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Walking: Illustrated Platinum Edition (Free Audiobook Included)

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How is this book unique? 15 Illustrations are included Short Biography is also included Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Best fiction books of all time One of the best books to read Classic historical fiction books Bestselling Fiction Walking is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau. Between 1851 and 1860 Thoreau read the How is this book unique? 15 Illustrations are included Short Biography is also included Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Best fiction books of all time One of the best books to read Classic historical fiction books Bestselling Fiction Walking is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau. Between 1851 and 1860 Thoreau read the piece a total of ten times, more than any other of his lectures. He considered it one of his seminal works, so much so, that he once wrote of the lecture, "I regard this as a sort of introduction to all that I may write hereafter." Thoreau constantly reworked and revised the piece throughout the 1850s, calling the essay Walking. Also at this time he was working on another piece called The Wild. Sometimes he would deliver one of the essays, while at other times he would read the other. Sometimes he would combine the two and call it, Walking; or, The Wild. Walking was published posthumously after Thoreau's death on May 6, 1862. It appeared in the June 1862 issue of the Atlantic Monthly.


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How is this book unique? 15 Illustrations are included Short Biography is also included Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Best fiction books of all time One of the best books to read Classic historical fiction books Bestselling Fiction Walking is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau. Between 1851 and 1860 Thoreau read the How is this book unique? 15 Illustrations are included Short Biography is also included Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Best fiction books of all time One of the best books to read Classic historical fiction books Bestselling Fiction Walking is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau. Between 1851 and 1860 Thoreau read the piece a total of ten times, more than any other of his lectures. He considered it one of his seminal works, so much so, that he once wrote of the lecture, "I regard this as a sort of introduction to all that I may write hereafter." Thoreau constantly reworked and revised the piece throughout the 1850s, calling the essay Walking. Also at this time he was working on another piece called The Wild. Sometimes he would deliver one of the essays, while at other times he would read the other. Sometimes he would combine the two and call it, Walking; or, The Wild. Walking was published posthumously after Thoreau's death on May 6, 1862. It appeared in the June 1862 issue of the Atlantic Monthly.

30 review for Walking: Illustrated Platinum Edition (Free Audiobook Included)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    ”I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering: which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and I asked charity, under pretense of going à la Sainte Terre,” to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, ‘There goes a Sainte Terre,’ a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they ”I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering: which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and I asked charity, under pretense of going à la Sainte Terre,” to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, ‘There goes a Sainte Terre,’ a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere.” Published posthumously as an essay in 1862 in the Atlantic Monthly magazine, this was originally part of a lecture given by Thoreau in 1851. A relatively slight 60 pages, this was a wonderful reminder to spend more time walking, enjoying the somewhat temporary milder weather, and appreciate the beauty around us. Pub Date: 18 Sep 2019 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Dover Publications!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. Moreover, you must walk like a camel, which is said to be the only beast which ruminates when walking. Nowadays almost all man's improvements, so called, as the building of houses and the cutting down of the forest and of all large trees, simply deform the landscape I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. Moreover, you must walk like a camel, which is said to be the only beast which ruminates when walking. Nowadays almost all man's improvements, so called, as the building of houses and the cutting down of the forest and of all large trees, simply deform the landscape, and make it more and more tame and cheap. I love to walk so I had no problem agreeing with much of what Thoreau says in the first part of this essay. He wanted people to connect with the Wild, which is even harder to do these days than in his own, especially depending on where a person lives. In this particular corner of Mexico, there is not really too much empty space, not like in the vast deserts of Arizona where I used to live. There, just five miles out of town, my husband and I felt like the only two people on the planet. And after ten more we seemed to have become a part of our surroundings: weaving our way between thorny bushes, or following the dry wash where once we saw two deer, or sitting on a rock and simply listening. Peace and quiet sing in the desert. I miss hearing that music. Thoreau suggests that West and Wild are essentially the same thing. That man has been drawn to the West even before the discovery of the New World, always seeking to meet that setting sun that is just ahead of us. He even thought that America was discovered just so Man could become more than what he was in the Old World. I trust that we shall be more imaginative, that our thoughts will be clearer, fresher, and more ethereal, as our sky—our understanding more comprehensive and broader, like our plains—our intellect generally on a grander scale, like our thunder and lightning, our rivers and mountains and forests-and our hearts shall even correspond in breadth and depth and grandeur to our inland seas. The more I read the news these days, the less I see that vision developing. I began to get a little confused when after all of this admiration for the Wild, he then says this: The weapons with which we have gained our most important victories, which should be handed down as heirlooms from father to son, are not the sword and the lance, but the bushwhack, the turf-cutter, the spade, and the bog hoe, rusted with the blood of many a meadow, and begrimed with the dust of many a hard-fought field. So which is best, Henry? The Wild you love to walk in or the settled land? Because you cannot have both on the same plot of ground. You have either wilderness or farmland or towns. And the more people who venture into the wild, the less wild it becomes, even if you are just walking along ruminating. Later he talks about watching some cows playing in a field, acting Wild. He thought it was wonderful. But in the very next paragraph I rejoice that horses and steers have to be broken before they can be made the slaves of men, and that men themselves have some wild oats still left to sow before they become submissive members of society. Is he rejoicing that the Wild is there? Or that it must be beaten out of both animals and men? And why is it not possible to keep a bit of the Wild in your soul, no matter what else you have going on in your life? Can we not be members of society without being completely submissive? I feel like I need to read more of Thoreau's work (and maybe argue with him a little more) before I completely understand what he was all about. But I did like the final sentence in this essay (well, I would have said Universe instead of Holy Land, but I guess I am still in a debating mood!): So we saunter toward the Holy Land, till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, as warm and serene and golden as on a bankside in autumn.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Could jogging count, perchance? I promise to keep my head facing west by south-west as I run in my daily circles...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    This essay by Henry David Thoreau is about the author's joy in living in nature and in the present. Walking is a short read and nicely encapsulates many of Thoreau's themes from Walden Pond and his other works. Nowadays almost all man's improvements, so called, as the building of houses and the cutting down of the forest and of all large trees, simply deform the landscape, and make it more and more tame and cheap. A people who would begin by burning the fences and let the forest stand! I saw th This essay by Henry David Thoreau is about the author's joy in living in nature and in the present. Walking is a short read and nicely encapsulates many of Thoreau's themes from Walden Pond and his other works. Nowadays almost all man's improvements, so called, as the building of houses and the cutting down of the forest and of all large trees, simply deform the landscape, and make it more and more tame and cheap. A people who would begin by burning the fences and let the forest stand! I saw the fences half consumed, their ends lost in the middle of the prairie, and some worldly miser with a surveyor looking after his bounds, while heaven had taken place around him, and he did not see the angels going to and fro, but was looking for an old post-hole in the midst of paradise. I looked again, and saw him standing in the middle of a boggy Stygian fen, surrounded by devils, and he had found his bounds without a doubt, three little stones, where a stake had been driven, and looking nearer, I saw that the Prince of Darkness was his surveyor. I can easily walk ten, fifteen, twenty, any number of miles, commencing at my own door, without going by any house, without crossing a road except where the fox and the mink do: first along by the river, and then the brook, and then the meadow and the woodside. There are square miles in my vicinity which have no inhabitant. From many a hill I can see civilization and the abodes of man afar. The farmers and their works are scarcely more obvious than woodchucks and their burrows. Man and his affairs, church and state and school, trade and commerce, and manufactures and agriculture even politics, the most alarming of them all—I am pleased to see how little space they occupy in the landscape. Politics is but a narrow field, and that still narrower highway yonder leads to it. I sometimes direct the traveler thither. If you would go to the political world, follow the great road—follow that market-man, keep his dust in your eyes, and it will lead you straight to it; for it, too, has its place merely, and does not occupy all space. I pass from it as from a bean field into the forest, and it is forgotten. In one half-hour I can walk off to some portion of the earth's surface where a man does not stand from one year's end to another, and there, consequently, politics are not, for they are but as the cigar-smoke of a man. I live in an urban world in which I would have to drive at top sped for an hour and a half to get to the wildness of the desert, which Thoreau never knew. Most of my life is spent hemmed in by people, buildings, roads--and very little nature. Reading Thoreau, for me, is like nature porn. It excites me and makes me want to re-think my life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    julieta

    Thoreau finds nature a reflection of how we think. Leaving nature for civilisation is the first mistake we make. I love everything he writes, and of course, this is more about nature than it is about walking, and more of who we are in nature.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul Stevenson

    Where do you come from? where do you go? Where do you come from, Henry Thoreau?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I recently read an article that said Thoreau lived about a mile and a half from his family home for his hermitage. So he wasn't far from civilization during his time in Walden woods. He also had lots of visitors. So here's my point, the beginning of this book says that Henry David Thoreau walked 30 miles a day. And I think to myself, "Hmmm. Men never make good shopping lists. Otherwise he would not have had to make so many trips because he forgot to buy milk, eggs, bread, etc." I know. I'm brill I recently read an article that said Thoreau lived about a mile and a half from his family home for his hermitage. So he wasn't far from civilization during his time in Walden woods. He also had lots of visitors. So here's my point, the beginning of this book says that Henry David Thoreau walked 30 miles a day. And I think to myself, "Hmmm. Men never make good shopping lists. Otherwise he would not have had to make so many trips because he forgot to buy milk, eggs, bread, etc." I know. I'm brilliant at looking at the big picture. hahaha! Anyway I joined the masses while listening to this book and hit the pavement. I walked, I observed the things around me and enjoyed listening to his opinions on stuff. So lace up your sneakers and start walking. But, take your list with you, 30 miles is ridiculous.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I was terribly disappointed in this book, primarily because it just didn't flow or hold together. I have known Thoreau primarily from quotations, and indeed, the lyrical or descriptive beauty of random excerpts from this book were its only redeeming elements. Examples: "For every walk is a sort of crusade..." "When a traveler asked Wordsworth's servant to show him her master's study, she answered, 'Here is his library, but his study is out of doors.'" "There is something in the mountain air that fe I was terribly disappointed in this book, primarily because it just didn't flow or hold together. I have known Thoreau primarily from quotations, and indeed, the lyrical or descriptive beauty of random excerpts from this book were its only redeeming elements. Examples: "For every walk is a sort of crusade..." "When a traveler asked Wordsworth's servant to show him her master's study, she answered, 'Here is his library, but his study is out of doors.'" "There is something in the mountain air that feeds the spirit and inspires." "...in Wildness is the preservation of the World. Every tree sends its fibers forth in search of the Wild." "Dullness is but another name for tameness...in short, all good things are wild and free." And his eloquent conclusion: "So we saunter toward the Holy Land, till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, as warm and serene and golden as on a bankside in autumn." But after all was said and done, these lovely pearls were not sufficient to make me want to recommend the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    J Dride

    "When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them -- as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon -- I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago." I usually read from this at least a few times a month. One of my all time favorite Thoreau pieces. His wit and critiques are spot on; as per usual with Thoreau "When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them -- as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon -- I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago." I usually read from this at least a few times a month. One of my all time favorite Thoreau pieces. His wit and critiques are spot on; as per usual with Thoreau. The quote above (along with the rest of the piece) often makes me question what I am doing with my life. Were we really made to sit around all day at desks? It makes me long for nature and question what society has become. A great piece that all should read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jane Reye

    I was surprised to find Thoreau's attitude somewhat... extremist (from what I had gathered about the author, I was already expecting, at least, a great deal of zeal). Thoreau's passion for walking and the natural world are evident throughout, possibly a revision of the wording at certain points in the essay could have avoided or limited the superior and judgemental vibe I sensed, particularly in the first half of the book (this was quite unfortunate as Thoreau made many valid points). I had plan I was surprised to find Thoreau's attitude somewhat... extremist (from what I had gathered about the author, I was already expecting, at least, a great deal of zeal). Thoreau's passion for walking and the natural world are evident throughout, possibly a revision of the wording at certain points in the essay could have avoided or limited the superior and judgemental vibe I sensed, particularly in the first half of the book (this was quite unfortunate as Thoreau made many valid points). I had planned on reading Walden next. Perhaps I'll hold off a while, purely in the hopes that a time delay will help me get into it with fewer preconceived notions.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Thoreau at his very best! ❤ Reading this was like accompanying him on one of his walks. There were so many beautiful passages, I kept looking for a sympathetic ear to share them with! Here are just a few of my favorites... If you would get exercise, go in search of the springs of life. Think of a man’s swinging dumb-bells for his health, when those springs are bubbling up in far-off pastures unsought by him! I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows. We r Thoreau at his very best! ❤ Reading this was like accompanying him on one of his walks. There were so many beautiful passages, I kept looking for a sympathetic ear to share them with! Here are just a few of my favorites... If you would get exercise, go in search of the springs of life. Think of a man’s swinging dumb-bells for his health, when those springs are bubbling up in far-off pastures unsought by him! I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows. We require an infusion of hemlock spruce or arbor vitæ in our tea. Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps. When, formerly, I have analyzed my partiality for some farm which I had contemplated purchasing, I have frequently found that I was attracted solely by a few square rods of impermeable and unfathomable bog—a natural sink in one corner of it. That was the jewel which dazzled me. I derive more of my subsistence from the swamps which surround my native town than from the cultivated gardens in the village...Yes, though you may think me perverse, if it were proposed to me to dwell in the neighborhood of the most beautiful garden that ever human art contrived, or else of a dismal swamp, I should certainly decide for the swamp. How vain, then, have been all your labors, citizens, for me! My spirits infallibly rise in proportion to the outward dreariness. Give me the ocean, the desert, or the wilderness! Where is the literature which gives expression to Nature? He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, to speak for him; who nailed words to their primitive senses, as farmers drive down stakes in the spring, which the frost has heaved; who derived his words as often as he used them—transplanted them to his page with earth adhering to their roots; whose words were so true and fresh and natural that they would appear to expand like the buds at the approach of spring, though they lay half smothered between two musty leaves in a library,—aye, to bloom and bear fruit there, after their kind, annually, for the faithful reader, in sympathy with surrounding Nature. We had a remarkable sunset one day last November. I was walking in a meadow, the source of a small brook, when the sun at last, just before setting, after a cold grey day, reached a clear stratum in the horizon, and the softest, brightest morning sunlight fell on the dry grass and on the stems of the trees in the opposite horizon and on the leaves of the shrub-oaks on the hillside, while our shadows stretched long over the meadow eastward, as if we were the only motes in its beams. It was such a light as we could not have imagined a moment before, and the air also was so warm and serene that nothing was wanting to make a paradise of that meadow.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Saunter (at a clip!) far away from this one. You know there'll be trouble by page two when Thoreau, speculating on the etymology of the word "saunter," declares that he "prefer[s]" a derivation from "Sainte-Terrer," a "Holy-lander," rather than "sans terre," a wanderer "without land or a home." "For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels." Ugh. Malarkey. "You must be born into the family of Saunter (at a clip!) far away from this one. You know there'll be trouble by page two when Thoreau, speculating on the etymology of the word "saunter," declares that he "prefer[s]" a derivation from "Sainte-Terrer," a "Holy-lander," rather than "sans terre," a wanderer "without land or a home." "For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels." Ugh. Malarkey. "You must be born into the family of the Walkers. Ambulator nascitur, non fit." If it were possible to ruin walking (which it is not), this pompous tract would come close. By walking, Thoreau means walking westward (literally) toward a personal and national manifest destiny. Every walk has a telos. “We go eastward to realize history and study the works of art and literature, retracting the steps of the race; we go westward as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure.” And those "mechanics and shopkeepers [who] stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon, too"? He pities and scorns them, lamenting their "moral insensibility." He displaces enmity for urbanization onto the urbanized (er, New England town-dwellers) themselves. I didn't sense an interest in (or tolerance for) balance between nature/society. Thoreau presents false choices. Which makes for an exasperating read. My priors: this is the first of Thoreau that I have read. I know little about transcendentalism.

  13. 5 out of 5

    muthuvel

    "There is a keen enjoyment in a mere animal existence." In addition to their typical saying that reading takes one to noble atmosphere and newer realities, certain books demand prerequisite atmosphere to read them in the first place among other categories. I'd like to assert that most of the works of Thoreau belong to this category. Lately I've become a bit sceptical with works of sheer romance showering platonic love for the deep woods, barbarous coasts and the remotest whereabouts. It strikes a "There is a keen enjoyment in a mere animal existence." In addition to their typical saying that reading takes one to noble atmosphere and newer realities, certain books demand prerequisite atmosphere to read them in the first place among other categories. I'd like to assert that most of the works of Thoreau belong to this category. Lately I've become a bit sceptical with works of sheer romance showering platonic love for the deep woods, barbarous coasts and the remotest whereabouts. It strikes a bit similar to what Sartre wrote on the ways we can delude ourselves keeping reason on our side, here reason getting replaced by romanticism especially at the parts where Thoreau parted ways with the tradition of east west dichotomy and brought the wild west rhetoric and advent of new world, a romanticized colonial term, to feed the hunger inside of the people who bored themselves to death by civilization. With specific worldviews and value judgements, such sheer love affair for the wild could make a lot of chaos and would give you we-live-in-a-society vibes in the opposite sense. On the positive side, Walking is lucid. Walking could make us humble despite the illusion of learning and knowledge that we think we have of living and dying. At the same time, Walking could take you to a world that never was. Nevertheless it makes you earn for such possible  past to have existed so you could linger over it. Came for the romanticism and stayed for the lucidity. And yes, just like Rousseau's. Walking (1861) ~ Henry David Thoreau

  14. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Cootey

    One day Henry David Thoreau started following me on Twitter and I thought to myself that I had never read any of his works. I realize Thoreau is not auto-tweeting from beyond, but I enjoyed enough of his namesake's abbreviated tweets to pique my curiosity to read the original less abbreviated works. I've been to Concord, Massachusetts. It's lovely country, even still. There I saw Louis May Alcott's home where she wrote Little Women, and I believe I've been to Walden Pond. None of it had any appe One day Henry David Thoreau started following me on Twitter and I thought to myself that I had never read any of his works. I realize Thoreau is not auto-tweeting from beyond, but I enjoyed enough of his namesake's abbreviated tweets to pique my curiosity to read the original less abbreviated works. I've been to Concord, Massachusetts. It's lovely country, even still. There I saw Louis May Alcott's home where she wrote Little Women, and I believe I've been to Walden Pond. None of it had any appeal to me because it didn't involve actors dressed up as Minutemen shooting off live muskets. I had to wait for a whim thirty or more years later before I downloaded this essay to discover a treasure that I was simply not mature enough to appreciate before. "Walking" is a short work, but it is written in a languid style that begs to be read slowly and with purpose. Whenever my life ran out of gas, I would read a few more pages and soak Thoreau's writing style in. His attention seemed to wander from time to time, and I certainly noticed that he seemed oblivious to the life of entitlement that he lived, free to while away hours walking for pleasure while the sheep he looked down on worked hard to put food on their tables, too tired to stop to admire the beauty around them because time is money. Yet, many passages still resonated through the years to claim importance even in our time. Thoreau didn't write as much as he painted with words, and the canvas he covered was rich with expression. Tonight, as I was out for errands, I walked back and forth while reading out loud the final pages of this work accompanied only by the cool illumination of my iPad. Inside, 24-hour pharmacists busily filled my order, teenagers outside hooted and hollered as if they alone understood what it meant to have fun, and the night was filled with the nonstop roar of passing traffic. Thoreau's writing was so evocative and intense that the city sounds faded into the background and let me steep myself in his writing. Because Thoreau often lost focus, I felt the work lacked impact, especially in the middle, but his arguments for enjoying the sanctity of the natural world around us were convincing, though perhaps only because I am one who loves to walk and allow myself to explore without hurry. I will read Walden next, then return to Walking to see if it deserves an extra star and a place on my Inspirational bookshelf for the year.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg. Opening lines: wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society. I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization: the minister and the school committee and every one of you will take care of that. Quotations: Page 2: If Free download available at Project Gutenberg. Opening lines: wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society. I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization: the minister and the school committee and every one of you will take care of that. Quotations: Page 2: If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again—if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man—then you are ready for a walk. Page 7: We go eastward to realize history and study the works of art and literature, retracing the steps of the race; we go westward as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure. The Atlantic is a Lethean stream, in our passage over which we have had an opportunity to forget the Old World and its institutions. If we do not succeed this time, there is perhaps one more chance for the race left before it arrives on the banks of the Styx; and that is in the Lethe of the Pacific, which is three times as wide. Page 8: Sir Francis Head, an English traveler and a Governor-General of Canada, tells us that "in both the northern and southern hemispheres of the New World, Nature has not only outlined her works on a larger scale, but has painted the whole picture with brighter and more costly colors than she used in delineating and in beautifying the Old World.... The heavens of America appear infinitely higher, the sky is bluer, the air is fresher, the cold is intenser, the moon looks larger, the stars are brighter the thunder is louder, the lightning is vivider, the wind is stronger, the rain is heavier, the mountains are higher, the rivers longer, the forests bigger, the plains broader." This statement will do at least to set against Buffon's account of this part of the world and its productions.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorna

    I wouldn't want to meet Thoreau in real life. "Which is the best man to deal with—he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?" Thoreau is the latter. But this little book has several enjoyable, ranty, insights. "He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, whic I wouldn't want to meet Thoreau in real life. "Which is the best man to deal with—he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?" Thoreau is the latter. But this little book has several enjoyable, ranty, insights. "He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea." "When a traveler asked Wordsworth's servant to show him her master's study, she answered, "Here is his library, but his study is out of doors." "What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?" He harshly rebukes that person that sits at three in the afternoon as if it is three in the morning. I read these wise words at three in the afternoon in my favourite armchair.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sterlingcindysu

    There used to be a segment on Saturday Night Live called "Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey. I'm sure Thoreau had many deep thoughts while walking. I don't agree with most of them, such as wanting to live by a swamp because of all the good stuff Mother Nature cooks up in one. If he wants mildew on his clothes, a stinky front yard and maybe alligators ala Louisana, he's welcome to it. No one will visit him (which is what he probably wants anyway.) So my big take-away from this small essay written by There used to be a segment on Saturday Night Live called "Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey. I'm sure Thoreau had many deep thoughts while walking. I don't agree with most of them, such as wanting to live by a swamp because of all the good stuff Mother Nature cooks up in one. If he wants mildew on his clothes, a stinky front yard and maybe alligators ala Louisana, he's welcome to it. No one will visit him (which is what he probably wants anyway.) So my big take-away from this small essay written by America's first nature writer is that Walking (with a capital W) isn't just for exercise or locomotion to get your chores done. He writes that “every walk is a crusade,” and his invitation to a walk is almost the same as Christ’s call to his disciples: “If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again--if you have paid your debts, and made your will--then you are ready for a walk.” Serious stuff, walking. Another free read for Kindle from Amazon.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emma M.

    This was my second reading of "Walking" and, this time, I chose to read it in nature. That really made all the difference. I found myself hating it this last fall when I read it in the confines of my tiny little room. Surrounding myself in nature and allowing myself to annotate in the margins made me feel like Thoreau and I were on our own walk, having a conversation. Just like any long conversation there were moments I began to zone out and think about other things but overall it is a wonderful This was my second reading of "Walking" and, this time, I chose to read it in nature. That really made all the difference. I found myself hating it this last fall when I read it in the confines of my tiny little room. Surrounding myself in nature and allowing myself to annotate in the margins made me feel like Thoreau and I were on our own walk, having a conversation. Just like any long conversation there were moments I began to zone out and think about other things but overall it is a wonderful read and an experience I will probably have again.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Oh, Thoreau- sometimes I wish a man of this time period could live exclusively by your ideals. I shouldn't generalize, I am sure there are men that do.... I mean me. I wish I could. Anyways, this little gem is a great essay on the topic of walking. The premise is that walking is good for the body, mind and soul. I do not believe many people would refute this, but Thoreau is eloquent and assertive on the subject and I believe makes a great case for this great alternative to anything else one does Oh, Thoreau- sometimes I wish a man of this time period could live exclusively by your ideals. I shouldn't generalize, I am sure there are men that do.... I mean me. I wish I could. Anyways, this little gem is a great essay on the topic of walking. The premise is that walking is good for the body, mind and soul. I do not believe many people would refute this, but Thoreau is eloquent and assertive on the subject and I believe makes a great case for this great alternative to anything else one does in life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Nicole Wagner

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PIECE BY THOREAU! Wow, it just really spoke to me. The opening line, "I wish to speak a word for Nature." Wow. It had me captivated from the first line. I really love this message of looking around at the beauty around you and appreciating all of the "real-life," that surrounds us. It pays omage to "stop and smell the roses," I just love it so much! xo, Rach I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PIECE BY THOREAU! Wow, it just really spoke to me. The opening line, "I wish to speak a word for Nature." Wow. It had me captivated from the first line. I really love this message of looking around at the beauty around you and appreciating all of the "real-life," that surrounds us. It pays omage to "stop and smell the roses," I just love it so much! xo, Rach

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

    7 in 7 readathon book #4. A big meh. Starts well, then he goes off on one about civilisation and society. Doesn't really stick to the topic of walking at all. Too bad. 7 in 7 readathon book #4. A big meh. Starts well, then he goes off on one about civilisation and society. Doesn't really stick to the topic of walking at all. Too bad.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Adeline

    Henry David Thoreau, in his essay “Walking”, demonstrates both a deep connection to the natural world as well as an obvious notion about his own superiority in appreciating it. This pretension does not diminish his likability as a narrator, but it does call into question some of his romanticized notions of simple and rugged lifestyles. Thoreau's ruminations on the value and power of walking to distinguish true appreciators of nature from common travelers are tinged with a sense of nobility which Henry David Thoreau, in his essay “Walking”, demonstrates both a deep connection to the natural world as well as an obvious notion about his own superiority in appreciating it. This pretension does not diminish his likability as a narrator, but it does call into question some of his romanticized notions of simple and rugged lifestyles. Thoreau's ruminations on the value and power of walking to distinguish true appreciators of nature from common travelers are tinged with a sense of nobility which Thoreau seems to confer upon himself. Much as Thoreau appreciates and champions the value of wilderness, he is not as ready to become a farmer as he might like to think. Thoreau's appreciation of wild, dark, untrammeled forest throughout his narrative also marks him as someone who might not be suited to an undertaking whose very purpose is to tame the wild and produce by the hand of man. The tone and subject of Thoreau's opening ruminations reveal much about his character. Thoreau immediately expresses his prejudices regarding man's ability to appreciate nature when he claims that he has “met with but one or two persons...who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering” (71). It is implied that Thoreau believes himself to be in possession of this type of “genius”, and can practice the “noble art” (73) of walking quite well. The comparisons Thoreau makes between “Walkers” (73) and the nobility are eloquently put, but elitist nonetheless. Thoreau fancies that Walkers are of an “ancient and honorable class” (73) and explains that No wealth can buy the requisite leisure, freedom, and independence which are capital in this profession. It comes only by the grace of God. It requires a direct dispensation from Heaven to become a walker. You must be born into the family of the Walkers. (73) With this extraordinary pronouncement, Thoreau is declaring himself touched “by the grace of God” (73). This example of his unabashed egoism is one of many which, cumulatively, demonstrate how removed from the common farmer Thoreau really is. This is not to say that his egoism utterly disqualifies him from the art of farming, but it certainly demonstrates that he might be over romanticizing what it means to be a farmer. An exceptionally well educated man, Thoreau delves into a discussion of the etymology and mythology of the word “saunter”, further separating him from a common farmer who would most likely have little education, particularly in the study of foreign languages. He enjoys musing that a man “sans terre” (72) is heading for the Holy land, and again Thoreau aligns himself with some higher power or calling. Thoreau's claim that he can't maintain his “health and spirits” (74), without spending “four hours a day, at least” (74) wandering in the outdoors says much about his situation in life. Only a person with a substantial degree of leisure time would be able to indulge in such a luxury; a man who farms for his living would tend not to have such freedoms. Were Thoreau to own a farm, he would need to spend nearly all of his time working his land. Additionally, Thoreau displays a degree of insensitivity to the common working man. He seems unable to understand that some people have no real choice about their vocation. Thoreau expresses a disdain for “mechanics and shopkeepers” (74) who spend all their time inside without acknowledging that they may be trapped by their financial situations or familial obligations. As further evidence of Thoreau's high opinion of himself, he seems to think he is kind in declaring that “they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago” (75). Demonstrating his freedom of vocation again, Thoreau remarks that Walking, for him, is not a matter of exercise but “is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day” (77). Thoreau next enters into an interesting discussion which compares and contrasts the farmer with the villager and the gentleman. Clearly, Thoreau is an opinionated man, and he throws out pronouncements at random; this is part of why he is so appealing to read. The immediacy of Thoreau's communication with the reader is always enjoyable. Thoreau remarks that “the callous palms of the laborer are conversant with finer tissues of self-respect and heroism” (78), and reveals what appeals to him about the life of a farmer. The self-made nature of a farmer appeals to Thoreau's romantic attitudes. The “callus of experience” (78) more than the actual process of farming seems to be what Thoreau seeks. In another display of his intellectual wealth, Thoreau examines the meaning of villages and villagers. His conclusion is not a positive one; he connects the Latin derivation vilis to vile and villian as evidence of the “degeneracy villagers are liable to” (81). Villagers are “wayworn by the travel that goes by and over them, without traveling themselves” (81). This seems again like an insensitive evaluation of Thoreau's fellow men. The farmers that he so admires are probably quite dependent on the village and the villagers for company and resources which cannot be grown. Were Thoreau to become a farmer, he too would be dependent on the village and might not be so able to take such a haughty air. Most contradictory to his farming inclinations are the observations of “man's improvements” (80) which Thoreau views with horror. To Thoreau, the clearing of land and the building of houses serve only to “deform the landscape, and make it more and more tame and cheap” (80). Surely Thoreau realizes that even the smallest and most primitive farm requires an alteration of the existing landscape, so this seems like a clear problem with his desire to farm. One of the most compelling images Thoreau presents is his description of a surveyor looking after his bounds, while heaven had taken place around him, and he did not see the angels going to and fro, but was looking for an old post-hole in the midst of paradise... the Prince of Darkness was his surveyor. (80) This is a clear example of how much Thoreau worships nature and sees it as a truly spiritual place. Nature is not just something pretty to be enjoyed, but something which can touch the soul on a deeper level. While it is possible to have a farm that does not interrupt the beauty of the landscape too greatly, it does nonetheless require some degree of surveying and modification of the environment. Thoreau's utter respect and affection for the most wild and untouched landscapes also contradicts the essence of a farm. As mentioned earlier, the goal of a farm is to tame the land and make it lucrative. Not necessarily monetarily lucrative, but at the very least a farm must produce a harvest – otherwise it is just a field. Thoreau values land that is not developed by man for any purpose other than wild beauty above all else. For Thoreau, “how near to good is what is wild” (97). A farm is not wild, it is cultivated. Thoreau is most moved by “impermeable and unfathomable bog” (98) and seeks “the darkest wood, the thickest and more interminable, and, to the citizen, most dismal swamp” (100). The opinion Thoreau has of farming is based on observations made from a distance, and because of this Thoreau has an overly romanticized idea of farm life. His perspective certainly is appealing, particularly when he says that “nothing can equal the serenity of their lives. Their coat of arms is simply a lichen” (117). But everything Thoreau has said about villagers, the meaning of walking, his own need for nature, and his worship of the wild would suggest that he might not be so suited to farming, despite what romantic notions he might have about it. Thoreau expresses his opinions and observations with authority and passion. His view of farming, idyllic though it may be, is nonetheless at odds with nearly everything else he says. Thoreau is dismissive of the men who work in the village, and disdainful of any human development of the land. He wants to hike through wild bogs, not survey fields and labor in the sun. While Thoreau clearly has a deep respect for the farmer, he is not necessarily well suited to the enterprise himself. But then again, “who but the Evil One has cried, 'Whoa!' to mankind” (107)?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I've never read Walden, although I've picked it up several times and flipped through the pages. It was just too much, too voluminous, too daunting. This book proved to be a gentle introduction to a man I would have liked to have met. I admire his dedication to the natural world. Not needing to travel to some distant location, he appreciated the woods around his own home. He wanted to understand the plants and birds, the weather and ever-changing environment. Kullberg has selected passages that g I've never read Walden, although I've picked it up several times and flipped through the pages. It was just too much, too voluminous, too daunting. This book proved to be a gentle introduction to a man I would have liked to have met. I admire his dedication to the natural world. Not needing to travel to some distant location, he appreciated the woods around his own home. He wanted to understand the plants and birds, the weather and ever-changing environment. Kullberg has selected passages that give glimpses into Thoreau's thoughts about each of the seasons. p 34: I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of the spring, thinking that I have here the entire poem, but then, to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read. My ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages ... p 73: It is because I am allied to the elements that the sound of the rain is thus soothing to me. The sound soaks into my spirit, as the water into the earth. p 116: I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness ... to regard man as an inhabitant or part and parcel of Nature rather than a member of society ...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This was interesting....I'm still thinking about it. Henry David Thoreau put such thought and care into this. He made the time to write about "walking" which was a beloved past time of his. Granted this was back in the mid 1800's where traveling (of any kind) was either a luxury or a necessity, let alone having spare time to do it. When I look at the lives of my ancestors in the mid-west during that time, it was a hard life. After a day in the fields, I think the last thing they wanted was to go This was interesting....I'm still thinking about it. Henry David Thoreau put such thought and care into this. He made the time to write about "walking" which was a beloved past time of his. Granted this was back in the mid 1800's where traveling (of any kind) was either a luxury or a necessity, let alone having spare time to do it. When I look at the lives of my ancestors in the mid-west during that time, it was a hard life. After a day in the fields, I think the last thing they wanted was to go for a hike. There was hardly time or energy left at the end of the day to head out into nature, which is why I think the author stressed the necessity and benefits of communing nature.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mmars

    For me, this was just a little too unfocused. At sixty pages it is a long essay, something that, to be successful, should be tightly focused. On the flip side, it IS about walking - not to anywhere in particular, not at a purposeful pace - but as in wandering, meandering. As in partaking of an existential experience. And, what does Thoreau's mind do? It wanders, it meanders, it ruminates and produces profound thoughts. If you like quotes, there's many to be found here. For me, this was just a little too unfocused. At sixty pages it is a long essay, something that, to be successful, should be tightly focused. On the flip side, it IS about walking - not to anywhere in particular, not at a purposeful pace - but as in wandering, meandering. As in partaking of an existential experience. And, what does Thoreau's mind do? It wanders, it meanders, it ruminates and produces profound thoughts. If you like quotes, there's many to be found here.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Being an avid, daily walker, I enjoy thinking about Thoreau’s thoughts as I walk.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dustyloup

    I think I could return to this essay time and time again. I took eleven pages of notes with quotes as I was reading. So many things to like about this and more digestible than Walden. I tried reading that once and got bogged down by it. Thoreau is not perfect by any means and his ignorance of women and Native Americans seems quite clear, but he was a product of his time and manifest destiny was in full swing. It’s fascinating to read and see, really feel an America at the bridge between the past I think I could return to this essay time and time again. I took eleven pages of notes with quotes as I was reading. So many things to like about this and more digestible than Walden. I tried reading that once and got bogged down by it. Thoreau is not perfect by any means and his ignorance of women and Native Americans seems quite clear, but he was a product of his time and manifest destiny was in full swing. It’s fascinating to read and see, really feel an America at the bridge between the past and present. Written in 1861, so we’ve passed or well into the “industrial revolution” phase but there’s still a wildness to the country…before railroads and telephone lines became ubiquitous. The time before America became a superpower. Here are just a few of the thoughts that sprang to my mind as I was reading this... The little details of the landscape can be just as enjoyable as wide vistas. A place that you know very well can be explored so deeply that it becomes wondrous instead of mundane. In the midst of a global pandemic, it's important to realize that politics and the economy are a mere part our landscape - not insignificant, but they're not everything! Art, literature and poetry are part of the path too, and there is a season for everything. So now is a time to be reading and reflecting on it and it's ok that there are also times not to do so. “For I believe that climate does thus react on man,--as there is something in the mountain-air that feeds the spirit and inspires.” Thoreau muses on whether it’s important how many “foggy days” and the opposite of mountain air a man experiences. At this historic moment, we see how climate of fear reacts on man too – topped with isolation and we've got a parfait sundae of things that are bad for humans. When Thoreau speaks of the Wild, it's easy to think that this is an outdated concept. How much Wild is out there now? For better or for worse, digital spaces/the cloud are another form of modern-day wild. And there is still “Wildness” in this digital world – the dark web and/or new ways of living under surveillance. And now, “life after coronavirus” may be a new Wild to explore. That sounds quite dark, but what I mean is that these things are part of the path, part of the world - not all of it. These modern versions of the Wild are simulacre – substitutes for the real wild that we’ve fenced in, but it is still there under our feet, ready to break through the concrete! Just as Thoreau describes politics as being important but not everything, the same is true for today's digital frontiers and new ways of imagining society. Looking at them in a different light doesn't stop us from being civilized, far from it, it means that we can step back and look at the core - tearing down the fence that we built around it in order to both more civilized and more connected to the Wild. To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it. Possessing something, holding on to it actually sucks out the pleasure from it. Once you say, “It’s MINE and no one else can have it!”, a wall is built around the thing and there is no longer a connection with the outside world or even other ideas, places, things, people. No interaction, no food for thought. This is not just true on an individual level but a societal level as well. “Every tree sends its fibres forth in search of the Wild.” Which means this wild is not only an individualistic, human search for meaning and order in the world, but also the story of nature. During this time of confinement, the wild plants have taken root and found their place amongst the groomed bulbs along the lake near my home. This idea of rewilding and nature naturally sending its fibers to the wild is at the core of permaculture. More about the Wild and its dark side: "The cities import it at any price.” The Wild is the novel, the exotic, the new, the thing that gets you high – the cronut is today’s headdress. The symbol that progress has no limits and that there is always something new under the sun, that there is enough for everybody who has the wealth to pursue it - city-dwelers are wealthy and powerful enough to buy whatever they want and they believe their purchase buys the adventure and culture that it represents. While "essential" employees are risking their lives, the rich are ordering delivery. To quote Marie Antoinette, "Let them eat cronuts." “We have heard of a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. It is said that knowledge is power; and the like. Methinks there is equal need of a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Ignorance, what we will call Beautiful Knowledge, a knowledge useful in a higher sense: for what is most of our boasted so-called knowledge but a conceit that we know something, which robs us of the advantage of our actual ignorance? What we call knowledge is often our positive ignorance; ignorance our negative knowledge." Today there’s too much focus on productivity and being useful and accomplishing things – gaining knowledge to gain power and influence. Here Thoreau says that ignorance can be good for the soul, good for humanity. In this time of a pandemic I would have to agree, because a little knowledge goes a long way and then too much makes for anxiety and panic. Ignorance doesn’t necessarily mean stupidity either – when you’re a young person staring at the wall doing nothing you are still doing something, that rest and recharge period is essential to growth, just like plants need a break sometimes. Parents need to be strict sometimes (setting limits, bedtimes, etc) like plants need to be treated aggressively sometimes (being shaken up by animals to knock off seeds or buds, or humans “deadheading” flowers), but constant activity, use, movement wears them out just like us! The trap of knowledge is that once you say “I know x…” it’s difficult to acknowledge what you don’t know – the concept of fencing off again! Thoreau reveres the Wild yet wants to buy a property. Of course, that’s our nature, to search for something and hold it in our hot little hands even as we know we’re like the cartoon character Elmyra who just wants to “love and squeeze” whatever she has to death. We love our Wild so much we have killed it and keep looking for new ways to make and remake it. “It is remarkable how few events or crises there are in our histories; how little exercised we have been in our minds; how few experiences we have had.” I think this is why the Wild is so attractive, because when we are living a civilized life, we are coddled, protected from the elements and don’t have to work for what we have. I mean there’s work and work. Shuffling papers and emails and phone calls around is not work, it’s busywork at best, insanity making at its worst. This pandemic is a wakeup moment for lots of folks that what they’ve been doing is meaningless or sometimes just the opposite – that what others mocked and called menial work is actually now considered essential. I fully accept that my work is not essential and that the world won’t change one iota when I get laid off. My boss will have a harder time of it, but life will move on, the work will shift. What’s essential today will be meaningless in a few months and vice-versa. That’s why you have to know your own nature and live in a way that is true to it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    George Love

    More of an essay than a book, but a brilliant essay. The closing section of Walking is amazing, one stunning insight crashing down on top of the next and reaching a crescendo on the final line which I would rank as my second favorite closing line ever after The Great Gatsby. Thoreau begins with walking and dives into innovation, creativity, domesticated spirits, freedom and plenty more. He suggests that in walking - away from the village, into nature - we are reminded of who we truly are. We str More of an essay than a book, but a brilliant essay. The closing section of Walking is amazing, one stunning insight crashing down on top of the next and reaching a crescendo on the final line which I would rank as my second favorite closing line ever after The Great Gatsby. Thoreau begins with walking and dives into innovation, creativity, domesticated spirits, freedom and plenty more. He suggests that in walking - away from the village, into nature - we are reminded of who we truly are. We strive so much to satisfy societal norms and expectations, much of little consequence, that we fail to cultivate the gifts and graces that are the stuff of which we are built. Can't recommend this one enough - read it. Then take a walk.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    The elevated language will make you smarter. The sentiments will make you richer.

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