Saturday, 11 April 2009

a test reading

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrase from below and ONLY THEN click on the “gap” box to check your answer.

read between the lines
read my lips
read somebody like a book
take something as read

Mr Flannel tried to suppress his excitement as he plucked a copy of Modern Tea Cosies from the 'Interests' section of Witham Public Library and strolled to the counter.
'I'd like to take this out, please,' he said to the woman behind the desk.
'Mrs Slope eyed the volume Mr Flannel had put on the desk. 'This one?'
'Yes, please.'
'Are you sure, sir?' she queried, not picking up the book.
Mr Flannel looked perplexed. 'Of course I'm sure. I think we can,' he countered.
'Certainly, sir,' said Mrs Slope. 'If you could just hang on a minute while I fetch the Chief Librarian.'
Mr Flannel stood and waited while Mrs Slope disappeared behind a door marked 'Staff Only'. She emerged two minutes later with a bald man in a grey suit and pince-nez on his nose.
'Allow me to introduce myself,' he said, inclining his head slightly. 'My name is Ignatius Rub. I am the Chief Librarian. My assistant has given me to understand that you wish to take out Modern Tea Cosies on loan. Is that correct?'
'Yes, it is,' confirmed Mr Flannel in what he considered to be a very patient voice.
'Are you sure?' asked Mr Rub.
Mr Flannel sighed heavily. ',' he said with a pause in between each word. 'Yes.'
'We have Ancient Tea Cosies if you'd prefer,' responded Mr Rub.
Mrs Slope whispered into Mr Rub's ear. He nodded his head in understanding. 'We also have Tea Cosies of the Middle Ages and The Romans' Favourite Tea Cosies.'
'I've read both of those, and now I want to read this one,' Mr Flannel declared pointing to the copy of Modern Tea Cosies lying on the desk.
'Really?' said Mr Rub. 'I don't claim to be Sherlock Holmes, obviously, but, it does appear to me that you have fascination for the tea cosy world which exceeds that of the disinterested amateur. Am I correct?'
Mr Flannel banged his fist on the counter. 'I'm not the kind of a person you can, Mr Rub. However, if you wish to know the reason for my interest in Modern Tea Cosies it is very simple. I am the most person in the world. I have read every single book in the world - fiction, non-fiction, and railway timetable - except this one.'
'Is that so?' inquired Mr Rub.
'It is so indeed.'
'Every single book except this one?'
'Every one, yes.'
'You must really want this book then?'
'I do.'
'To complete what must be a lifelong quest?'
'Well, you can't have it,' retorted Mr Rub, scooping up the book in his hand and turning his back on Mr Flannel in one deft movement. 'Know-all,' he muttered, before disappearing back through the 'Staff Only' door.

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Collocation of the Week by Dr Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.