The origin of the word hobby in Tristram Shandy, a characters’ “hobby-horses”, or particular obsessions
A hobby is a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time. Hobbies can include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements. A list of hobbies is lengthy and always changing as interests and fashions change. By continually participating in a particular hobby, one can acquire substantial skill and knowledge in that area. Engagement in hobbies has increased since the late nineteenth century as workers have more leisure time and advancing production and technology have provided more support for leisure activities. As some hobbies have become less popular, like stamp collecting, others have been created following technological advances, like video games.
Hobbyists are a part of a wider group of people engaged in leisure pursuits where the boundaries of each group overlap to some extent. The Serious Leisure Perspective groups hobbyists with amateurs and volunteers and identifies three broad groups of leisure activity with hobbies being found mainly in the Serious leisure category.
a. Casual leisure is intrinsically rewarding, short-lived, pleasurable activity requiring little or no preparation
b. Serious leisure is the systematic pursuit of an amateur, hobbyist, or volunteer that is substantial, rewarding and results in a sense of accomplishment.
c. Project-based leisure is a short-term often a one-off project that is rewarding.