The literal meaning of these words is “Read ten thousands of book; travel ten thousands of miles.” The real meaning, well, is open to interpretation. I interpret it as “learn and put into practice as much as you can.” After singing “Happy Birthday to you,” this is the birthday message that I have for my son on his 22nd birthday.
Ever since my son turned 18 and left home, he has spent his birthday away from home either by himself or with his friends. On his 20th birthday, he was alone on his way to South Africa. On his 21st birthday, he was on his way to California for an interview. Today he is with his friends in Paris as part of their tour of Europe. Parents have to get used to their children being away and remotely wish them Happy Birthday. After all, happiness is what really matters, be he a small boy or a big man.
P.S. today also marks the 1000th posting. What a lovely coincidence!