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  • Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

  • Alice: and I'm Alice. Sorry, wait a minute Neil. I'm just finishing this book.

  • Neil: OK.

  • Alice: Last pagenearly thereohh! fantastic book!

  • Neil: Well I'm glad you enjoyed that. I'm glad you finished your book there Alice!

  • We're talking about books in today's programme. What was it you were reading there?

  • Alice: No, never mind Neil. It's not your kind of book. You wouldn't like it.

  • Neil: How do you know?

  • Alice: Well, I just think you might read something a little more intellectual.

  • Neil: Oh I see... Well we are talking about the kinds of books people read and what they

  • say about them today.

  • Alice: Yes. Perhaps you read the works of a famous writer

  • the classicsCharles Dickens, Shakespeare.

  • Neil: People will think you are an intellectual. You can show off by reading these books the classics.

  • Alice: Or perhaps you read popular novels or romantic fiction ─ a light easy read.

  • Neil: When you go on holidaymaybe to the beachwhat kind of books do you read?

  • And what do you read when you're going to work?

  • Alice: We're going to hear part of a BBC interview with David Adshead from the Commuter Book

  • Club. A commuter travels to work by bus, train or here in London, The Tube, a train that

  • goes all over the city, mostly underground.

  • Neil: And Alice as usual, we have a quiz question. Are you ready?

  • Alice: Yes, absolutely.

  • Neil: OK. It's about classic book sales. So these days are people buying...

  • a) more classic books?

  • b) the same number of classic books?

  • c) fewer classic books than they used to?

  • Alice: Oh that's an interesting one. Tricky to guess but I'm going to say c) fewer classic books.

  • Neil: OK, well, let's find out the answer at the end of the programme.

  • But now, here is David Adshead from the Commuter Club.

  • What kind of book does he say people usually take with them to the beach?

  • David Adshead: People often think that, you know, traditionally you take a light easy

  • read for the beach and on the train, um, you maybe read something very different.

  • Interviewer: if only to show off.

  • David Adshead: Exactly, to appear to others to be more intellectual. But actually, what

  • we find in this is that it really comes down to the individual... what they like to read

  • and actually we've seen this summer a lot of the book sales - summer reads is generally

  • lighter books, easier to get on with, to take away on holiday - but the big retailers have

  • seen a shift actually - people moving sort of slightly higher brow, taking away more

  • classic books. Sales in that way have increased.

  • Neil: David Adshead from the Commuter Book Club there. He says that people usuallytraditionally

  • take a light, easy read to the beach or on the train.

  • Alice: Yes. He says these books are easier to get on with.

  • David says that it really comes down to the individual - each person is different.

  • But he says that there has been a shift ─ a changein what people read.

  • Neil: Yes, he says that the shops that sell booksthat's the retailerssay the

  • books people are buying are more highbrow... the classics, as we were talking about.

  • Alice: Absolutely. Highbrow books are read by intellectuals or perhaps the people who

  • read these books are just showing off.

  • Neil: Yes, maybe they are. Well I wonder if these people have read any books by Fiona Harper.

  • She writes romantic novelsthat's stories about love.

  • Alice: Light readingnot highbrow. She was also at this interview about the Commuter Book Club.

  • Neil: Now, do commuters read her romantic novels on the Tube?

  • Alice: Well here is novelist Fiona Harper talking about how she writes her romantic novels.

  • She wants people to not stop reading her stories once they start

  • she wants them to be hooked.

  • Author Fiona Harper: I think what it comes down to most of the time is you just want

  • to write a really good story because if you write a good story then hopefully people are

  • hooked, they'll keep turning the pages and...

  • Interviewer: And do you wonder whether they are reading them on holiday? I mean presumably,

  • they're more likely to read your stuff on holiday than when they're sitting on the Tube

  • being looked at by lots of other people. I don't know.

  • Author Fiona Harper: Possibly, although with the advent of e-readers, you can read anything you like

  • and no one knowsor on your phoneno one knows what you're reading.

  • Interviewer: And that's an important point.

  • Neil: That's the author Fiona Harper talking about romantic novels.

  • So do commuters read her books on the Tube?

  • Alice: Well perhaps you don't want others to see you reading that stuff. It can be a

  • bit embarrassing. It shouldn't be, but Fiona says you can also use an e-reader.

  • Neil: An e-readerthat's an electronic book. Instead of pages, you read off a screen.

  • Alice: Well if you use an e-reader or tablet, no one knows what you're reading.

  • Neil: So perhaps they are reading a romantic novelno one knows.

  • OK. Let's take a moment to look at some of today's words. Alice.

  • Alice: Here they are:

  • intellectual

  • show off

  • the classics

  • romantic fiction

  • light read

  • heavy read

  • retailers

  • highbrow

  • shift

  • hooked

  • advent

  • e-reader

  • Neil: And before we go, the answer to today's quiz question. I asked about classic books.

  • Are people these days buying...

  • a) more classic books?

  • b) the same number of classic books?

  • Or c) fewer classic books than they used to?

  • Alice: Yes. And I said c) fewer classic books.

  • Neil: Well I'm afraid to say Alice that you're wrong.

  • Alice: Oh no.

  • Neil: I know. They're reading more classic books!

  • Alice: Oh excellent!

  • Neil: Sales of these books are apparently increasing.

  • Alice: Well that's good to hear.

  • Neil: And that's the end of today's 6 Minute English. Please do join us again soon.

  • Alice: And keep reading books... in English. Highbrow classics or a light read

  • it doesn't matter.

  • Neil: It doesn't matter at all.

  • Both: Bye.

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 UK TOEIC alice read classic reading fiona

BBC 6 Minute English October 08, 2015 - Do we read to show off?

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    Adam Huang posted on 2016/01/02
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