The Journey and The End

Most books have a moral (or suggested action) that can be explained in two pages or less.

So why write and read books?

Because applying a solution without understanding how it was generated is what robots do. And sometimes, that is enough; sometimes we just need to know what type of screw to use, what line of code to write, and what ingredient to choose.

But most of the time, no; reasoning is precious because it helps us make a decision under conditions that are similar but not exactly the same as those described in the original scenario. Knowing the path to a solution gives us the capacity to adapt it to new situations.

Even if reasoning is not necessary to assimilate the solution, the context can be. 

“The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho, is an excellent example. Everything the book has to say, is said on the last page. However, should we skip to the last page without reading the rest of the book, we will find it to be a commonplace truth; pocket wisdom.

Sometimes, you have to experience the challenges in order to integrate the solution.

Books give us the opportunity to experience them without actually going through them.

Photo Credit: Pamela P. Stroud Flickr via Compfight cc