Knowledge is priceless. It does not matter where one got it from, it is still very important. This knowledge can either be found in books or learned through experience. Both sources of knowledge are essential for life. Book knowledge is usually theoretical, whereas life knowledge is practical. However, when trying to come up with which source of knowledge is superior to the other (books or experience), everyone has a different opinion. Some people swear by books, while others consider experience to be more important. This essay therefore discusses the strengths and weaknesses of both, while trying to decipher which of the two is better.

Knowledge acquired from books provides one with a broad spectrum of ideas that assist one in understanding what goes on in the world. It is therefore easy for one to get and read it when they want to. The fact that book topics are arranged methodically assists one to acquire what you were looking for in a very short time. A myriad of books are available that cover a variety of topics. Since time immemorial, they have had the fundamental role in moulding the lives of people. Therefore, book knowledge has provided bedrock of people’s knowledge, especially regarding the diverse ideas that represent life.

However, if one just pegs his knowledge on what he learns from books, he may at a certain point in his life discover that he knows nothing, especially real life experiences. Reality is an important aspect that lacks in books.  One must always try to discover new ways of doing things, and not just those that he reads from books. For example, take two businessmen; one has only studied business in school, whereas the other one has never gone to business school-he has learned everything from actual experience. The illiterate businessman is bound to be more successful than the literate one who does not have any practical knowledge. This proves that studying books alone is not enough; practising what you have learned is quite essential.

Practical knowledge, however, can only be acquired from experience. It cannot be acquired by just reading about it, one has to actually do it to learn. This especially applies to basic life processes. For example, one cannot learn to properly drive a car by just reading a manual. Practice is what helps him accomplish his goal. Moreover, experiences in life cannot be achieved just by going to a library; one has to actually go out there to practise them. When one practically does something, it is easier to master the skill, since it proves to be more real than just going through books. Although one may fail a lot when trying to master a certain skill, the practice acts as a great advantage. It is therefore harder for one to forget something that they learned from experience than from books.

This is not to say knowledge from books is not important. Books contain imperative theories and information that act as a foundation for one’s opinions on certain ideas and topics. This is especially helpful in instances where the required knowledge cannot be achieved from practice; you have to get it from books and other written materials. For example, Scientists have to rely on books to conduct their experiments. They cannot just get the formulas from their heads; they have to get them from somewhere. Although they conduct experiments all the time, they still have to rely on written materials to ensure that they never go wrong.

When going for a job interview, one may expect to get a job just because they have the necessary qualifications. However, this may not be all that the potential employer is looking for. For instance, two candidates with the same level of qualifications may not both be chosen for a certain job. One may be picked over the other just because they have had more practical experience, which acts as an added advantage. The other candidate may fail to understand why they were not chosen, especially if they expected to get the job. Employers like to employ someone with experience, since they have proven that they can handle the tasks required. This case proves that experience has more weight than book knowledge alone.

Both sources of knowledge have their strength and weak points. However, both complement each other. Books provide knowledge that is in turn applied practically in real life. However, it is important to understand what type of knowledge you wish to acquire and the best way to do so. Although books provide one with a wide range of topics to choose from, this may not be enough. Practical knowledge is essential in so many ways, and one has to try to strike a balance between the two. However, from this discussion, it is clear that not everything learnt is acquired from books; experience is more important.



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