Season 2

Books (S02E06)

🎙️ Sign up for our IELTS Speaking for Success PREMIUM subscription:

🎧 Listen to our podcast here:
🙌 Find an IELTS Speaking Partner:

Questions and Answers

Maria: Rory, do you enjoy reading?

Rory: Yes, I do! I've always loved it, actually! I think it stems from my childhood when my mother would read books to me.

Maria: How often do you read?

Rory: Well, right now I probably don't read often enough due to the amount of work I'm doing. However, when I do read, I'm quite a voracious reader. I can go through quite a few books in just one sitting, actually.

Maria: Do you usually read for leisure or for work purposes?

Rory: Well, right now I read for work purposes, like I say, because I'm working so much, I always have to stay informed of different things, different trends that are happening, so I will be reading articles mostly. However, I'm hoping I'll be progressively reading more and more for pleasure because as my head fills up with all of this information from articles and things, my brain usually needs a rest. So I need to start working in some more leisure time reading.

Maria: What's the last book you read?

Rory: I remember it very clearly the book I read was called Sexual Personae. It's a book by Camille Paglia. It talks about the relationship between art and culture for or at least the last five thousand years of human history. It was interesting, but it's a bit of a "doorstopper", actually. It's about 600 pages. And again, because of how much I've been working, it took me about seven months to read. It was very... It's sort of a very dense book, I guess you could say. And but after reading it, I feel I know much more about culture now.

Maria: Oh, wow. It's like War and Peace by Tolstoy.

Rory: Yeah, basically. Although, I think she mentions Tolstoy in the book actually as well.

Maria: Which book had a strong impact on you?

Rory: I remember when I was much younger, I think it was about 10 years ago when I was 20, I read a book called The The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists. It was a fictional book, but it made a very convincing case for socialism, actually. And it was so convincing, I became a raving communist for about a year of my life, which I think is quite funny, since I'm a little bit more conservative now. But what's strange about that is the fact that it was a fiction book, but it still made such a convincing case for something in real life. And you would usually expect a non-fiction book to achieve that.

Maria: What was your favorite book or story when you were a child?

Rory: I can remember the book, but I can't remember the name. There was a nature book and it was about the life cycles of different animals. It was really engaging just the way the information was presented. And in addition to the great presentation of information, it also had really cool illustrations as well. This was a long time ago, so they didn't really have many, Sort of, photographic pictures and books. Artists had to draw accurate representations of different things. In particular, I remember a picture of a crocodile which was really convincing. It was so cool. I really liked it.

Maria: No Little Red Riding Hood?

Rory: Not quite for me. Little Red Riding Hood is a bit too childish. Even when I was younger, I preferred reading about things rather than people.

Maria: So you were mature from the get go?

Rory: I like mature subjects. I don't know if I was a mature person,

Maria: Yeah, no fairy tales for Rory. Ok, moving on. Do you have many books at home?

Rory: Oh loads! Yeah! I have at least one thousand in my room back in Scotland. I've got a small set of bookshelves for them, although, I suppose they're not so small now, given how many books I've got. And and then people in my family like to read quite a lot. So that's just in my room, but throughout the house there are there must be many more books that are there. Way over two thousand books.

Maria: Well, do you have some Dostoevsky? Pushkin?

Rory: I don't. I keep meaning to read Russian literature. So perhaps like I said when I was talking about in my leisure time, I need to read more, this books should be at the top of my list, really, shouldn't they?

Maria: Yeah, but what would you read? Like, Pushkin or Lermontov, like, poems or would you go for this Dostoevsky gloomy and doomy things.

Rory: I don't like poetry so much. I would think I would prefer to read a book where there's one narrative, really, as opposed to just different poems about different things.

Maria: Do people do enough reading these days?

Rory: I think they probably read more, but they don't read with enough enough depth. So, for example, people are reading different things. They read things on social media and they read different articles online. But they're all sort of like soundbites, I suppose. People don't really analyse them and think about them like they would when they have a book which provides, like, a great deal of thought about different things. And I remember reading something where they were talking about how people read online. Usually when people read online, they don't read the whole article, they just read different parts of it. There's never really much in depth thought about it.

Maria: Do you prefer e-books or hard copies?

Rory: It might not be environmentally friendly and maybe I'm a bit old fashioned, but I think hard copies are just better. I like having the book in front of me. I feel like I'm more engaged, it's a more authentic reading experience, and then when you finish reading the book, you have this kind of sense of accomplishment at the end, when you finish it and you put it on your shelf with all of the other books, that are there. It's just... The whole experience is much nicer, I think. Although, I can appreciate why people are starting to prefer e-books now, though. They're lighter, you can carry around more with you. And of course, it's better for the environment.

Maria: Are you one of these people who smell books?

Rory: Old books. Yeah. Old books have a smell that new books don't. Older books with, kind of, yellow pages have a kind of sweet smell about them, which is nice, but I don't understand smelling new books. For me it doesn't make sense.


Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff:

Our Instagram:
Our Telegram: