Did you ever have a paper route?

Do kids do this anymore? I was under the impression, adults in cars with large routes took over. To the extent that people even get newspapers delivered anymore.

No - we wised up.

Yes, I delivered the Montreal Star, an afternoon paper that is now long defunct. I had the similar experience of having to collect once a week.
It was pretty horrible delivering in Montreal winter.


Four days a week I got up at 5 am, folded, bagged, and delivered on my bike. Most of my route was a condominium complex, so I wasn’t on roads, but side walks and parking lots.

It let me have a job but still do after school activities.

Another couple of things. There were a couple of Great Danes in a fenced in back yard that I would go by. The fence was too tall for them to jump over but they tried every damn time I went by. I was sure they were going to kill me if they ever got out judging by how crazy they would bark, snarl and growl.

Then one day they were out. I was sure I was dead, but they simply ignored me and went by as if nothing had happened. The next day they were again locked up and back to wanting to kill me.

One of my first days was Thanksgiving and I couldn’t carry all the papers. My older brother had a larger route and my mom drove him around but I had to walk. Funny the small injustices you remember decades later.

One thing I loved about the afternoon route was that it took my away my crazy house for a while each day.

I remember my pay. It was in 1973 and I got about $8 a week. I kept that paper route for four years, 1973-1977.

I did; it used to be a very common thing for boys to do for pocket money in the UK. It’s one of the few jobs that kids below 16 were allowed to do.
I don’t think many girls did this kind of job at the time.

My route involved delivering to a residential area and also a huge steelworks. I thought this was a PITA at the time as the steelworks was a couple km away from the rest of the route. But, in retrospect it was really cool I got to see around that place, and of course it’s gone now.

The money I made was such a pittance that it would usually all be blown by buying a drink and snacks on returning to the newsagents. But I didn’t mind.

Wish I could say I was a good paperboy but I often got up late. I still struggle with early mornings ~30 years later.

I helped my friend with his paper route, and he had a pretty cool setup. He’d told his customers that someone else did the route on Saturdays. So, one day a week, we got to take it easier. Like picky Mrs. Stickywick’s paper (which she insisted be unfolded and refolded, so it was smaller but longer, then it had to be wedged into her “milk chute”). But on Saturday at 5:30am, we were tossing it halfway up her lawn.

Now, we also set it up so we got extra papers on Saturday, and we sold them after we were done with the route.

There we were, in the middle of a busy intersection, waving our papers and yelling out current events: “Extry, Exxxxtry! Charlie Deeee Gaulllle welcomed by Elll Beeee Jay-yay…!” “Read alll about it for one thin dime!” Motorists would stop and often give us a quarter “(Keep the change, kid, keep it up.”).

Oh, one of the businesses on that intersection was a bakery, so our entrepreneurial profits didn’t last long…

In the United States, it is illegal to use a mailbox or mail slot for anything except mail. Some people have two “mailboxes”, one for mail, and one for the newspaper and other deliveries.