Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Quotes: Education of a Wondering Man by Louis L'Amour (1 of many)

Here are some quotes from Education of a Wondering Man by Louis L'Amour.

He was a lone reader but somehow never felt alone in the company of a book. (from the introduction)

This is the story of an adventure in education, pursued not under the best of conditions. The idea of education has been so tied to schools, universities, and professors that many assume there is no other way, but education is available to anyone within reach of a library, a post office, or even a newsstand.

Today you can buy the Dialogues of Plato for less than you would spend on a fifth of whiskey, or Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for the price of a cheap shirt. You can buy the fair beginning of an education in any bookstore with a good stock of paperback books for less than you would spend on a week's supply of gasoline.

Often I hear people say that they do not have time to read. That's absolute nonsense. In the one year during which I kept that kind of record, I read twenty-five books while waiting for people. In offices, applying for jobs, waiting to see a dentist, waiting in a restaurant for friends, many such places. I read on buses, trains, and planes. If one really wants to learn, one had to decide what is important. Spending an evening on the town? Attending a ball game? Or leaning something that be with you your life long?

Byron's Don Juan I read on an Arab dhow sailing north from Aden up the Red Sea...Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson I read while broke and on the beach in San Pedro.

My life may not be great to others, but to me it has been one steady progression, never dull, often exciting, often hungry, tired and lonely, but always learning.

One thing has always been true: The book or that person who can give me an idea or slant on an old idea is my friend.

If I were asked what education should give, I would say it should offer breadth of view, ease of understanding, tolerance for others, and a background from which the mind can explore any direction.

Education should provide the tools for a widening and deepening of life, for increased appreciation of all one sees or experiences. It should equip a person to live well, to understand what is happening about him, for to live well one must live with awareness.

Ours was a family where everybody was constantly reading, and where literature, politics, history, and the events of the prize ring were discussed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

How many books we had in our home I do not remember...All of us had library cards and they were always in use. Reading was as natural to us as breathing.

Historical novels are, without question, the best way of teaching history, for they offer human stories behind the events and leave the reader with a desire to know more. Due to such books, and later reading, I found that no matter what country I visited or whom I met, I knew something of the history or romance of the country, or about a person's homeland.

My intention had been to write, and consequently I had made no effort to acquire a trade. Naturally, living such a life one picks up certain knacks and skills but not enough to become an expert at anything. All I had to offer was considerable physical strength and two hands, but for most jobs that was all that was required. I carried a hod, mixed concrete, shoveled sand or gravel, and dug ditches. All the while I read. There was no plan, not at the time could there be. One had to read what was available, and it had been so from the beginning.

There is no reason why one cannot get an education if he or she wants it badly enough and is persistent. ...Books are available on every subject ad there are many very good 'how to' books from which one can learn the basics of a trade.

For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.


Many more quotes to follow.

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