A Hobby Makes Your Life Much More Interesting

Our life would be hard without rest and recreation. People have quite different ideas of how to spend their free time. For some of them the only way to relax is watching TV or drinking beer. But other people use their spare time getting maximum benefit from it. If you enjoy doing some activity in your free time, than you have a hobby. A person's hobbies are not connected with his profession, but they are practiced for fun and enjoyment. A hobby gives one the opportunity of acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience. A hobby is a kind of self-expression and the way to understand other people and the whole world. A person's hobbies depend on his age, intelligence level, character and personal interests. What is interesting to one person can be trivial or boring to another. That's why some people prefer reading, cooking, knitting, collecting, playing a musical instrument, painting, photography, fishkeeping or playing computer games while others prefer dancing, travelling, camping or sports.

Collecting things is a very popular hobby and it may deal with almost any subject. Some people collect stamps, coins, badges, books, clocks or toys. Other people collect beer cans, key rings, stones, matchboxes, thimbles and all sorts of things. Once you've got a small collection you keep adding to it. Some people don't even remember how their collection started but now their house is crammed full of different knick-knacks which they can't use but keep for the sake of having them. But some people collect valuable and rare things as they consider it to be a good investment of their money.

If you are active and tired of town life, if you long for changes and want to get away from civilization, than camping is for you. It is a cheap way to rest, to improve your health, to train yourself physically and to enjoy nature. Some people prefer more extreme camping when they have to survive out-of-doors, orient themselves, obtain food from the wild, build shelters and adapt themselves to extremely cold weather. They learn to overcome any obstacles and become strong and self-reliant.

Ecotourism is becoming popular and fashionable all over the world, especially with people who try to damage the environment as little as possible. Tourists visit places of natural beauty and they usually travel on foot, by bicycle or boat so that there is no pollution. They stay in local houses or hotels and eat local food. Their aim is to enjoy nature, to experience the local culture and to get unforgettable impressions without polluting and wasting or destroying natural resources. They must keep places that they visit clean and safe. The principles of eco-tourism are 'Leave nothing behind you except footprints and take nothing away except photographs' and 'Take as much care of the places that you visit as you take of your own home'. If people remember these simple rules, we will be able to save our planet and to conserve the wildlife.

A hobby plays a very important educational, simulational and psychological role, makes you stronger physically and mentally, helps you escape from reality, improve your knowledge, broaden your mind, develop your skills and gain a better understanding of how the world works.

1) How does a hobby influence a person's life?
2) What kinds of hobbies do you know?
3) Why do people collect different things?
4) What is your attitude to extreme camping?
5) Why is ecotourism fashionable today?
6) What are the principles of eco-tourism?
7) Why is it important to everybody to have a hobby?
8) How do you spend your spare time?

Free Time and Hobbies

A hobby is something that people like to do when they are not busy with their usual work and have some free time. It is something being done exclusively for pleasure. Hobbies differ like tastes. If you have chosen a hobby according to your character and taste, you are lucky because your life becomes more interesting. Hobbies are divided into four large classes: doing things, making things, collecting things and learning things.

The most popular of all hobby groups is doing things. It includes a wide variety of activities, everything from gardening to travelling and from chess to volleyball.
Gardening is one of the oldest man's hobbies. It is known that the English are very keen on gardening and growing flowers, especially roses.

Both grown-ups and children are fond of playing different computer games. This is a relatively new hobby but it is becoming more and more popular.
Making things includes drawing embroidevy, painting, making sculptures, designing costumes, handicrafts, joinery, knitting, book binding, fret work. Two of the most famous amateur painters were President Eisenhower and Sir Winston Churchill. Some write music or play musical instruments. Ex-president of the USA Bill Clinton, for example, plays the saxophone.
Almost everyone collects something at some period of his\her life: stamps, coins, matchboxes, books, records, postcards, toys, watches. Some collections have no real value. Others become so large and so valuable that they are housed in museums and galleries. Many world-famous collections started in a small way with one or two items. People with a good deal of money often collect paintings, rare books and other objects of art. Often such private collections are given to museums, libraries and public galleries so that others might take pleasure in seeing them.

As far as I am concerned, I have always been fond of collecting stamps. My mother had started collecting stamps long before I was born. She gave me her six albums of stamps as a birthday present when I was twelve.

Then I continued collecting stamps myself. It helped me to learn a lot about other countries and other people's traditions, the world's fauna and flora. I used to bring the albums to school and sometimes exchanged stamps with my schoolmates.

About a year ago my parents bought me a tiny model car, and since then I decided to collect miniature car models. I am fond of cars and car-races. Now I collect car-models from different countries and historical periods. I also try to find out everything about the new models I buy.

I read specialised web-sites and try to keep up with the release of new models on Internet forums. I communicate with other people from different countriesed in car models, so I have to brush up my English.

No matter what kind of hobby a person has, he\she always has the opportunity of learning from it. By reading about the things we are interested in we are adding to what we already know. Learning things can be the most exciting aspect of a hobby.


according to one's taste - в соответствии с чьим-либо вкусом
amateur radio operator, radio ham - радиолюбитель
to be fond of- любить
to be keen on - увлекаться
bookbinding - переплетное дело
coin - монета
to devote - посвящать
drawing - рисование
to embroider - вышивать
fretwork - выпиливание
gardening - садоводство
grown-up - взрослый (человек)
handicraft - ремесло, рукоделие
in a small way - в малом масштабе, понемногу
joinery, furniture-making, woodworking - столярное дело
to keep up with - быть в курсе, не отставать
to knit - вязать
to make something with one's hands - делать что-то своими руками
matchbox - спичечный коробок
painting - живопись
postcard - почтовая открытка
pottery - керамика
record - пластинка
to sew - шить
stamp - марка
to take pleasure in - получать удовольствие от
tiny - маленький
variety of activities - разнообразные занятия, виды деятельности

1. Tastes differ. Can you say the same about hobbies?
2. Have you chosen a hobby according to your character and taste?
3. What hobby groups do you know?
4. What activities does the hobby group of «doing things» include?
5. Are you fond of making things?
6. Do you know the hobbies of any famous people?
7. Have you ever collected anything?
8. What can be collected?
9. Do you have a lot of free time?
10. How do you usually spend your leisure time?
11. Does your hobby help you to learn new things?