What applies to books in general also applies to all writings about Western magic: there are good and bad ones and something in between. However, many of these books and writings were written by people who were only theoretically interested in magic and wrote more or less “syncretic plagiarisms.” Great magicians such as Doctor Agrippa of Nettesheim are not exempt from this. That alone is not a crime since it often shows the enormous accumulated knowledge of those authors, and of course, the practical magus profits from it as well. But one should always keep in mind that they usually cannot fall back on any wealth of experience. This must be taken into account when studying such writings.
Also rather disadvantageous for a beginner are advanced magical studies, kafkaesque “bestsellers.” These include works such as the superstitious conglomeration, called “6th And 7th Book Of Moses”, the “Necronomicon” of a mediocre novelist of the horror genre or the “Satanic Bible” of an eccentric, US-American former predator tamer. Books, by the way, which all enjoy high sales figures these days and are treated as “secret magical writings.”
Furthermore, it is also a decisive difference whether such books deal with theoretical and/or practical magic and whether the authors are or were members of magical orders since the writings of the latter are of course “dyed” accordingly or transport a corresponding message. But there are rays of hope at the end of the tunnel because, especially in the Anglo-Saxon area recently, very well-founded works are offered from experienced practitioners.
Of course, it is advantageous to go into the care of an experienced magician, but how will a beginner be able to decide whether these persons are also experienced? In the beginning, only your intuition, your common sense, and your ability to criticize can be helpful. And what applies to individuals also applies to magical organizations: If you are interested in a magical organization, be always careful of too much secrecy, taciturn contact persons, eccentric appearance, or an overloaded, dogmatic occult terminology.