Not everything learned is contained in books
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University: XD University
IELTS Essay: It has been said, “Not everything that is learned is contained in books.” Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why?
We have learnt that reading books can help us become wiser, and we have been cultivating the reading habit since we were young. But some people think that we cannot find all the knowledge and not all the problems have answers in the books. From my perspective, reading is an important way to gain knowledge, but gaining knowledge from experience is more important.
The people in ancient times paid great attention to the importance of reading. But the times have changed, and modern society is different from the ancient times. Hence the thoughts of ancient people may not be proper nowadays. We can compare ancient times with now. On one hand, in ancient times, writing books was high-cost and full of difficulties. Because of this, the number of books in ancient times was much smaller than it is now. Books were very precious and people valued them very much. On the other hand, since they have been preserved, the books handed down are distinguished enough. According to this standard, the quality of these ancient books is high and they are full of wisdom.
In modern society, the cost of writing and publishing books is low. That is to say that one can publish a book whenever he or she wants to. In this situation, the quality of books is becoming lower and lower, though their number is increasing. Deciding which book deserves reading becomes a problem. And maybe there is no answer in books. On the other hand, the knowledge we learned from experience is usually reliable. It is very possible that we will meet similar problems in the future. Admittedly, if we have no spare time for reading, we still can learn carefully from our life experience.
To sum up, reading and personal experience are both sources of gaining knowledge. We should not only be careful in our daily life but also deliberately cultivate the reading habit. Because knowledge gained from experience is more useful and reliable, it is a more important source.
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