In the fall of 2005, the remains of Roosevelt Island’s crumbling insane asylum were demolished to make way for condominiums. In the rubble, a worker found the only known copy of Ackerly Green’s Guide to MAGIQ. Originally published in 1956, the book had been all but lost to time.

How could a book have completely disappeared from history, save the memories of a handful of people? Collectors, museums, and private libraries vied for “The Lunatic’s Guide” as the strange book came to be called. But while they fought for possession of it, the Guide was stolen. Stories spread of it crossing the globe, trading hands for almost a decade before disappearing from history for a second time.

Until two children found it on a park bench in New York City, tattered and fading, in the spring of 2013.

Unfortunately, after being exposed to the elements for the first time in decades, carried around the world, and finally left outside over a harsh New York winter, the Guide was falling apart. The family who found it were unaware of its significance and by early 2016 the last known Guide to MAGIQ was nothing but flecks of paper and dust.

But now, almost sixty years after its publication, the Guide has been faithfully recreated. Ackerly Green’s Guide to MAGIQ exists again, enchanting new generations with its wonder-filled pages and its assurance that magic is real and waiting for us to find it.

The MAGIQ Guide Timeline:
(some dates are estimated)

Ackerly Green’s Guide to MAGIQ

July 3, 1956

Originally published in 1956 by Ackerly Green Publishing as part of a series only vaguely remembered as the “Briar Books.”

Ackerly Green Shutters

April 20, 1961

Ackerly Green Publishing files for bankruptcy, selling off their remaining library of titles to several larger publishers. There are no mentions of the MAGIQ Guide or the other Briar Books in the Ackerly Green records.

The Mountaineers

February 4, 1994

A small group who remember the books create an online forum to discuss and research them. Inspired by a hand-written occult pamphlet called Monarch’s Mountain, they name themselves “The Mountaineers” and to this day are responsible for all major strides to find what they call The Lost Collection.

Sullivan Green

March 17, 1997

Sullivan Green, the last living child of Warner Green, cofounder of Ackerly Green Publishing, is found living penniless in New York City. He claims to have no memory of The Lost Collection. Seemingly afraid for his life, he disappears. Further efforts to find him prove fruitless.

The Mandela Effect

November 4, 2001

The term “Mandela Effect” is coined for instances where small groups of seemingly unconnected people remember historical events differently than the general population. Named for some people’s memory of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the mid-80s instead of being freed in the 90s.

The New York City Lunatic Asylum

September 12, 2005

The last MAGIQ Guide in existence is discovered by a demolition crew at the site of the New York City Lunatic Asylum. The guide is delivered to the Morgan Library, where it is digitally scanned, and a preservation is attempted. 

The Morgan Library

October 1, 2005

Efforts to preserve or restore the Guide prove impossible. The Guide is stolen from the Morgan Library’s Thaw Conservation Center before the Mountaineers can negotiate visitation, and the scans previously made of the Guide are found to be corrupted.

Journey of The Guide

January 1, 2006

Many claim to have been in possession of the Guide at various points between the years of 2006 and 2013. The myth of the Guide only grows over the ensuing decade. Some believe the deliberate sequence of words in the Guide have an almost hypnotic, suggestive effect. Others believe the Guide is cursed.

The Bernsteins

April 3, 2013

Author CJ Bernstein’s children find the Guide in a public park near their school. Fascinated with the book, they take it home, unaware of its long history.


January 11, 2016

The Mountaineers meet with the Bernsteins to acquire what remains of the Guide. They discover that the Guide has finally disintegrated, but not before one of the children had made a hand-drawn copy. The Mountaineers begin the painstaking process of reproducing the Guide based on the rough copy and their fragmented memories of its content and illustrations.

The Death of Sullivan Green

July 1, 2016

Sullivan Green’s body is found in Central Park. His estate documents reveal he had millions in investments but chose to live life as a destitute. The documents also reveal he had one living heir.

The Book of Briars

July 17, 2016

Several Mountaineers receive an automated email from a domain called “”. The email requests that they try and unlock the site to learn the truth about what really happened to Ackerly Green and the Lost Collection.

July 26, 2016

The Mountaineers publish the Guide online. Their hope is that others will see it, read it, share it, and use it to help solve not only the mystery of The Book of Briars website, but ultimately the mystery of the books themselves.

The book is a folly. A fascination. By following the winding paths inside its pages you are able to discover, not only what school of magic you belong to, but also the level and focus of your “magimystical” aptitude.

Myth and mystery have surrounded the Guide, its history, and its true purpose for decades. What do you think? More importantly, what do you believe? Are you ready to open Ackerly Green’s Guide to MAGIQ?

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