How do you save Reference Material?

This past weekend, "spring cleaning" was in full effect in my house and my home office was not omitted from the fun. Ignoring my mountains of books for a moment, I'd like to focus attention on the stack of nearly 50 Genii magazines.

I've been subscribing for a few years now and have kept every issue that's arrived in my mailbox. Each issue is full of articles to read -- and I've read all of them -- but I keep the magazines for a different reason: the tricks. In addition to the articles, every issue has several tricks, some of which may be exclusively printed there!

On more than one occasion, I've actually found myself grabbing a deck of cards and practicing the latest trick from the latest Genii issue. Some of these tricks are real keepers. Others are fun to practice, and of course some are good to skip right over. This is something true true with any source, not just this magazine. However, the fact that some are worth keeping has caused me to, well, keep the magazines. Unfortunately, I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone back to any of these magazines to re-read a trick. So, are they worth keeping?

The tricks themselves, I think they're worth keeping. But the whole magazine? It feels like a waste of space honestly.

could just tear out the pages for tricks I'd like to keep, but that seems like too much management and hassle. Alternatively, I could scan them and put them on the computer, but once they're compiled into a digital book this way, would I actually get back to them?

One thing that I do want to point out, and this is true with Genii, is that there's also a digital version of the magazine. Every issue that's ever been printed is also available online. So technically, I already have them each stored and can just toss the physical magazine once I'm finished with it... however, even though that solves the storage problem, the real problem is: how to store the reference itself?

For me, I have this blog. Not the part that you're reading right now, but my Library. The way I've built the database, which only a tiny fraction of it is visible on the site itself, I have the ability to enter in data at the level of Conjuring Archive for every book, trick, video -- and magazine -- that I own. But that doesn't store the reference material itself... just information about it.

Since Genii does have the digital version available, maybe I'm overthinking things a bit. But, what about the video instructions for a new trick I just bought? In a year or two, if the website hosting the instructions goes away, am I stuck without a guide? What about that one book that has 20 tricks in it and I only use the 1? Do I keep the book, or pass it along to someone else who may find something in it that they love? If I do pass it along, how do I keep a reference for the 1 trick that I use? Or, in magic, is that the idea -- it's only yours so long as you own it?

I haven't tossed any of the magazines away yet, but I likely will soon. If you've read the blog in the past, you'll know that I don't like reading magic books on a screen (so the digital version of the magazine isn't my favorite). It's nice to still have it available though, and the frequency that I'd go back to the tricks, well, it makes sense to use it. That, or I wait until the next volume of Magicana comes out!

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