography, biography, or other “collectible” that would look better in my home library.  Incidentally, I did check the selection of magic books, but I already have everything they were selling. 


          Still, I wonder why the bookstore chose to place this book in the psychology section.  I hope it wasn’t because the first five letters of the word “psychic” are identical to the first five letters of the word “psychology.”  They are two different subjects, one of which is a genuine field of study.  The other, well, I won’t belabor you with my opinion.  Of course they could have filed this book under psychagogue, but that would be stretching the truth too far.  


          I like books.  But that day I left the store with the new mystery novel I had been eagerly awaiting.  As for the book on developing one’s psychic abilities, someone’s bound to buy it for their home library or as a conversation piece for the living room coffee table.  It just wasn’t going to be me.