Over at the Guardian today there's a fascinating list of the top ten grimoires (books of magical spells), real ones, not ones from fiction. I have read none of them, but here's the one that looks most useful to me professionally, as an archaeologist:
"Grimoires purporting to have been written by a legendary St Cyprian (there was a real St Cyprian as well) became popular in Scandinavia during the late 18th century, while in Spain and Portugal print editions of the Libro de San Cipriano included a gazetteer to treasure sites and the magical means to obtain their hidden riches."
I have several colleagues whose skill in finding archaeological sites borders on the miraculous...perhaps this is their secret. Or perhaps, like Professor Calculus in The Seven Crystal Balls (a Tintin book which I am currently reading to my boys), they dowse for sites.
My favorite fictional book of magic would have to be The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander), but the one I think I would most like to read would be the one behind the clock in The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper). Anyone else have a favorite?