Can books teach you all about your desired trade?

If you love to read books, then you have the potential to learn a lot. This is particularly the case if you love to read ‘How-to’ books, and text books too. Books can teach you so much, but can they teach you everything that you need to know? This is a discussion I’ve had with a few people from time to time.

Reading about things = no real knowledge

At one point, my brother was telling me all about how you should drive a car, now it may seem all well and good him telling me this, but the fact is that up to that point he had never driven one. I had never driven a car either, but I wasn’t going around telling people how they should go about it. It seemed ok to him, to tell people how to go about driving, because he’d read about it in a book. Unfortunately, if all you do is read books, you don’t get to experience some aspects of life for yourself, and that’s never a good thing.

Putting things into practice is vastly different

The fact of the matter is that you can read every single book in the world, about every single subject, but until you get out there and you do the task in hand for real, you really don’t know what it’s like. Let’s say for example that you want to go into commercial guttering as a trade, there are plenty of books around about it, but undertaking the tasks in hand are quite different. This is why when you undergo training for this type of trade, or any type of trade for example, there are theory and practice sessions.

The reality is…

Theory can teach you how things should technically work, but when it comes to putting those theories into practice, things can be vastly different. Let’s take driving as an example: you can read all the textbooks you like, you may know how to start a car, how to drive along the motorway, but actually getting into a car for real is quite different. It’s all well and good thinking you know everything, and telling other people how to drive, but the reality is far from different. Turns out that my brother isn’t so great behind the wheel after all, funny that.

Books can and do teach you about your desired trade, but only to a degree. They will not tell you what it’s like to do things for real, they can only make you guess. This is not to say that you should not read books about your desired trade, indeed you may learn a lot, but when it comes to putting things into practice, you will see that the reality is quite different. A combination of theory and practice is key as it means you get to learn a bit about the subject in hand, and then see how you can apply what you have learned for real. This way you will have a good balance of the two, and have more of an idea of what your desired trade is really like.