Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Entrepreneur

Of course, I wasn't a bad kid (I didn't develop my bad side until I got to college) and I wasn't really mischievous; I was what I would define as a 'non-thinker.' A good example of this had to do with this library we had at our home.

My dad liked to make things and one of the things he made was shelving for a large room we had upstairs. It was called the 'library,' tho it was really a bedroom.

On these shelves was a collection of wonderful books. They were all hardcover, most very old, and some were collector books.

The other kids in my neighborhood didn't have anything like this in there homes so they thought it was very cool. My neighbor/friend, Lynn, was looking through them one day. Lynn was a preemie and weighed about 2 lbs when she was born, had super frizzy hair and was the shape of a string bean. But she was BRIGHT. Very Bright. Capital V. Capital B.

"Hey, can I borrow one of these books?"

I began to devise a plan to get some candy money.

"Sure! But we charge a quarter a day."

This seemed like a fair price to Lynn (Who maybe wasn't as bright as I remembered..)

"Okay! "She said. "You gonna keep track of how much I owe you?"

"Sure!" and I ran downstairs to get a permanent marker (Which I wasn't suppose to touch after a particularly creative day when I drew on the living room walls.)

I took the book from her hands and drew something like this on the inside of it:

"Sign it there."

I still remember the book. It was "Aesop's Fables.' (more on that a little later..)

Lynn kept the book for two days so I 'earned' myself fifty cents. Easy money!

So, as I'm walking home from the corner store, eating my tootsie rolls, I hit upon an idea. A potential Gold Mine; I would put a thing up on the school bulletin board, advertising books to rent!

It took me a couple of weeks to draw the sign-in sheet in all of those old books. Now, remember, I was maybe seven years old. What did I know about running a library? And what did all the other kids know about borrowing books? Most couldn't read anything much beyond 'See Dick, See Jane, see Sally, Run Spot!"

I advertised my library by word of mouth (my word, my mouth..) Soon I had a troop of kids following me upstairs to my library. I checked to make sure they each had a quarter in their hands. Yup. I was good to go.

There were probably a half dozen kids so I was thrilled to have myself $1.50. The last of them was printing her name in the book she was 'borrowing,' when my mom entered the room.

She picked up on book, saw my rudimentary sign-in form drawn in black marker. I watched the color rise in her face. Red. It was red.

She took a book out of another child's hands and opened it to the sign-in form. She was not a happy person. She reached on to one of the shelves and pulled out another book, and another, and another, to see if I had written in each of them, which of course, I had.

She quietly told all my 'borrowers' to leave, and she gave them each back their quarters. She could hardly even talk to me, so all she said was "Why did you do this?"


"Go to your room, NOW!!"

And of course, I RAN while I had the chance, grateful that my hiney didnt get a blistering.

Now, here it is all these years later and I am very careful with my books. All my books are in pristine condition and I wouldn't dream of writing in one. But I do have this one, the old copy of Aesop's Fables that my little friend, Lynn, borrowed long long ago:


  1. This is basically why my parents never let us near their stuff. Especially why dad didn't want anyone touching all of his old, first editions. He probably had the right idea. haha

  2. Hahahaha!! that is great! I love that you still have one as proof of your industriousness. Too bad you got busted, lol.

  3. Lady, I have never done anything in my life and gotten away with it. I was born with 'guilty' written on my forehead!

    Jay, i probably really was a rotten kid. I used to send in those 'no postage required' postcards to order these beautifully bound kids books. It musta cost my parents a fortune to keep mailing them back hahaha!!
    Someday I'll write a post about the time I signed them up to adopt a kid..:)

  4. I have to admit I dont remember writing in my books or my parents books like that but again my parents never had a good selection of books in the house like that.. My mother hated cleaning so I am grateful we didnt...

  5. You were probably a more considerate kid than I was. I was the family 'baby' and was spoiled beyond rotten.


Go ahead, you can do it! Just whistle if you want me. You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and BLOW....

eXTReMe Tracker