Learn IELTS Vocabulary: Books

Dec 19, 2023 | IELTS Test

IELTS Speaking Test Sample:  

Books is a topic that crops up every now and then in IELTS Speaking. 

Welcome to our IELTS Speaking Model Answers page on the topic of books. This is a common topic in the IELTS speaking test. Here, you will find model answers that cover a range of questions about reading habits, book genres, and personal reflections on specific books

Our goal is to help you enhance your vocabulary, improve your speaking skills, and express your thoughts on books with clarity and depth. 

Read the following speaking-style questions, paying close attention to words you dont know and the words in bold. There are definitions for the words in bold at the end of the page.

Before you read the conversation, you might like to download this free PDF quiz and have a go at completing the blanks.

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: What is your favourite type of book?

Candidate: My favourite genre is science fiction. I’m fascinated by the imaginative worlds and futuristic concepts it presents, which often make me think about the possibilities for our own future.

Examiner: How often do you read books?

Candidate: I try to read at least once a week. It’s a great way to unwind and learn something new. Even with a busy schedule, I find that setting aside a bit of time for reading helps me relax.

Examiner: Have you ever read a book more than once? Why?

Candidate: Yes, I’ve read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ several times. Each time, I discover new layers and perspectives in the story, which deepen my understanding of its themes about justice and empathy.

Part 2

image of woman browsing through a range of different books at a library

Describe a book that you have read recently. 

You should say: 

  • what the book is
  • what it is about
  • why you chose to read it

and explain how you felt about the book.


The book I’d like to talk about is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It’s a fascinating novel that tells the story of Santiago, a young shepherd from Spain, who dreams of discovering treasure in the pyramids of Egypt. This dream sets him on an adventurous journey, where he learns about listening to his heart and following his dreams. I chose to read it because a friend recommended it, saying it changed her perspective on life. As I read, I was captivated by the simple yet profound wisdom in the story. The book talks about the importance of seeking one’s own path, and the idea that the journey is as important as the destination. It was an uplifting read that left me feeling inspired and reflective about my own life goals and dreams. It’s a book that I believe speaks differently to each reader, depending on their life experiences and aspirations.

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: How do books influence our lives and society? [Evaluate]

Candidate: Books really shape how we think and see the world. They open us up to new ideas, different cultures, and new ways of thinking. They’re like bridges connecting us to other experiences and times. For society, books have started important conversations and even changes in how we live. They keep our history and knowledge safe for the future too. Whether it’s for personal growth or sparking big changes, books are super important in both our personal lives and in the bigger picture of society.

Examiner: Do you think the rise of digital books will replace physical books in the future? [Opinion]

Candidate: I don’t think digital books will completely replace physical books. Sure, e-books are super convenient and space-saving, but there’s something special about physical books – the feel, the smell, you know? Plus, lots of people still love having bookshelves and collecting hardcovers. I think both will coexist, with digital books for convenience and physical books for the experience.

Examiner: In your opinion, should children be encouraged to read more fiction or non-fiction? Why? [Opinion]

Candidate: I think kids should be encouraged to read both fiction and non-fiction. Fiction is great for sparking imagination and empathy – it’s like opening a door to different worlds and experiences. Non-fiction, on the other hand, is awesome for learning facts and understanding the world around us. It’s all about balance. Reading a variety of books helps kids develop a well-rounded view and keeps reading fun and interesting for them..

Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary

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Part 1

Concepts — general ideas or notions about something 

Fascinated — intensely interested or attracted by something

Genres — Categories of artistic composition, characterised by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

Imaginative — having or showing creativity or inventiveness

Perspectives — particular attitudes towards or ways of regarding something

Part 2

Adventurous — willing to take risks or try out new methods, ideas, or experiences

Captivated — attract and hold the interest and attention of; charm

Profound — very great or intense; having deep insight or understanding

Reflective — engaged in deep thought or consideration

Uplifting — inspiring happiness or hope

Part 3

Empathy — the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

Coexist — exist together at the same time or in the same place.

Balance — a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions

Practice Your IELTS Achievement/Goal Vocabulary 

Record yourself answering this question and send it to us for professional feedback.

Our feedback is based on the official IELTS Speaking Descriptors and will give you precise information on how to improve.

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