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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 page ─ nearly there ─ ohh! 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 classics ─ Charles 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 holiday ─ maybe to the beach ─ what 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 usually ─ traditionally
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 change ─ in what people read.
Neil: Yes, he says that the shops that sell books ─ that's the retailers ─ say 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 novels ─ that's stories about love.
Alice: Light reading ─ not 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 knows ─ or on your phone ─ no 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-reader ─ that'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 novel ─ no 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.
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BBC 6 Minute English October 08, 2015 - Do we read to show off?

5258 Folder Collection
Adam Huang published on January 2, 2016
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