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Unit 6.
The Pleasure of Reading



Discussing the Text

51. Answer the questions on the text The Reader of Books.

  1. What was Matildas progress in reading?
  2. What did Matildas father think she should do instead of reading books?
  3. What way out did Matilda find?
  4. Why was the librarian, Mrs Phelps, taken aback when she saw Matilda?
  5. How did Matilda describe her impression of childrens books to Mrs Phelps?
  6. What problem did Mrs Phelps have when Matilda asked her for a book that grown-ups read?
  7. Did she recommend the little girl anything? What book did she 196 recommend?
  8. What impression did Great Expectations by Charles Dickens make on Matilda?
  9. How did it happen that Matilda started to read library books at home?
  10. What did reading books allow Matilda to do?
  11. Do you feel the same when you read books?
  12. Do you think Matildas parents were right when they didnt help the girl to find books for reading? Why (not)?
  13. Do you think watching television is enough to become a well-informed and well-educated person? Why (not)?
  14. What do you feel about children reading books written for grown-ups? Have you ever read books meant for grown-ups? What was your impression? Which books?
  15. Which of the books from Matildas list have you read? What other books by these authors can you name?

52. A. Develop each item of this outline.

  1. Matilda as a child prodigy.1
  2. Matildas parents and what they thought about Matildas abilities.
  3. Matilda finds her way to the public library.
  4. Mrs Phelps helps Matilda with books.
  5. Matilda begins reading at home.

B. Speak about the events described in the text on the part of:

    a) Matilda,
    b) Mrs Phelps,
    c) Matildas father.

C. Make up and act out these talks:

    a) Mrs Phelps and Matilda,
    b) Matildas parents.

1 a child prodigy -

Discussing the Topic

People often speak about the books they are reading or have read. Here are the most popular types of books:

a novel
a historical novel
a war novel
an adventure novel
a romance
a fairy tale
a science fiction book
a biography
an autobiography

a classic
a detective story
a love story
an adventure story
a folktale
a (short) story
a humorous story
a horror story
a travel book

Speaking about people who wrote books you may need these words and word combinations:

an author
a short story writer
a writer
a dramatist
a novelist

a poet/a poetess
a humorist
a childrens writer
a book by Chekhov
a book/play after Chekhov

You can characterize an author as:




A novel or a story has a plot (what happens in the book) and characters main characters and secondary characters.

Good characters can be also called heroes.

Speaking about books we often want to characterize them. This is how you can do it.

Good books can be:                   Bad books can be:


easy to read


If you want to speak about a book as an edition, you may need these:

  • (a) hardback (hardcover)
  • (a) paperback
  • a cheap (expensive) edition
  • a rare edition
  • a pocket edition
  • an abridged (adapted) edition
  • an unabridged (not adapted) edition
  • a book with an interesting design and coloured illustrations
  • a colourful book
  • a collection of plays (stories/poems)
  • a book in the original
  • a book in translation
  • a book in one (two) volumes, etc.

53. A. Say to what types these books belong:

Oliver Twist
Life of Leo Tolstoy
Gullivers Travels
Little Mermaid
Three Musketeers
The Time Machine

Little Red Riding Hood
Around the World in Eighty Days
Hound of the Baskervilles
Robin Hood and the Sheriff
Three Men in a Boat

B. Name three books that you like and say to what types of books they belong.

C. Remember the names of the main and secondary characters in one of them. Tell your friends what its plot is like.

54. Interview your classmates to find out what types of books are the most and the least popular with them.

55. Give brief information about these writers:

    a) when they worked;
    b) what books they wrote;
    c) what kind of writers they are/were:

1) William Shakespeare
2) Agatha Christie
3) Charles Dickens

4) A. A. Milne
5) A. Pushkin
6) N. Nosov

7) I. Turgenev
8) S. Marshak
9) M. Tsvetayeva

56. Match these Russian words and word combinations with the English adjectives from the vocabulary list (p. 198).


  1. ,
  2. ,
  3. ,
  4. ,
  5. ,
  6. ,
  7. ,
  8. ,
  9. ,
  10. ,
  11. ,
  12. ,
  13. ,
  14. .

57. Bring to the class one of your favourite editions and speak about it. To make your story more logical write its outline first.

58. A. Read the dialogue, Sisten to it, 33, and say what kind of books Alex likes most and think of other books you can advise him to read.

A Book to Read on Holidays

Alex: Jane.

Jane: Yes?

Alex: Can you help me?

Jane: Certainly. Whats the problem?

Alex: I need your advice. Ive read all the books we have at home. Now Im going to the local library because I want to borrow two or three books that I can read during our school holidays. Can you think of any good books? I want some really good stuff.

Jane: What kind of books do you prefer? Do you read adventure novels or detective stories?

Alex: No, in fact, I enjoy historical novels a lot more.

Jane: Have you read Alexandre Dumas?

Alex: Of course, I have. I have only just finished The Count of Monte Cristo.

Jane: I see. Let me think ... And do you like Walter Scott?

Alex: I do. I read Ivanhoe some years ago and ... Well, thats it. Scott sounds like a good idea. What novels by Scott are the best?

Jane: I personally like Quentin Durward. Its set in France in the fifteenth century. You are sure to like it.

Alex: Good. Ive put it down. What else? One book isnt enough. Jane: If you like Walter Scott, why dont you take something else by him? Rob Roy, for example. Rob Roy was known as the Robin Hood of Scotland, and the book describes him and his adventures. Alex: Great. Are you reading anything interesting now?

Jane: Im reading another English classic David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and I love it.

Alex: I dont think that I like Dickens as much as you do ... but ... well, hes not bad. Thanks for your help, Jane. I knew you would give me good advice.

B. Act out the dialogue. Then make up your own dialogues and discuss the books you would like to read on holiday.

59. A. Speak about the books youve read recently and your tastes in read' ing.

B. Ask your parents what books they read at school. Compare your reading list with theirs.

60. Interview your classmates to find out:

  1. how many students read books regularly;
  2. how many read them from time to time;
  3. how many dont read books;
  4. what kinds of books they prefer;
  5. what authors they like;
  6. who advises them what books to read;
  7. if they borrow books from a school library/local library/friends or relatives;
  8. if they think that reading books is important and why.

61. Describe:

    a) your school library,
    b) a public library in your city,
    c) an ideal library,
    d) your home library,

62. Use the beginning of one of the fairy tales and tell it with the help of the words from Ex. 3, Unit 6. Decide whose fairy tale is the best.

  1. Once upon a time there lived a nice and kindly lady. She had only one wish: she wanted to have a child. ...
  2. Once upon a time there was a girl called Little Red Riding Hood who lived with her mother. ...
  3. Once there lived a poor boy who had neither a mother nor a father. The boys name was Dick Whittington. ...
  4. Once there lived a little girl with golden hair. Everybody called her Goldilocks. One day Goldilocks went for a walk in the forest. ...
  5. Once upon a time there lived an old man who had three sons. When the man died, he left his house to his eldest son, his mill to his second son, and his cat to the youngest boy. ...

Summing up the Topic

Think of it and say:

  • if you find reading books and magazines important and necessary and why or why not;
  • what way of getting new information you prefer and why;
  • what in your opinion the future of books is.