William Lyon Phelps The Pleasure Of Books Summary

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What is the one friend that can bring you to faraway places, help you learn, and put a little romance in your life, all without leaving the comfort of your bed? William Lyon Phelps was a college professor at Yale University, an author, and literary critic during the year of 1933 when, for the first time in centuries, Nazi Germany held an official book burning, spurred on by a burn list of banned books that were thought to have “un-German” (The History Place-1) ideals. Professor Phelps used a radio broadcast to reach the American populace, in an attempt to convince the masses of the importance of books and literature. In his powerful speech, “The Pleasure of Books”, William Lyon Phelps describes the joys of owning books, the bonds that can be formed with them, and the difference between possessing your own library and borrowing a novel.…show more content…
He showed his credibility or “ethos” by explaining to the listeners that he spent his entire day surrounded by “6,000 books” ((The History Place-1) and that he could honestly say that he had read them all. Phelps believed that to be able to appreciate your books fully they must be totally accessible, not hidden behind doors and glass, but openly displayed. He felt that being able to view them was “both stimulating and refreshing” (HP). The professor told his listeners, using the power of pathos, that being able to mark your books was an essential step to creating a bond with your books and that to be able to do so was to give a person a passage to their earlier personality, reminding themselves of their earlier

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