Wisdom Of A Stranger

comments 4
Random Banter

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?


The Author

My name is Emily and this is a place where I write about all of the things I love (and sometimes the things I don't love). These things I love include all sorts of people: strangers, friends and family alike. And writing of course! I've never liked giving descriptions of myself, so you'll have to read my random banter in order to get to know me.


  1. Thank you for sticking my mind in an endless loop. I’m having the same issue you are: surely 10,000 books contain more knowledge than 10,000 miles, but what is knowledge to experience? Isn’t actually experiencing one real event better than imagining ten of them? I don’t know, and I’m stuck now thinking about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Easiest question ever. Read ten thousand books. You could read books from every inch of the world. You’d travel more than those ten thousand miles. And into the past and future.


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