May 14, 2022 12:00 pm

An Argentine in Spain: she left almost unintentionally and accidentally created a business that has been going on for 30 years

Laura Aviles is a “Great Fairy”. The Cordovan woman who left on December 28, 1987 for Spain to “go and return” is the owner of the publisher Páginas Libros de Magia, which has been dedicated -30 years ago- to producing magic books. At the Hocus Pocus International Magic Festival in Granada, she was awarded in 2018 with the title of “GranFairy” and last year, the Academy of Magic Art of the United States gave him the Media Awards (the Oscar of magic) for their outreach task due to the number of published titles, which are more than 200. David Copperfield He gave him the award. He has many more to his credit.

Avilés was 21 years old when his brother, who had a ticket to Spain that he could not use, gave it to him so that it would not expire. He had finished studying Information Sciences, but could not receive the degree due to a long teaching strike. “I left with nothing at all and 33 years have passed,” he tells THE NATION-. Possibilities began to arise, a scholarship, a school farm and the feeling was ‘right now I’m not going to leave’. I never decided to stay, but I kept staying; It’s like an open trip.”

Lavapiés is the Madrid neighborhood where magic took to the streets.

In that school farm she became friends with the daughter of a very famous magician in Spain, Juan Tamariz, who invited her to participate in an editorial venture he had. Soon, her friend left the business, but encouraged her to continue. “It was a challenge because she was not a magician and she was a woman; in those years 99% of magicians were men, now it is 90%”, he laughs.

The publisher aims to produce material for Spanish and Spanish-speaking magicians; they are technical books so they can study. There is also an initial level, but they all point to that segment, to that community that mixes professional magicians and amateurs (which are 90%). In these years he edited more than 200 titles, including translations and reissues.

Pages is the only publisher in Spain with this track record. In 2008 small businesses began to emerge. Until the irruption of this company there was only one from a magician in Barcelona who also edited titles of other subjects; is already out of the market.

The expansion of the Internet generated, like all businesses, new challenges. Avilés remembers that, until then, “everything was like a secret; we were on a third floor near the Gran Vía, but only magicians knew the place”.

Now go with podcasts, with the renewal of the communication strategy, adding new languages ​​and transforming the editorial collection into audio books and digitized editions. “It is still a very small undertaking,” explains Avilés.

Six years ago he decided to “take the magic out on the street” and mixed books with tea. Opened “Parenthesis of oblivion. Magic and tea” in the traditional Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés. The name is a nod to connoisseurs, that “parenthesis…” is the moment between the initial situation and the end of the trick. All the blends they sell -they are produced in Germany based on their indications- bear names linked to illusionism: Out of this world; The restless lady; Promises of Fumanchú; Broken and broken (the classic game of rope in magic) or Ambitious in the desert.

Among the herbs offered by the store is the yerba mate: “We have dedicated ourselves to spreading Mate among Europeans. And it turns out that we have become a point of reference in the world of mate in Madrid. Now that has been magic!” says Avilés.

Pages carries more than 200 edited titles, including translations and reissues.
Pages carries more than 200 edited titles, including translations and reissues.

“When people take a little tea home, they take magic with them,” Avilés describes. Before the pandemic, every month we did the ‘magic afternoons’. We were working to merge the two worlds; the thread is playful”. The store is the publisher’s point of sale, which also sells its books in magic venues and in bookstores.

Among the clients they have doctors, lawyers, mathematicians or priests who do magic: “The books are key for them; they are made by professionals who have been living from this for years; they are not simple, nor is effort spared for production. They cost between 30 and 70 euros”.

The first stage of the publishing house was to translate the classics; later it was incorporating authors. Spanish magic has a lot of prestige; there is volume of titles from the United States (the market where there are more fans) but there are authors from all over the world. They have texts of Japanese, German or Italian magic. There is a book that brings together conferences of Argentine magicians and another one of investigation, “The Spanish magic of the XX century”.

Close-up Magic and Stage Magic, Micromagic, Card Magic, Mentalism, History of Illusionism, Theory and Psychology of Presentation, Neuroscience and Magic, Popular Science, Mathematics, Children’s Magic, are some of the subjects addressed by the publisher, which includes Balloon Twisting , Juggling and the art of storytelling.

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