Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesdays with Words (The Pleasure of Books) 
While looking for a famous speech for my son to memorize for an upcoming competition, I came across "The Pleasure of Books" by William Lyon Phelps and of course, I had to read it. Unfortunately it won't work for him, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and wanted to share. Here is an excerpt:

Everyone should begin collecting a private library in youth; the instinct of private property, which is fundamental in human beings, can here be cultivated with every advantage and no evils. One should have one's own bookshelves, which should not have doors, glass windows, or keys; they should be free and accessible to the hand as well as to the eye. The best of mural decorations is books; they are more varied in color and appearance than any wallpaper, they are more attractive in design, and they have the prime advantage of being separate personalities, so that if you sit alone in the room in the firelight, you are surrounded with intimate friends. The knowledge that they are there in plain view is both stimulating and refreshing. You do not have to read them all. Most of my indoor life is spent in a room containing six thousand books; and I have a stock answer to the invariable question that comes from strangers. "Have you read all of these books?"
"Some of them twice." This reply is both true and unexpected.
Read the the whole piece here.


  1. This is definitely my home decor philosophy! :-)

  2. I love to sit in a room perusing the bookshelves but I do feel anxiety that I may never have time to read them all....

  3. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a room like that!



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