Why “Reading The Book”?

On the beach at Nosy Ve(Photo taken in Anakao, Madagascar, September 2015)

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.

Or so (apparently) said St. Augustine, if you believe the idea that someone just so happened to record the moment for posterity.

Anyway, I’ve always rather liked the expression. For one thing, it ties in nicely with another passion of mine, which is reading as much as I possibly can (and this frequently takes place during long plane rides, short bus journeys and everything in between). For another thing, I love the concept of the world as a great big book full of scratch-off pages, ready for me to go out, uncover and learn all about. Or maybe I just have too many scratch-off world maps.

I’ve heard split opinions about this particular quote, in particular the idea that it’s elitist and ignores the fact that not everybody is lucky enough to be in a position to travel the world. Well, to me it doesn’t ignore it. It doesn’t say “travel or you have wasted your life”. Travel isn’t for everyone, and some people are happy with the page they are on and don’t need any more. Others can’t afford to turn the page, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a fulfilling life regardless. However, I DO get to travel, and I never want to forget how fortunate I am to be able to do what I love.


(Photo: Pinterest)

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