Books And Reading Essay
Books And Reading
Topical Vocabulary 1. Categorisation: Children’s and adult’s books; travel books and biography; romantic and historical novels; thrillers; detective stories; science fiction/fantasy; non-fiction; pulp fiction. absorbing; adult; amusing; controversial; dense; depressing; delightful; dirty; disturbing; dull; fascinating; gripping; moralistic; obscene; outrageous; profound; whimsical; unputdownable. 2.
Books and their parts: paperback and hardback; binding; cover; jacket; title; epigraph; preface; the contents list; fly leaf; bookplate; blurb; a beautifully printed book; a tome bound in leather; a book with dense print/ with loose pages. 3. Reading habits: to form a reading habit early in life; to read silently/incessantly/avidly/voratiously; to read curled up in chair; to read a child/oneself to sleep; to be lost/absorbed in a book; to devour books; to dip into/glance over/pore over/thumb through a book; to browse through newspapers and periodicals; to scan/ skim a magazine; an avid/alert/keen reader.
4. Library facilities: reading rooms and reference sections; the subject/author/title/on-line catalogue; the enquiry desk; computer assisted reference service; to borrow/renew/loan books; CDs and video tapes; rare books; to keep books that are overdue; books vulnerable to theft; to suspend one’s membership; to be banned from the library. I. Use the thematic vocabulary in answering the following questions: 1. Which books are you reading now? 2. Where is your favourite place to read? 3. Who is your favourite novelist? 4. Who is your favourite character? 5.
Which contemporary author do you most admire? 6. Which is the first book you can recommend reading? 7. Which school text did you most enjoy? 8. What is your favourite children’s book? 9. Which book would you like to see filmed? 10. What is the most difficult book you have ever read? II. Work in groups. Find out about the last book each of your partners has read and make notes on these points: Author and title Type of book and what’s it about Reason for liking it Reason for recommending it to others III. Work in pairs. Choose the best alternative to complete these sentences:
1. Oliver Twist is a classic work of English … . Literature non-fiction letters editions 2. The plot of the story was very exciting, but I didn’t find the … . Persons people characters figurers 3. This book is a special edition for foreign readers, so there’s a(n) … . Appendix glossary introduction preface table of contents 4. A novel is usually divided into several … . Chapters units sections passages 5. If you need to find some information in a non-fiction book, look in the … .
Atlas blurb catalogue diary index review 6. Cambridge University Press is the …of the book you’re reading. Author editor printer publisher 7. A great novel has a good plot and a strong … . Communication meaning message significance 8. The book was marvelously … and it was a joy to read. Stylistic tedious well-written wonderful 9. Ernest Hemingway is one of my … American writers. Best favourite ideal most popular 10. The thriller was so exciting that I couldn’t … .
Let it down look it up pick it up put it down 11. Even the … characters in the book are really interesting. Less minor small tiny 12. I’d like to … that book when you’ve read it.
Borrow hire lend loan IV. In these sentences three alternatives are correct and two are wrong. Choose the best three alternatives for each: 1. The … character in the book is called Oliver. Central main principal principle top 2. I enjoy her books because her style is so very … . Dull entertaining readable tedious true-to-life 3. I found that the characters in the story were very … . Amusing believable informative likeable thrilling 4. There were so many twists in the plot that I didn’t really think it was … . Accurate authentic convincing realistic true-to-life 5.
She doesn’t read any fiction because she prefers reading … . Biographies short stories textbooks non-fiction science fiction 6. I can’t … books like those – they just send me to sleep. Bear carry enjoy stand suffer V. Fill in the gaps in these sentences with suitable words: 1. You can borrow books from a … or buy them from a … . 2. A writer can also be called an … . 3. I can’t afford to buy the book in hardback, so I’ll wait till it comes out in … . 4. I can’t remember the … of the book, but I know it had a yellow … . 5.
A book that tells somebody’s life story is called a … . VI. Match each word in the column with the explanation: Ballad, biography, novel, drama, poem, fairy tale, poetry, story, rhyme, novelette a) a story in prose, long enough to fill in one or more volumes, about either imaginary or historical people; b) piece of creative writing in verse form, especially one expressing deep feeling or noble thought in beautiful language, composed with the desire to communicate an experience; c) simple song or poem, especially one that tells an old story; d) the art of a poet, poems;
e) tale about fairies of imaginary origin; f) branch of literature dealing with the lives of persons; g) play for the theatre, radio or TV; h) verse for small children characterized by sameness of sound of the ending or two more words at the ends of lines of verse; i) short novel (story in prose); j) account of past or imaginary events. VII. Read the following extract and make with your groupmates the list of the books you would like to read while travelling: The Book- Bag Some people read for instruction, ad some for pleasure, but not a few read from habit.
I belong to that company. Let us admit that reading is just a drug that we cannot get along without. Books are necessary to me and I never traveled far without enough reading matter. But when I am starting on a long journey the problem is really great. I have learnt my lesson. Once I fell ill in a small town in Java and had to stay in bed for three months. I came to the end of all the books I had brought with me and knowing no Dutch had to buy the schoolbooks from which intelligent Javanese, I suppose, got knowledge of French and German.
So I read again after twenty-five years the plays of Goethe, the fables of La Fontaine and the tragedies of Racine. I have the greatest admiration for Racine, but I admit that to read his plays one after the other requires a certain effort in a person who is ill. Since then I have made a point of travelling with a large sack full of books for every possible occasion and every mood. There are books of all kinds.
Volumes of verse, novels, philosophical works, critical studies (they say books about books are useless, but they certainly make very pleasant reading), biographies, history; there are books to read when you are ill and books to read when your brain want something to work at; there are books that you have always wanted to read but in the hurry of life at home have never found time to; there are books to read at sea; there are books for bad weather; there are books chosen solely for their length, which you take along when you have o travel light, and there are the books you can read when you can read nothing else.
(from W. Somerset Maugham) VIII. See how many authors and titles you can match: For Whom the Bell Tolls Charlotte Bronte A Perfect Stranger Charles Dickens Airport Walter Scott Sister Carrie Dan Brown Tom Sawyer Daphne du Maurier Pride and Prejudice Arthur Hailey Martin Eden Danielle Steel Of Human Bondage Ernest Hemingway Alice in Wonderland Mark Twain Ivanhoe Lewis Carroll Rebecca Jack London David Copperfield Theodore Dreiser Jane Eyre Somerset Maugham The Da Vinci Code Iris Murdock Black Prince Jane Austen IX. Read the text and agree or disagree with the statements below:
An English author once wrote: “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed or digested. ” This quotation tells us how to read books of different kinds. Most travel books are to be tasted; it’s enough to dip into them and read bits here and there. If you are fond of crime stories (A. Christie, G. Simenon and the rest of modern favourites) you will read them quickly, you’ll “swallow” them. And then there are books that you’ll read slowly and carefully. If a book’s on an important subject, and a subject you’re interested in, you’ll want to chew and digest it.
And you’ll want to weigh what the author says and consider his ideas and arguments. 1) Reading English fiction with a dictionary is very dull. 2) If the book is very exciting, you “swallow” it. 3) Nobody reads reference books for relaxation. 4) Reading thick science fiction books is tiring. 5) Very intelligent people don’t read detective stories. 6) Non-fiction books can’t be inspirational. 7) Travel books give you a lot of useful information. 8) Unfortunately many young people are not in the habit of reading poetry. 9) Great book-lovers never lend their books.
10) Lots of people buy books for their bright and beautiful jackets. 11) Bookcases and bookshelves are the best kind of decoration for a living-room. 12) It’s of no use collecting book issues of magazines and newspapers. X. Read the following passage and say if you agree with the author: Some people think that as more and more people have their TV-sets in their homes, fewer and fewer people will buy books and newspapers. Why read an article in the newspaper, when the TV news can bring you the information in a few minutes and with pictures?
Why read a novel, when a play o television can tell you the same story with colour picture and action? Why read the biographies of famous men and women, when an hour-long television programme can tell you all that you want to know? Television has not killed reading, however. Today, newspapers and magazines sell in very large numbers. And books of every kind are sold more than ever before. Books are still a cheap way to get information and entertainment. Although some books with hard covers are expensive, many books are published today as paperback books, which are reasonably cheap.
A paperback novel, for example, is almost always cheaper than an evening at the cinema or theatre, and you can keep a book forever and read it many times. Books in the home are a wonderful source of knowledge and pleasure and some types of books should be in every home. Every home should have a good dictionary. Every home should have an atlas of the world, with large clear maps. It might be expensive, but a good encyclopedia is useful, too, because you can find information on any subject.
In addition, it is useful to have on your bookshelves other non-fiction books such as history books, science textbooks, cookery books, books about medicine and health, etc. It is equally important to have some fiction on your shelves, too. Then you can relax with a good story, or from time to time you can take a book of poems off your shelves and read the thoughts and feelings of your favourite poets. XI. Choose the best answer according to the information in the passage: 1. Which is easier to get the news from? a) newspaper b) the television 2.
Which is usually quicker? a) to read a biography of a famous person b) to watch a TV programme about a famous person 3. Which is usually cheaper? a) a paperback b) an evening at the cinema 4. Which is usually cheaper? a) a paperback b) a hardcover book 5. Which is it most important to have in your home? a) non-fiction books, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias b) fiction, such as novels, short stories and books of poems c) a mixture of both: good non-fiction and your favourite fiction XII. Discuss the following questions with your partners: 1.
Were your parents worried that you watched too much TV when you were younger? 2. Did you find TV more interesting than anything else when you were at school? 3. Programmes on what subject do you like most of all? 4. Can you learn all you want on TV? 5. Do you think you get more information from books or TV? 6. Is it easier for you to memorize facts watching TV or reading books? 7. What do you like more to read books or to watch TV? XIII. Different people enjoy reading for different reasons. You will read five people saying why they like reading novels.
Which of them says that novels a) are good for improving language skills? b) make them forget their problems? c) add some adventure to their life? d) teach them how to act in certain situations? e) increase their knowledge of other cultures? Reading Novels Ricky: Oh, I love novels, especially if they have a good plot. I started reading them when I was 12, encouraged by my parents who were hoping I’d be a writer myself. As it happened, reading so much at an early age had an effect on my studies, my compositions were always very good! And I still read at least one novel a week.
My own life isn’t terribly exciting, apart from my work, which is very interesting, nothing much happens. In the novels I read there’s always a lot going on, lots of thrilling events, and I can share in the experiences and problems of the characters. Ella: Well, I used to read only short stories. That changed when I moved to a new city and found myself in a job I didn’t really enjoy. I would get back home at about 5p. m. , make some supper and sit down to read a novel for the rest of the evening. Many of them are pretty unbelievable stories, and not particularly well-written.
It’s not as if you can imagine yourself in any of those situations, but the thing is they take my mind off whatever’s worrying me. I’ve had long conversations about this with friends who think I should read better quality staff, but I know what I’m doing. Sally: Why I like reading novels? I remember as an adolescent, I used to read novels just so as to see how my favourite characters solved their problems. I thought I could then apply that to my own problems! And I’m not ashamed to say that’s still the case, that’s what I’m looking for in the novels I read, and that’s my reason for reading them.
I always choose novels that are in a clear style, because I find complicated language difficult. And also I like the stories to be about countries and cultures I know well, because then I can understand the characters better. Tom: I think reading novels is helping me a great deal in my studies, and although I haven’t got much spare time, I always make a point of reading a couple of hours in the evening. I’m in my last year at secondary school, and frankly, reading novels is an excellent way of learning how people live in other countries, how they communicate with each other, what problems they have.
That’s why I prefer novels with characters who are true to life, not the ones who have impossible adventures. I’m very lucky because my best friend also likes reading and we can often discuss what we’ve both read. Alex: I like reading novels because they help me develop the ability to write myself. I used to have real problems in producing a good piece of writing. It wasn’t that I lacked ideas, no, my teachers always said my compositions were interesting. But I couldn’t get my tenses right. That’s where reading novels helped.
I don’t think you can learn much about other things from novels, because the situations are usually so unrealistic. Some people say that’s OK, if your life’s boring, you need the excitement of fiction. Well, my life’s exciting enough, so that’s not my problem. 1. Do you like to read novels? Why? 2. Do you think that reading makes a person intelligent? XIV. Comment on the following: 1. A house looks gloomy and joyless without books. 2. If the book is worth reading it is worth buying. 3. Books and friends should be few and good.