A hobby is usually defined as a spare-time recreational pursuit. Therefore, for an activity to be considered a hobby, it needs to be performed after work, purely for fun, without generating a (regular) income. In other words, hobbies cost money. They do not bring money.
Definition of a hobby as a spare-time pursuit from which the hobbyist does not make money is very board and can lead to confusion. At one time in her career, the well-known American experimental performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson was advised by the Revenue Services to declare her work as a hobby â€“ because she was not making any money from it. (The taxman was not being soft on the poor struggling artist; his objective was to prevent the poor struggling artist from claiming the deductions and other benefits a self-employed professional is entitled to.)
On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who list watching TV as their hobby. To others, watching TV may sound like nothing more than killing time, unless it involves some activity over and above pressing the buttons on the remote control unit (for example, keeping a journal or a scrapbook of favourite TV shows). And what to say about people who cite in surveys spending time with family and kid as a hobby?
All in all, hobbies are an ill-defined, amorphous mass of numerous activities. The line that separates a hobby from business, on one hand, and a hobby from passing the time, on the other hand, is thin and blurry.
On bidorbuy, and on most online marketplaces, hobbies are grouped together with toys, in Toys & Hobbies category. And toys, of course, can be a hobby: making them, collecting them, as well as (presumably) playing with them when you are grown-up. But then, practically any of the items and activities listed in over 3000 bidorbuy categories and subcategories can be considered as a hobby by someone.
Here is a selection of hobby quotes to clarify, or to further confuse the issue:
- When a habit begins to cost money, it’s called a hobby.
- Beware the hobby that eats.
- My only hobby is laziness, which naturally rules out all others.
- Life’s a hobby.