IELTS vocabulary test

Fill in the blanks using appropriate word or phrase.

The habit of reading is one of the greatest resources of mankind; and we enjoy reading books that belong ……………….. (to / for) us much more than if they are borrowed. A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain ………………… (considering / considerate) formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it …………………. (familiar / familiarly). And then, some day, ………………. (although / all though) this is seldom done, you really ought to return it.

But your own books belong to you; you treat them with that affectionate intimacy that ………………… (annihilate / annihilates) formality. Books are for use, not for show; you should own no book that you are afraid to mark up, or afraid to place on the table, wide open and face down. A good reason for making favourite passages in books is that this practice ………………… (able / enables) you to remember more easily the significant sayings, ………………… (to refer / referring) to them quickly, and then in later years, it is like visiting a forest where you once blazed a trail. You have the pleasure of going over the old ground, and ……………….. (recall / recalling) both the intellectual scenery and your own earlier self.

Everyone should begin collecting a private library in youth; the instinct of private property, which is fundamental in human beings, can be cultivated here with every advantage and no evils. One should have one’s own bookshelves, which should not have doors, glass windows or keys; they should be free and ……………… (acceptable / accessible) to the hand as well as to the eye. Most of my indoor life is spent in a room containing six thousand books; and I have a stock answer to the ………………. (invariably / invariable) question that comes from strangers. ‘Have you read all of these books?’ ‘Some of them twice.’ This reply is both true and unexpected.

Answers

The habit of reading is one of the greatest resources of mankind; and we enjoy reading books that belong to us much more than if they are borrowed. A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain considerate formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it familiarly. And then, some day, although this is seldom done, you really ought to return it.

But your own books belong to you; you treat them with that affectionate intimacy that annihilates formality. Books are for use, not for show; you should own no book that you are afraid to mark up, or afraid to place on the table, wide open and face down. A good reason for making favourite passages in books is that this practice enables you to remember more easily the significant sayings, to refer to them quickly, and then in later years, it is like visiting a forest where you once blazed a trail. You have the pleasure of going over the old ground, and recalling both the intellectual scenery and your own earlier self.

Everyone should begin collecting a private library in youth; the instinct of private property, which is fundamental in human beings, can be cultivated here with every advantage and no evils. One should have one’s own bookshelves, which should not have doors, glass windows or keys; they should be free and accessible to the hand as well as to the eye. Most of my indoor life is spent in a room containing six thousand books; and I have a stock answer to the invariable question that comes from strangers. ‘Have you read all of these books?’ ‘Some of them twice.’ This reply is both true and unexpected.

Adapted from the broadcast ‘Owning books’ by William Lyon Phelps

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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