I've learnt a lot of things which I'd have come across eventually but encountered for the first time in CS books, and was able to "impress" teachers with as a result
, such as the Salic Law (CS), the Latin for "O Come All Ye Faithful" (Gemma) and Emily Dickinson's poems (Trebizon) ... and my modern history tutor never could understand why I was so interested in Austrian history.
Pretty much everything I know about ballet and horses (not that much, but some things!) comes from children's books. Much as I loved Noel Streatfeild and Lorna Hill, my brief foray into ballet lessons didn't really work, seeing as I was a big fat clumsy oaf
, and ponies don't really feature in life on a Manchester housing estate
. The same with boats. Most children in the UK, and most of the rest of the Western world, do now live in urban areas, and don't get to spend long holidays in the countryside or seaside because (quite apart from the cost) parents only get limited time off work, so there don't get much chance to learn about adventures in the mountains et al except in books.
I was going to say that I think most people do have respect for nature, but sadly there seem to be a lot of reports about accidents, some of them fatal, in open water or on mountains, and a surprising number of them happen in the winter when you would expect that people might think twice before going hiking up mountains. So maybe this sort of knowledge is being lost, as Jay said.