132: Books and Reading

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Questions about the video file:

  1. What lead her to discover the pleasure of reading?
  2. What did she learn from various books she read before going to the USA?
  3. Which books did she read first in the USA?
  4. How did she find the fifth commandment inspiring?
  5. What are the benefits of comparative reading?
  6. What do Buddha and Christ have in common according to her?
  7. What is the most important thing about dreams?


General Questions:

  1. What's your favorite book? What kind of books do you like most? (mystery, detective, science fiction,…)
  2. What is the most inspiring book you have ever read?
  3. Who is your favorite writer?
  4. What was the name of the last book you read? What was it about?
  5. How often do you read books? How many hours a week do you read?
  6. What is the longest book you have ever read? How many pages is it? How long did it take you to finish reading it?
  7. Have you ever thought about writing a book? What would it be about?
  8. Is there a book you never finished reading it? Why?
  9. Do you lend books to your friends? Why? Why not? Do you borrow books from them?
  10. Do you prefer to read a book or watch a film? 
  11. Do you think one day in future reading will become obsolete?
  12. Do you find it important to teach children to fit in reading in their daily routines?
  13. Have ever read out to children? If so how does it feel?

Related expressions and idioms

Read sth from cover to cover: to read a book , etc completely from right the beginning to the end

  • I have read all Jane Austin’s novels from cover to cover.


Related Quotes:

  • “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”  George R.R. Martin
  • “We read to know we're not alone.”  William Nicholson
  • Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison
  • Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. Albert Einstein


Related Words and Phrases:


Second-class (adj) not the best or standard quality but lower than that

  •  I had a second-class education as a child, but I wish only the best for my children.

Calling (n) a strong desire or passion

  • Many people don’t find their calling until their 40s.

Turn to (ph v) to refer to a person or institution, etc for support, help or advice

  • She always turns to her mother at hard times.

Role model(adj) a person you look up to and admire and try to be similar to

  • As a teacher I did my best to be a positive role-model for my students.

Inspire (v) to give people courage to do what they really want; to give people ideas to create new things

  •  The music inspired me for my last painting.

Inspiring (adj) if something is inspiring it gives you courage and desire to do something

  • It was the most inspiring book I have ever read. Finishing the book, I decided to establish my own business and follow my heart.

Convenient (adj) if something is convenient it is suitable and serves the purpose right

  • The so-called managers spent hours at meeting discussing pointless issues.

Propaganda (n) false or incomplete information used by the government or media to gain public agreement

  • Facing political propaganda at the time of presidential election is inevitable.

Commandment (n) any of the ten rules given by God in the Bible

  • He has always tried to look at the commandments from a different point of view to match them with the modern life of human being.

Epiphany (n) a particular time when you suddenly understand something clearly

  • After all these years she seemed to have an epiphany and just noticed all the unconditional love her parents had for her.

Comparative reading (n) reading about the same topic in two different cultures to compare and contrast the fundamental ideas

  • As a literature student we had had to do a course on comparative reading.

Go through (ph v) experience something difficult or unpleasant

  • She went through a lot of hardship to pass her exams.

Temptation (n) a strong desire to do something, especially something wrong

  • After quitting smoking for 5 years, still he had to try to resist his temptation to smoke from time to time.

 portal (n) entrance; doorway

  • Her music is a portal to heaven. You feel you’re not in earthly world anymore.

Read sth out (ph v) to read something out loud

  • Reading out to children is really pleasant. They look at you as if you are miracle worker.


Related Collocations:

Guilt trap: a situation in which you consider yourself guilty and constantly beat yourself up

  • You had no role in your parents death.  It was just an accident. You have to come out of this guilt trap or you’ll destroy your life.

A dream comes true: a dream becomes real

  • She always believed her dreams will come true on day and she’ll be a world famous writer.

light reading: reading that is not thought of as demanding or difficult to understand

  • No one would say that Shakespeare is a light reading, it certainly requires a good command of old English as well as literature.

A must-read: something that you certainly have to read because it is so great or important

  • To many classic literature scholars all Shakespeare’s works are must-reads.

A book comes out: when a book is published for the first time

  • When Harry potter’s books came out there was an incredible line of fans to buy it.

Compulsive reading: if something is compulsive reading it is so interesting that you cannot stop reading it

  • Many people find crime novels compulsive reading. Once they start they cannot put down the book.

To be absorbed in a book: to read a book so deeply that you aren’t easily distracted

  • I called her several times but she didn’t hear her phone ringing. She was absorbed in reading.

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