There was a young boy who loved to read books. He read everything he could get his hands on. He loved going to his favorite bookstore and browsing through the new titles. One day, the boy realized that he had read everything the store had to offer. He confronted the owner and asked if he had anything else. The owner looked at him gravely and said, “Yes…yes, I do.”
He reached behind the counter and pulled out an old book. Dusting off the cover, he showed it to the boy. The picture had a picture of a grotesque face and the title at the top read, “The book of Death.” The owner told the boy it was an extremely rare book.
“How much is it?” the boy asked eagerly.
The owner said that the rare book was worth almost $2,000, but he would gladly sell it to the boy at a discounted price of $199.
The boy scrimped and saved and raked leaves and did other odd jobs for weeks until he had enough money to buy the book. He ran down the street and threw the money on the counter. The owner handed over the rare book to the delighted boy. However, as the boy was leaving with his new purchase, the owner warned him to never, ever, under any circumstance read the first page.
The boy went home and opened the book, being careful to skip the first page. He spent the rest of the night reading. The boy found the book mildly interesting and was content with his purchase.
However, he kept wondering about the first page. What was on it? What would happen if he read it? The first page was always in the back of his mind.
One day, the temptation was too much for the boy. He flipped to the very front of the book and looked at the first page. Suddenly, he dropped the book in horror.
There, in bold type, were the words, “Recommended retail price is $1.99.”