Food for Thought from Francis Bacon

Lifelong learners are people who keep their minds active by exploring new activities, and, sometimes, as Annie does, through formal college classes. As her Tarrant County College Creative Writing I. and II. class enters its final days, she remembers what Francis Bacon wrote about studies and books. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy some of his great thoughts.

Who was Francis Bacon, you ask? No, he wasn’t the first man to write recipes that feature our favorite pork breakfast meat. He was Lord Vernlam, an English essayist and philosopher, who was born in 1561 and died in 1626, long before any of us saw the light of day. He wrote “Of Studies” from which Annie extracted the following wisdom that she’d like to share with you–some food for thought with a zero calorie count:

“To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar …. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested…. Reading maketh a full man (or woman–Annie); conference a ready man; and writing an exact man….

Histories make men (and women) wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.”

Thank you, Francis Bacon for your interesting take on scholarship and books.  Maybe his words make you think about your own reading selections. What are the books that you have chewed and digested?

Dictionary & Atlas Stands

Annie Ambles to TCC Trinity River’s Creative Writing Class


2 thoughts on “Food for Thought from Francis Bacon

  1. Rollins Turner says:

    I just read Longitude, By Dava Sobel (for the second time.) About the man who invented the first clocks capable of keeping time accurately in ships at sea, which first enabled sailors to accurately determine their longitude at sea. I was inspired by visiting an exhibit of those clocks at Mystic Seaport last week. (


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