- Jan 17, 2016
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- English Teacher
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A man may usually be known by the books he reads as well as by the company he keeps; for there is a companionship of books as well as of men; and one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men.
A good book may be among the best of friends. It is the same today that is always was, and it will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us in times of adversity or distress. It always receives us with the same kindness; amusing and instructing us in youth, and comforting and controlling us in age.
Men often discover their affinity to each other by the mutual love they have for a book just as two persons sometimes discover a friend by the admiration which both entertain for a third. There is an old proverb, “Love me, love my dog.” But there is more wisdom in this: “Love me, love my book.” The book is a truer and higher bond of union. Men can think, feel, and sympathize with each other through their favourite author. They live in him together, and he in them.
Books possess an essence of immortality. They are by far the most lasting products of human effort. Temples and statues decay, but books survive. Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh today as when they first passed through their author’s minds, ages ago. What was then said and thought still speaks to us as vividly as ever from the printed page. The only effect of time has been to sift out the bad products; for nothing in literature can long survive but what is really good.
The great and good do not die, even in this world. Embalmed in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which one still listens.
The text above is in a reference book for Chinese students to prepare for their English examinations，which mainly include three styles of writing---practical writing, continuation writing and summary writing. The reference book is named " Five years' real exam papers and three years' mock exam papers".
The task is： According to the text above, please write a summary within 80 words only using your own words.
The following is just my attempt at summarizing. And it is used as an example for my students to learn after I finish checking their summaries, so please proofread it and help polish it. Many thanks in advance.
My summary goes as follows:
People should choose the best humans and books to be their companions. And a good book could not only be one of their best friends who is usually a person, but also be the bridge of friendships among people. Besides, books are considered to be immortal in essence, especially good books. Therefore, good books are really important and helpful to all the people.
According to my understanding, the underlined sentences below are the key sentences in these first four paragraphs. So, I try my best to paraphrase these sentences in a natural way. For the last paragraph, I think it is a conclusion one that shows us again the immortality and importance of a good book.
one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men.
A good book may be among the best of friends.
The book is a truer and higher bond of union.
Books possess an essence of immortality.