Friday, February 20, 2009

Cowboy Eddie

The first book I owned was given to me by my parents when I was about 5 years old. It was a children’s book published by Rand McNally Elf Books titled “Cowboy Eddie”, a story about five year old Eddie’s first day on the Lazy E Ranch that Eddie’s Daddy, or Big Ed had recently bought. Eddie was the happiest boy in the world because he could now learn to be a cowboy.

I’ve managed to hold on to this book over the years but in my neglect and failure to realize the treasures of yesteryear, the book became quite weathered and in very poor condition. A recent conversation with an old book antique dealer motivated me to search for this book on the internet. Low and behold, I found it on e-bay and went a step further and recently purchased it – not just one copy but two!

I discovered that the book I owned was originally published in 1958 and sold for the whopping price of 25 cents. I also learned that an older book with the same title was published in 1950 and sold for the same price. Believing that they were two different stories, I made a business decision to purchase both books. I paid $20.00 for the 1950 book and $9.95 for the 1958 book. I’m still waiting to receive the 1958 book. Yesterday I received the 1950 book and discovered that the story is the same as the 1950 book with the only difference being the book cover. The 1950 book is in excellent condition and I know the 1958 book will be in much better condition that the one I currently own.

Knowing that there’s analysis to be done in every financial transaction, I calculated the rate of return of both books to evaluate their potential future value. Using the original purchase price and how much I paid for each book, the 1950 book increased in value by 7.5 percent per year and the 1958 book increased in value by 7.7 percent per year, both decent rates of return. Assuming that both books continue to increase in value at a similar rate, I asked myself how much they would be worth when I’m 90 years old sitting in a rocking chair watching time go by. The 1950 book will be worth $289.90 and the 1958 book will be worth $134.04. These were good investments and perhaps I should try to buy more.

Until then, every now and then when I want to spend time reflecting on my yesteryear, I’ll go to my personal library and read about Cowboy Eddie.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Charles Long said...

I don't remember the first book I ever owned but the first books I remember are a set of blue cover 10 volume Bible story books (of which I have a set which I read to my children) and a book that is now considered very politically incorrect, "Little Black Sambo."

Franklin said...

A very nice post, sir .. walking down memory lane and re-acquiring treasured memories of the past.

A few years ago I was able to obtain a copy of one of my favorite childhood story books called "The Five Chinese Brothers" by Claire Huchet Bishop, originally published in 1938 and republished in 1998. As a child, it awakened a desire to learn as much about the Asian culture as I could.