Read the given exercise for improving reading comprehension

Many a home is made happier by a variety of indoor games, such a checkers, cards, carom, in which the entire family can take part. Besides the pure enjoyment of such activities and the skills developed, there are opportunities for learning to win and lose gracefully, which is rather important.

Collecting stamps, coins, match folds, etc, are pleasant pastimes, although the first two are difficult and expensive if taken seriously. Sketching, painting, modeling, carving, and photography can be far-reaching activities. From modest beginnings these activities may last for years and become lifetime professions or creative hobbies.

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Music can be either a leisure-time activity or an imposed drudgery. To many children, music lessons are just another of those things that adults force on them, that just must be done. But music can be, to some children an absorbing leisure activity which they greatly enjoy. Gramophone records, family orchestras, occasional concerts, a judicious use of the radio are all aids to musical appreciation. Dancing, if not spoiled for the child by too much formalization, can be a happy form of expression as well as aid to co-ordination and poise. Reading opens up a great new world to the child and can be one of the most satisfactory hobbies.

The greatest danger is that reading may become too prominent and push aside more active forms of enjoyment. Although the child needs some guidance in what he reads, he should not feel that the adult is selecting his reading material or imposing his standard of what is worth reading for him. He should develop his own standard of criticism. He may read a lot of what adults may call ‘trash’ but some of this trash is a help in some ways. The important thing is for the child to learn to accept what others say is ‘good literature’.

Glossary: 1. Hard work done without liking for it, 2. Rigid system, 3. Balance.

Read the above passage and answer the following questions:

1. Give a suitable heading to the above passage.

2. How are hobbies important for a child?

3. Which sports and games are best for children?

4. Which hobbies are popular among children?

5. How can music or reading become drudgery?

6. Which absorbing leisure-time activity would you introduce to children in your school?

Exercise 2

To my mind, the only sensible reason for reading anything is because we enjoy it or hope to enjoy it. Of course, pleasure covers a whole variety of feelings and shades of feeling. But it is my strongest belief about reading that one should read only what one likes, and because one likes it. I am talking, of course, of our private reading. When we are studying a special subject, or working for examinations, we obviously have to read a good deal that we would not choose to read in other circumstances.

It may seem odd to insist that one should only read because one likes it, but people read for such a queer variety of reasons. There are people who read a book, not because they enjoy the book, but because they want to be able to say that they have read it. They want to be in the swim. Ten to one, when they read a book for those reasons, they only skim through it, because all they really want to do is to be able to talk as if they had read it. There are people who set themselves down to read a book because they think it will do them good. They make a duty of it, a kind of penance. Sometimes they go so far as to set themselves so many pages at a time. If it is some kind of technical book, which they are reading in order to improve their knowledge, well and good. But if it is a novel, or a poem, or any part of what we call ‘English Literature’, then the person who is reading it in this way is wasting his or her time.

You cannot take a good book as if it were medicine. It is injustice to the book, and very silly from our own point of view. By approaching it in that way, you make sure of losing anything it might have to give you. You only begin to get good from a book when your spirit and the book’s spirit come together. A book is like a living person. You must meet it as a friend, and actively like it, if any good is to pass between you.

Glossary: 1. To know the latest, 2. Read hurriedly, 3. Self-mortification.

Read the above passage and answer the following questions:

1. What is the author’s belief about reading?

2. Enumerate the reasons for reading a book.

3. When do we get any benefit from reading a book?

4. Give a suitable heading to the passage.

Exercise 3

Whatever be its shape or size, cars will continue to dominate the U.S. social scene. This is a country with a car for every 2 ? persons. The effect of such abundance on the landscape is striking, especially for those who look down from the air. Every highway looks like a moving town, as if the houses of Dunsinane were heading towards Briarwood. Filled with hundreds of multicolored cars, the parking places around the supermarkets are mosaic patios for the villas of giants. And everywhere are huge dumps of discards like the place where elephants go to die.

Nowhere does the obligation to consume bear down more demandingly upon the U.S. public. Before the splendors of this year are all sold, people must start buying those of next year, or great areas of the economy, some having no immediately obvious link with the motor car will subside. One of the experts has listed some of the products the motor industry itself eats up. It takes one-fifth of the nation’s steel, which might be expected. It also takes the hide from 50,000 cattle, the wool from 17 million sheep and enough cotton to provide every woman in the country with 20 dresses.

The effects of this great fleet on U.S. society in its human aspects are becoming apparent. Significantly, friends of the motor industry are now on the defensive, as the friends of advertising and television have been for some time. People are beginning to wonder if Americans will forget how to walk. They point to the sinister fact that suburbs are now being built with streets but no pavements. The mounting hazards of a pedestrian existence are producing cries of angry protest from survivors, but without drawing sympathy from the majority who have motors.

Perhaps more concern is felt for the well-being of children in this era of mechanised mobility. Driving everywhere, they get too little exercise and one is bound to remark on how many American children are rather portly. Never at a loss, have the advertisers swung in to battle on this. As the season of necessary sales gets under way, they offer to the anxious parents a family station-wagon, with space inside for play-pen, big enough to hold every one under school age.

The belief that all things must be transient if the U.S. economy is to prosper is by no means confined to the motor trade. In my favorite bookshop, a notice has just appeared. It reads ‘Sales of Summer-Fiction’.

Glossary: 1. Multi-Colored or patterned, 2. Open court in an American-Spanish home, 3. Wicked- 4. Growing dangers. 5. Mechanised transport, 6. Fat, bulky, 7. Small place to play.

Read the above passage and answer the following questions:

1. How does the motor-car affect the Americans?

2. What products are consumed by the car-industry in the U.S.?

3. If car production is lowered in the U.S., what would happen?

4. How are the people affected by the over- dependence on cars in the U.S.?

5. Suggest an appropriate title for the above passage.

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