Will you pay $2,000 to have a kid read 12 books of your selection?

Summer will arrive, and students may have a more difficult time finding a part-time job than in years past.  Is there a teenager, maybe even your own child, for which you care for and want to do something to help him or her find a way to make some money this summer?  Do you fear the teen is going to spend the entire summer watching youtube videos of bad lip reading, smoking incense, and virtually killing people on XBox?  Are you willing to spend as much as $2,000 to try to make the world an incrementally better place, and definitely give the teenager a leg-up in life? 

If your answer is yes to these questions, then consider joining me in hedgeless_horseman's Sad Attempt To Keep Unemployed Teens Out of Trouble By Paying The Lazy Punks To Read Something Potentially Worthwhile Summer Scholarship Program

Here is how it works.  First, make a list of a dozen books that you believe are worthwhile for teenagers.  Below, is my current list, along with brief explanations of why I believe each book is worthwhile for teenagers. 

Second, purchase all of the books to give away.  If you want a copy of a book for yourself, then buy an extra.  These books are to get the kid started with a library of his or her own.  Get real books made out of paper.

Third, place a reward value on each book indicating what you are willing to pay the kid to read it.  I do understand this is very co-dependent, sick, sad, and wrong on many levels, but I have decided that I don't really care.  Longer and more technical books get a higher reward in my system.  However, having a higher reward for the books one feels are most important might also work.  In my experience, the total value of all the rewards is a more important number in the eyes of the kid than the value on any one book.  They want to know, "what is the value of the entire summer scholarship?" 

Fourth, write a short and simple contract for the entire scholarship that includes the list of books and clearly explains the timeframe, rewards, and the fact that the teenager only receives pay after completing a book, holding a lengthy and detailed discussion with you about the book, and possibly passing an oral or written examination. 

Finally, present the contract to the teenager for consideration, but do not sell the idea, or negotiate in any way.  If he or she decides to pass on the offer, which is okay, then thank him or her for the consideration, and look for another teenager to repeat the proposal.

Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, P.S. Edition
Bruce Feiler, $    10.39 
In today's world where all sides try to dehumanize the enemy, we should understand that Jews, Christians, and Muslims pray to the same God. 
Reward:  $        50.00

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: Revised
Bob Meehan, $    20.00
All teenagers are going to be exposed to drugs, most are going to try drugs, many will become addicted, some will want help for themselves or others.  This book can help.
Reward:  $        50.00

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Christopher McDougall, $    10.85
Inspirational, entertaining, and gives the reader all he or she needs to become, and stay, physically fit.
Reward:  $        50.00

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, 10th Anniversary Edition
Daniel Goleman, $    16.29
In a world where teens must interact with others, it is immensely helpful to have read an Operations Manual for our psyches.
Reward:   $     250.00

Excel 2010 For Dummies, 2010
Greg Harvey, $    13.70
Understanding Excel is a foundation skill of many 21st Century jobs, appears on most resumes, but actually resides in very few brains.
Reward:  $     150.00

Graham and Dodd's Security Analysis, Fifth Edition
Sidney Cottle, et al, $    10.00
This one book can put every reader, even a teenager, light years ahead of many, if not most, Wall Street professionals.
Reward:   $     350.00

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, 5th Edition 
G Edward Griffin, $    24.50
Griffin explains money, banks, and some important history.  A must read for everyone in America today.
Reward:  $     200.00

The Double Helix, Annotated and Illustrated 50th Anniv.
James D Watson, $    17.43
Every kid will gain from this glimpse into real science and the process of discovery.
Reward:   $        50.00

The Elements of Style, 4th Edition
William Strunk, et al, $      8.26 
The book that started me on this sad attempt.  We can all improve our writing.
Reward:  $        50.00

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition
Carla Emery, $    19.77
Especially if one does not live on a farm, it is a good thing to know the how, when, what, and where of providing for ourselves.
Reward:  $     175.00

The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War 
Michael Shaara, $    16.32
An unforgettable illustration of war, and the things we are capable of doing to one another.
Reward:  $     100.00

The Way to Cook
Julia Child, $    26.00
This is the most aptly titled book on this list.  Huge benefits may be reaped from a teenager reading it before moving away from home.
Reward:  $     150.00

That is $ 193 in books and $ 1,625 in incentives, for a total investment of less than $2,000.  Should I pay to cause my children to read these 12 books?  That is up for discussion in the Zero Hedge comments, below.  Will I pay?  Yes.  Absolutely, I will pay. 

Will you pay a kid to read 12 books of your selection?