William Lyon Phelps was an American educator, literary critic and author. He served as a professor of English at Yale University from to On April 6, , he delivered this speech during a radio broadcast. His reverence for books was not shared by everyone, especially those in Nazi Germany.
A Speech for School Children on the Importance of Books and Reading
English Language and Literature Blog: Practice Paper 1
The habit of reading is one of the greatest resources of mankind; and we enjoy reading books that belong to us much more than if they are borrowed. A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain considerate formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it familiarly.
The Pleasure of Reading Books. Books are out never-failing friends. They are our constant and faithful friends. They stand by us in our weal and woe. Our friends may leave us in the lurch but books always stand by us.
Pleasures of reading are pleasures of ever. One who enjoys pleasures of reading needs no other pleasures. One who is the friend of books needs no other friend. Books are our nearest and dearest friends. They are our kith and kin.