A few mornings ago on my bus into the city, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation of two men seated across from me. They seemed not to know each other, which made their topic of conversation all the more interesting. The skinnier of the two, bald-headed and with silver hoop earrings, asked his smartly-dressed bearded Asian acquaintance the following question:
Would you rather read ten thousand books or walk ten thousand miles?
This question came from nowhere, stopping my speeding morning thoughts in their circular tracks. I pondered that question for the remainder of the trip, and it has popped into my head many random times since. I fail to give a definitive answer.
Think of the knowledge one would acquire if they were to read ten thousands books! Think of the many worlds to which you would be exposed and the characters you would meet – not to mention your astounding vocabulary! But then think of the all things you would learn walking ten thousands miles. You would visit many ‘real’ worlds, come across many ‘real’ people, and you would have all the selfish time in the world to just think. This question continues to stump me, but I find myself leaning towards walking ten thousands miles. Surely ‘real’ experience trumps any ‘fictional’ experience?
I repeat this question to you now, my dearest reader – would you rather read ten thousands books or walk ten thousands miles?