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COLUMN: Books aid in selection of career, future

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By Sheree Priddy, LaRue County Public Library

 * How to Grow a Hundred Dollars by Elizabeth James and Carol Barkin

* How to Turn Lemons into Money by Louise Armstrong

* Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand by Liz and Jay Scott (a true story about a child who raised money for a hospital)

* From Rags to Riches by Nathan Aaseng

* The Story of Microsoft by Nell Musolf

* Other books in “The Story of…” series include Coca-Cola, Ford, Nike, Starbucks

* A Kid’s Guide to the Economy by Tamra Orr

   In looking at these books’ titles, found at the LaRue County Public Library on the children’s floor, what is the common theme? Why would you want to read them? How could they benefit you, your children, or your grandchildren? These are questions that I would like deliberate as we bring these books forward for your consideration.

   The books that I have chosen are just a small sampling of books about business, economics and entrepreneurship. In perusing the book, From Rags to Riches, I found a short synopsis of the life of Richard W. Sears. His is a story of adversity and success multiplied many times over in the history of our nation. As I consider these examples of entrepreneurship, I often wonder about the generation of my grandchildren, if they can have the foresight and knowledge that would allow them to create wealth instead of blindly choosing a career because they do not comprehend the value of a new idea that germinates into a business.  Don’t get me wrong .... I don’t believe everyone is called to be a business owner. But, I do believe that our youth don’t have a handle on understanding the free-market system and how, when wealth is created, it helps all of us.

In a society where people are becoming more dependent on the government’s dole, how can we encourage succeeding generations to think differently and move toward economic independence? Exposing them to different ideas and discussing them with our children is, at least, a portion of that equation. Reading books about real people who have faced adversity in business can help youth to see that adversity is not necessarily unusual. Not only that, but books about men and women who have succeeded in the market place can also inspire our young people. Being inspired is a necessity in life, as well as in building a successful business. To take this one step further, according to Thomas Edison, “Genius is one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” Thus, reading these biographies can also open the eyes of the readers to the importance of hard work in order to accomplish their goals, whether it’s in the realm of business or in their personal lives.

We all realize that we do not know everything about every topic and thus, we are continually learning, if we are wise. On this subject, I am also a student. For example, I recently heard financial expert Bob Massie say that people should not buy a house based only on the criteria of whether it fits into the budget, that there are other factors to be considered. It is imperative for us, as parents and grandparents, to take the initiative to learn more for ourselves in order that we comprehend the factors in the economy that affect our own personal finances. And then, we can hope to pass on our knowledge and wisdom to those who follow in our footsteps.  With that in mind, here are just a few titles on this subject that might appeal to our adult patrons:

* You’re Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget

* High Wire by Peter Gosselin

* Freedomnomics by John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D.

* Meltdown by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

* What is a Wife Worth? by Michael H. Minton