Let’s Speak About Hobbies

What Is a Hobby?

In the 16th century a favorite toy for children of all ages was the hobbyhorse. In appearance a hobbyhorse could be as simple as a stick, or it could have a decorated wooden framework with an imitation horse’s head attached. Whether simple or elaborate, children used them for the games of the time involving war and knighthood, much as children in the early part of the 20th century played cowboys and Indians. In time the popularity of the hobbyhorse declined, but the pleasure of doing something outside the routine activities of daily life had brought a new word into the language, the word hobby, which is a shortened form of hobbyhorse.


Hobbies today include a vast range of activities. The definition that best covers all these activities is probably constructive leisure time activities. It excludes games and leaves out purely spectator activities like watching television. It also excludes schooling and work done to make a living.

A hobby, like playing with a hobbyhorse, is an activity apart from the ordinary routines of life.

It should encourage the use of creativity and imagination and bring the reward of learning. Some hobbies bring monetary rewards as well.

 Hobbies Differ Like Tastes

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 traveling and from chess to volleyball.

Gardening is the oldest of man’s hobbies. It’s a well-known fact that the English are very fond of 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’s becoming more and more popular.

Making things includes drawing, painting, making sculpture, designing costumes, handicrafts. Two of the most famous hobby painters were President Eisenhower and Sir Winston Churchill. Some hobbyists write music or play musical instruments.


Almost everyone collects something at some period of his 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, icons and other art objects. Often such private collections are given to museums, libraries and public galleries so that others might have pleasure in seeing them.

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

Answer the questions

  1. Tastes differ. Can you say the same about hobbies?
  2. Have you chosen a hobby according to your character and taste?
  3. Which hobby groups do you know?
  4. The most popular hobby group is doing things, isn’t it? What kind of activities does this group include?
  5. What do you know about gardening?
  6. Do you like computer games?
  7. Are you fond of making things?
  8. Do you know any famous hobbyists?
  9. Have you ever collected anything?
  10. What can be collected?
  11. Do you agree that learning can be the most exciting aspect of a hobby? Why?
  12. What makes people interesting to others?
  13. Do you share your parents’ hobbies, interests, tastes? Why?
  14. What do you think about people collecting things? Is it a useful hobby in your opinion?

So Many People, So Many Hobbies

A hobby is what you like to do in your spare time. If you have chosen a hobby according to your character and taste you are lucky because your life becomes more interesting and exciting. Hobbies differ like tastes. The most popular hobbies are philately, collecting post-cards, coins, books. Some people are interested in music. They collect records and tape recording. And others are keen on photography. People living in cities and towns would like to be closer to nature, so they are fond of spending their spare time in the country. Some of them go on hikes, and some find pleasure working in their gardens. For example, gardening and growing flowers, especially roses, are the most common hobbies among Englishmen.

Nowadays many new hobbies have appeared. Many people are fond of hunting, but not with guns. They enjoy “hunting” the sea animals and fish with a camera. Both grown-ups and children are fond of playing different computer games. It has become one of numerous hobbies. Very often hobbies help people to choose their future professions. My hobby is… .


reading, collecting something, listening to music, dancing, knitting, sewing, embroidering, cookery, playing computer games, programming, photography, drawing, painting, sports, hiking, shooting films, fishing