October 2012 | Nate Pedersen

Teenager Opens Bookshop for College Cash

"A good way to make a small fortune in the book business is to start with a large one."

Despite that common piece of advice, issued with gusto to beginning booksellers, a teenager in Tennessee recently opened his own bookshop in a brave attempt to fund his college education.  Seventeen year old Trent Crowthers of Nolensville, Tennessee was anxious to attend college and realized he needed to make more money to pay for tuition.  So he borrowed $600 from his parents to purchase books on eBay, then started selling them at his own little space inside Nolensville's antique barn.  He bought thousands of books with his $600 and is now busily selling them off at $3.00 for paperbacks / $4.00 for hardcovers.

Crowthers has no long term desire to be a bookseller; he instead hopes to become a doctor.  In fact, he's already planning for his retirement from the book business.  He aims to pass on the business to his younger brother when he leaves for college. Crowthers hopes his younger brother can fund his own college education with the same operation.

It's like the usual life of a bookseller, but on extreme fast forward:

1) Meander into bookselling from some disparate background

2) Borrow money from relatives to fund ill-conceived idea

3) Actually manage to turn said idea into an interesting, profit-generating business

4) Find a worthy heir and slip into retirement.

Three cheers for Crowthers for packing all of these steps into just two of his teenage years.

You can read more about this story from the local news affiliate.