IELTS Cue Card # 244 - Describe a book you have at your home

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a book you have at your home.

You should say:

  • what book it is
  • what the topic/story of this book is
  • from where you got the book

and explain why you have kept that book at your home.


 

Model Answer 1:

I have a moderate size bookshelf in my room which is packed up with all kinds of books from many different writers. While the books are written on an array of subjects, I particularly like the ones that talk about promoting better understanding among people from different cultures, races and religions, and today, I would like to talk about one such book.

The book, I am talking about, is titled “Islam between East and West” which is written by a Bosnian politician, lawyer and author called Alija Izetbegovic. Even though, he hasn’t written that many books, I like to consider the author of this book as one of the most brilliant religious philosophers of the 20th century because of his deep and extraordinary understanding of our world’s two main religions - Islam and Christianity.

Anyway, I bought this book from a local library in my hometown, and it talks about dealing with dogmas, institutionalism and teachings of Islam with the aim of establishing the place of Islam in the general spectrum of ideas. It is a book about Islam not only from within but also from without. In this sense, the topic of the book is not primarily Islam as a teacher but Islam as an outlook on the world.

However, while trying to talk about the Islamic conception of the world, he has also tried to talk about the core doctrines of atheism, socialism and Christianity in order to place Islam on its true and natural course. This book conducts a comparative analysis of modern materialist ideologies with religious thought by talking about the effects of “pure religion” and “pure materialism”.

Anyway, I have kept this great book at my home, primarily because I read it from time to time to enhance my understanding of the unchecked greed of our material world. Besides, I also like to take the references from this book when I try to have some intelligent conversations with my friends. Finally, I have kept this book also because I really like its author, not only as one of the most renowned philosophers of the 20th century but also as an accomplishing politician.



Sample Answer 2:

I have a good collection of books in my living room, and the total number would be between four to five hundred, I guess. I received some of these books as gifts on different occasions. But most of them were bought either by me or my father. Among those books, “The Republic” by the Greek philosopher Plato is a book that I think is important to me, and it has been in my collection for a long time.

The book cover is a combination of red and yellow, and the front cover has several geometric shapes and the sculpture of Plato himself. The back cover of it has a critical review of the book and other details of the publisher.

The book is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato around 380 BC, and these dialogues often are the definition and implementation of justice. This book is considered Plato's best work by many. It has been proven, throughout the ages, to be one of the most intellectually influential and historically important works of philosophy as well as political theory. This book also discusses the immortality of the soul, theory of forms, roles of the philosopher, social structure, justice and its intricacies and poetry in society.

My father purchased this book, and I have seen it at our home since my early childhood. The binding and papers of this book were so good that the book still seems like a new one. I have read it once and thoroughly enjoyed the content of it. This book has amazed me to a great extent, and it has brought many thought-provoking topics to my mind.

It is one of the most favourite books of my father, and he often explained to me from which perspective Plato discussed a topic in the book, and it helped me grasp many difficult concepts of this book easily. So we have kept this book at our home, and we would want to keep it with us forever! Furthermore, it is a worth reading book, and I consider it as one of the most valuable books at our home.



Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q. What is the difference between men and women when choosing what to read?
Q. What kind of books do children like? Why do they like reading?
Q. What is the difference between reading and watching TV?
Q. What are the advantages of reading books, in your opinion?
Q. What books are popular in your country? Why?
Q. How have the book reading habits of people in your country changed in the last ten years?

Q. What is the difference between men and women when choosing what to read?
 
Answer: We are all different when it comes to personal choice, taste and preference, and therefore there shouldn’t be any surprise there that men and women actually can differ from each other when choosing what to read. For example, women actually prefer to read fictions that are related to crime, mystery, thriller and romance while men generally tend to read non-fiction books that are related to history, biographies/memoirs and science fiction. Another remarkable difference is, both men and women prefer to read those books which are written by their own gender.

Q. What kind of books do children like? Why do they like reading?
Answer: I think that all children, with some exception, of course, like to read, primarily because it enhances their imagination. After all, all children like to imagine things about a world in which they like to live. Children like to read also because it offers them entertainment and joy.

So, what kinds of books do children like to read? Well, they all like to read any kinds of books that are based on what/how they want their world to be like. But, to be more precise, they like fairy tales and fantasy for sure. They also like books with rhyming stories, funny pictures and stories, as well as books which are written on adventures.

Q. What is the difference between reading and watching TV?
Answer: There can be a number of differences between reading (a book) and watching TV.  If someone is into raw and somewhat instant entertainment, and “visual materials” that please their eyes, then perhaps they should opt for watching TV. On the other hand, if someone is looking to stimulate his/her brain slowly and yet actively in order to promote a “better understanding” of his or her world, then perhaps he or she should go for reading a book.

Watching TV is a “passive” thing that helps our brain relax while book reading is an “active” thing that, on the other hand, actually engage and stimulate our brain.

Q. What are the advantages of reading books, in your opinion?
Answer: There are a number of great advantages of reading books, depending on, of course, what we read. But generally speaking, reading enhances our knowledge and intelligence of the world and environment in which we live. It enhances our imagination and makes us smart. It could also increase our abilities to see situations from different points of view to help us become more confident about our lives and surroundings. Finally, reading books could also improve our sleep by reducing some of our unnecessary stress in daily life. No wonder, reading books still is a treasured part of many people's lives.

Q. What books are popular in your country? Why?
Answer: Well, I live in a relatively large country that has a huge population, and therefore, it would actually be a futile attempt on my part to pinpoint exactly what books are popular there. But, from what I have seen, at least from the people around me who like to read books, people generally love to read those books which are on poetry, novels and short stories. And those genres of books are popular in my country, primarily because the authors of most of these books are internationally-acclaimed personalities. In fact, one of these authors from my country also happens to be a noble laureate. Most people I know in my city love to read classic novels, historical books, detective stories, science fiction and romantic stories.

Q. How have the book reading habits of people in your country changed in the last ten years?
Answer: Well, the book reading habits of the people in my country has changed in the decade, just as many other things, with time. Talking about reading books, gone are those days when many people could be seen carrying a good book with them and read it in a park, bus or train. Nowadays, it is not as frequent as it used to be primarily because either they are too busy with other things, or they are too busy doing something on their computers or smartphones. Even most children aren’t seen to be reading those funny children’s stories or cartoon books as they are over-burdened with reading school textbooks or too much engrossed with tabloid PCs or smartphones. 

 

Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:
  1. Describe a book you once bought. 
  2. Describe something important you own. 
  3. Describe something you have had for a long time. 
  4. Describe a book you have at your home. 
  5. Describe a gift that you have recently received.
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