Each year, librarians tell me the same story. They tell me how after my show ALL of their magic books seem to disappear by being checked out my children and their parents.
Magic is not only a fun hobby, but it can also be educational. Different forms of magic teach such things as scientific principles, mathematics, language skills, public speaking, writing, eye-hand coordination, practice and (of course) reading to name just a few. I've also seen it help a child's self-esteem and help shy children be more outgoing. It's a hobby that I highly recommend and so I think it's only fair that I take some time to recommend some books that I think would be a good choice for your library.
First on my list would be Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. If I could recommend only one book to you, this would be it. Why? Because this book covers a little bit of everything. It contains card tricks, tricks with coins, rope, mentalism...the list goes on and on. Plus, it teaches you how to make your own magic props and tricks. There's even a chapter on performing stage illusions. This book has something for everyone who wants to do magic. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, you'll find something worthwhile in this book. I have it on my bookshelf and it's probably the magic book I open the most often.
Joshua Jay is fast becoming a legend in the magic world. He's young and he's brilliant. He's also written several books. Joshua Jay's Magic Atlas was written when he was 17 and is a great book for magicians. But I would REALLY recommend Magic: the Complete Course by Joshua Jay. Like Mark Wilson's book, there's a little bit of something for everyone in it.
I can also recommend any books by Bill Severn or Karl Fulves. Karl Fulves has a wide selection of books that deal with self-working magic tricks. Any books by either of these authors would be a good addition to your library.
My last recommendation comes with a bit of a warning. The Tarbell Course in Magic is an 8 volume encyclopedia of magic. Almost any magician will tell you that this is the best collection of magic...ever. The downside is that the Tarbell Course in Magic is over 85 years old, so some of it is rather out of date. Most of the information in these books is timeless, though. Serious magicians regard the Tarbell Couse in Magic as a treasure trove of magical knowledge.
I hope these opinions help the next time you think about adding some magic books to your library collection.