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Reading Books

Reading Books

Date: Oct 24 2008

Themes: Hobbies, School

Grammar: Comparing Quantity


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

In today’s fast-paced culture, many people may feel like they’re too busy to read a book. In fact, a recent survey found that reading rates are falling in the US. Young people in particular are more likely to spend their free time watching TV or surfing the Internet than reading a novel or nonfiction book. According to the survey results, the average 15- to 24-year-old living in the US spends 2 hours per day watching TV, and only 7 minutes reading for pleasure.

Considering all the high-tech forms of entertainment out there, from video games to cyberspace, maybe it’s not surprising that fewer people read these days. But is reading just an old-fashioned pastime, or is it a lost art? Listen to what Marni and Jason think about reading.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  I’m reading the most incredible book right now, and I can’t even imagine not having that in my life, like not loving reading.

Jason:  Wow. Yeah, yeah. So you’re one of those that always has a book going no matter what?

Marni:  Oh yeah. Even, like, sometimes you get super-busy and like I’ll stop for a while and I’ll just, you know, like…But I know it’s there and I make time for it because it’s…it’s so important. I love reading. Yeah.

Jason:  Totally. It’s just surprising to me that there are people who just…years go by and they don’t read a book. I guess they’re just reading newspapers and websites and stuff…Or…

Marni:  Or not reading, which could be even…That’s even more alarming.

Jason:  It’s just interesting ‘cause it’s like, you’d think if you write a book you could like affect the culture. But I guess you’d only affect the small portion of the culture that actually reads books. Ya know?

Marni:  Let’s change that.

Jason:  But what’s the…what’s appeal of reading books? Like how can we sell it to people over like…Like what do you enjoy about reading a book over watching a movie or something?

Marni:  Getting absorbed into a story whether it’s true or not. I mean, I’m reading the most incredible nonfiction book right now called Three Cups of Tea, and it’s… it’s a New York Times bestseller. And it’s incredible and it’s, you know, it’s the most inspiring book that I’ve read, because this man, this real guy, goes into these countries that are completely impoverished and he builds schools. And it’s totally inspiring and I can’t imagine not wanting to know that story.

Jason:  But what makes it better in book form than in documentary film form?

Marni:  Well, documentary film form, it’s like it’s, you know, it’s visual. It’s there. But, like, a book…Actually, you know as a teacher I actually teach kids how to read.

Jason:  Yeah.

Marni:  And part of it is, like, creating pictures in your mind, like creating a story in your mind. So you’re getting the words and you, you know, have this vision of it. And oftentimes, when books are translated into film it’s not as good as, like, the picture you’ve created in your mind. Because if a book is written well, the words are so rich…It’s better.

Jason:  Yeah. Totally.


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Marni is in the middle of a great book and loves to read. Jason is impressed that Marni reads so much, even when she’s busy.

Jason is surprised by how many people don’t read books. Even people who read other things, like magazines or websites, might not make time to read a whole book.

Marni describes the book she’s reading right now, a true story about a man who builds schools in poor countries. She’d rather read about this story in a book than see a documentary film about it because reading makes you use your imagination more than watching a movie does.

What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? What did you like about it? Do you prefer reading books, watching movies, or surfing the Internet?



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02:08 AM Oct 24 2008 |




I cannot remember when i read a book for pleasure.Nowdays,i have a lot of classes and stuff to learn,there's no much spare time for me to do somethings i really wanna do.Plus,the Internet is so convinent and i am often surfing the Internet to search what i need.After learning this lesson,I'd better slow down sometime and read a book for relaxation.

01:51 AM Oct 24 2008 |



Yeah, it seems we are becoming busier and busier, and we spend our time for watching movie, surfing the internet, going out for fun, suddenly we find out we are far from books and also our souls.

12:49 AM Oct 24 2008 |


Viet Nam

I rarely read books. The last book I read was Dracula and I really enjoy it. Although most of the details make me scared, but I still read it to know the end. It's actually an excellent literature.

Generally, I prefer surfing the Internet.

11:25 AM Oct 17 2008 |

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