David Rees is getting bored sharpening pencils at $35 apiece

David Rees, author of How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening, has a pencil sharpening service. He charges $35 to sharpen each pencil. To date he has sharpened 1,804 pencils. But he is growing weary of the work and is thinking about closing the business.

"The whole point of the business is to remind people to appreciate yellow, No. 2 pencils because they're really cool and interesting," he said. "And to make a ton of money."

But at this point, work feels like work.

"You do anything long enough for money, it just starts to become a job," he said.

So as he nears the nice round number of 2,000 sharpenings, Rees suggested that soon he'd like to clean out his sharpeners for good, leaving the world a much duller place.

New York man sharpens pencils for $35 a pop

Notable Replies

  1. mcv says:

    Can't he hire someone to do it for him?

  2. jerwin says:

    Conceptual artists beware! ALWAYS have an exit strategy.

  3. (Hash tag) whoooosh!

    Less sarcastic version: I'm pretty sure he is amazed that anyone has taken him up on his artistic indictment of a first world problem, and is trying to parlay that amazement into yet another artistic indictment of our culture. He's pretty good at that.

    tl;dr: His new sharpening technique is stoppable.

  4. This seems like a good spot for an economist to step in and explain some real basic ideas.

    He needs to raise his price.

  5. I work with a guy who does consulting. He was contemplating firing some of his clients. I told him to double or triple his rates. His worry was they would pay it.

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