During his lifetime Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the worldwide Scouting movement, wrote many books and articles directed to Scouters.
Each Sunday I’ll publish a selection from his writings in the hope that you’ll draw inspiration and understanding from his timeless ideas.
I HAVE said in Rovering to Success that travel and reading and Nature study are all part of self-education, and as such should be commended to Scouts. Take reading. With your books around you you have a magic power; when others are fussing and losing their hair over political hopes and disappointments, you are sitting content with what you have got. You can at any moment remove yourself and travel through far-off lands, dip into the history of other times, command the wonders of science, amuse yourself with good stories, and see beauty in thought through poetry.
Books are the best friends a man can have. You choose those that you like; you can rely on them at all times; they can help you in your work, in your leisure, and in your sorrow. You have them always around you at your beck and call in your home. They are not nowadays very expensive if you only buy one now and then to make up your collection. At any rate, the nearest public library will bring almost any book to your hand without expense. If you can hand on something of the love of books to your Scouts, you will be giving them friends which will never fail them.