Reading Walden


I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion

-Henry David Thoreau in Walden

I gave myself a little leeway on time since I didn’t start until Jan. 17th, but I have finally finished Walden!!

To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader more than any exercise which the customs of the day esteem.



I went to the woods deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

-Henry David Thoreau in Walden

There have been parts that I have found torturously slow and parts that I felt immensely connected to so that the pages just flew by.

There have been parts that spoke to my soul:

Not till we are lost, in the other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.


If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer


and parts where I wondered how could he think those things:

Often the poor man is not so cold and hungry as he is dirty and ragged and gross.  It is partly his taste, and not merely his misfortune.  If you give him money, he will perhaps buy more rags with it.


My dad always taught to give because I was led by God to give, not to be concerned about what they did with it.  That was between them and God and if I had listened in a discerning way, then I had been obedient.

I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience



A written word is the choicest of relics.  It may be translated into every language and not only be read, but actually breathed from all human lips

– Henry David Thoreau in Walden

I am glad that I put in the time to read it.  I have wanted to read it and never completed it.  The reading challenge made me stick to it and glean more information than I had made it to before.  He had a lot of great things to say about nature and simplicity.  I, however, do want to travel and eat good food so I won’t be implementing those types of things.

We need the tonic of wildness


How worn and dusty, then must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity.


Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.  I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sand bottom and detect how shallow it is.

– Henry David Thoreau in Walden

summer library.jpg

We should come home from far, from adventure, and perils, and discoveries every day, with new experience and character.

– Thoreau

Let your light shine!


7 thoughts on “Reading Walden

    1. I own the top four. My husband owned Walden and the others have been gifts that I’ve received. The only one that I haven’t read is Great Expectations. It’s on my list for this year though. Most books that I read are ones I borrow from the local library.

  1. I read walden back in high school and since I have re read it several times including many other works by Thoreau, who I consider a hero. I feel reading Thoreau put me on my path for my life. I did not know anything about Buddhism and now, though not perfect at the practice, Buddhism is a part of my life as is the world of nature thanks to Thoreau.

    1. This was my first time all the way through. I definitely had lots of admiration for some of his thoughts. I have not read any of his other works although there are some others in the book I own. I had a hard time adjusting to the changes in nature in my new locale and photography has helped me really appreciate them!

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