Books and Experiences as Sources of Knowledge

Knowledge can be gained in different ways during someone’s life. After living eighty years, you will probably become a person who is completely different from the one you were in the years before obtaining the knowledge. Some people say that the most important source of knowledge is the experience, while some think that books contain everything that we can learn. Both sources are different and similar in certain points, since books and experiences are really important for someone’s gaining of knowledge.

A similarity between books and experiences is that, with both of them, you need to think before obtaining the knowledge. It is not possible to learn something only by reading it; you need to think about what you have read and figure out your thoughts about it to see if it really makes sense to you. If you only read about a situation, you will forget everything on the next day, and it will never become concrete knowledge. It is the same when talking about experience; if you don’t think about something that just happened to you, you won’t be able to use it in your future as knowledge that you have gained. The necessity of thinking about it is a similarity between books and experiences as sources of knowledge.


A contrast between books and experiences is the necessity of living a situation. By reading, you are able to learn what another person has experienced. On the other hand, you need to live the situation so you can learn with your own experience. This can be dreadful when you think about learning with mistakes, since you will have to commit the mistake to be able to learn from it. That is why they say that a really intelligent person is the one who can learn from others’ mistakes. The necessity of living the situation to learn about it is a big contrast between books and experiences.

Another similarity between books and experiences is that both of them can make you become a wiser person. All the knowledge that you obtain through books and experiences make you have better judgment of daily situations, problems and even people. Books bring you a bigger and better sense of sympathy and empathy, since through the characters you will be able to recognize behaviors in real people, therefore, becoming able to understand different realities and situations that can possibly happen to you. It is the same with experiences; after living the situation, you become able to understand it in the best way that is possible for you, and this can be useful later in your life or in the life of someone else that you might get to know. You become familiar with different scenarios with books and experiences, and when you use it to be better than you were before, you become a wiser and more developed person.

Books and experiences share differences and similarities as sources of knowledge, but both are good and extremely important. With both of them, you need to think before coming to any conclusion that can make you wiser; with books, you can learn without the need of living the situation, while with experiences you need to feel it by yourself, which is a disadvantage when considering that we usually learn better through mistakes. In addition, both of them give you the opportunity to develop yourself and become a better person. In conclusion, people should try to learn as much as they can with books and experiences, consequently, becoming wiser and more experienced to face obstacles throughout their path.

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