Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Better Than Books
Is the world of Nature a better teacher than books?It is difficult to agree with William Wordsworth’s view that we should quite reading books and devote our time in enjoying the beautiful world of Nature. It has often been said that the habit of reading books creates a certain set of attitudes that are indispensable to make us happy in life. On the other hand, William Wordsworth takes a different view as he says in his famous poem “the Tables turned” that we should quit reading books and enjoy the beauty of the world of nature:
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks,
Why all this toil and trouble?
Wordsworth is quite right that reading books makes our life sedentary. He further adds that if we pass our time in appreciating the beauty of ‘vernal wood’, we will be able to get full knowledge of morality and the difference between right and wrong, fair and foul.
It is not possible to agree with this opposite extreme view of Wordsworth that instead of reading books we should devote our time in enjoying the glorious beauty of the
objects of nature as this will make us morally better persons. Should we follow the advice of Wordsworth and quit our books?
The answer to this extreme view is that we should adopt the middle path. We can hope to become better persons by enjoying the holy time of evening, the floating clouds, the murmuring rivers and happy song of the woodland linnet, but we should never quit reading books. The world of nature and reading immortal books like the Bible, Gita, Vedas, Upanishads and other classical authors Plato, Aristotle, Kant are indispensable to make our planet a better place to live in.
The truth is that reading novels, short stories, books of philosophy and poetry lessens monotony from our life as we get a chance to escape and add to our knowledge by enjoying other people’s experience.
Our life is short, and we can make it more meaningful and fulfilled, and happier if we pass our leisure in reading immortal books, and also enjoying the wonderful world of Nature.