Paperboy: Confessions of a Future Engineer

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
Anyone wondering what sort of experience prepares one for a future as an engineer may be surprised to learn that it includes delivering newspapers. But as Henry Petroski recounts his youth in 1950s Queens, New York–a borough of handball games and inexplicably numbered streets–he winningly shows how his after-school job amounted to a prep course in practical engineering.

Petroksi’s paper was The Long Island Press, whose headlines ran to COP SAVES OLD WOMAN FROM THUG and DiMAG SAYS BUMS CAN’T WIN SERIES. Folding it into a tube suitable for throwing was an exercise in post-Euclidean geometry. Maintaining a Schwinn revealed volumes about mechanics. Reading Paperboy, we also learn about the hazing rituals of its namesakes, the aesthetics of kitchen appliances, and the delicate art of penny-pitching. With gratifying reflections on these and other lessons of a bygone era–lessons about diligence, labor, and community-mindedness–Paperboy is a piece of Americana to cherish and reread.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sandydog1 - LibraryThing

An interesting memoir of the halcyon days of growing up in the 50s. Petroski was bit heavy on the inserting, folding, balancing, tossing of the daily paper, but otherwise it was an enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to reading some of his more "meaty', popular books about Engineering. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NewsieQ - LibraryThing

Paperboy is an extraordinary memoir of a boyhood in a New York City neighborhood during the 1950s. What makes Paperboy extraordinary is that the life the author describes is so NORMAL. No hidden abuse ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2007)

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. He is the author of nine previous books.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information