In part one of your IELTS Speaking test, you might be asked a question like, “What books do you like to read?”
In this post, you’ll learn how to answer this question really well, with 10 example answers to help you (go straight to the answers here).
What You Can Say
To answer, first say what books you like to read. Don’t talk about articles or newspapers or blog posts. This question is about books.
You might like reading:
- Novels (romance, adventure, detective, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy…)
- Fiction (made up stories, the same as novels)
- Nonfiction (books about real life: educational books, how-to books…)
- History Books
- Biographies (or autobiographies)
- Course books (for English or any other topic)
- Comic books
- Any other kind of book you like
Add More Details
Then, you should say a little more (one or two sentences) to explain your answer. You can talk about:
- Why you like that kind of book
- Your favorite book
- A book you’ve read recently
- A book you’re reading right now
- A book you really want to read
- Anything else that comes to your mind
What If You Don’t Like Reading Books?
Well, are you sure you don’t like reading any books at all? Everyone needs to read books sometimes. Perhaps you sometimes read books for school, for your work, with your kids, while you’re cooking, or just for fun at home.
If you really don’t like reading books at all, then no problem, just say you don’t really like reading books. Then you could say:
- Why you don’t like reading books
- If you liked reading books in the past (what kind? Why did you like them?)
- Someone you know who really likes reading books
- If you would like to start reading books
- If you think reading books is a useful skill or not
- Why watching videos is better than reading books
- Other things you prefer to read (newspapers, articles, blog posts, social media posts…)
Try To Be Fluent
The most important thing for part one is to focus on fluency. This means you should answer without hesitation.
Answer quickly, without pausing to think for too long.
Don’t worry about vocabulary and grammar in part one, you can show all that off in parts two and three.
For part one, you only need to warm up, by speaking quickly and fluently. Simple English is fine in part one.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
For part-one speaking questions, you want to say more than just one word, of course. But you don’t want to say too much.
Remember, the examiner has to ask you 10-12 questions in only four or five minutes. They don’t have much time.
Practice using the YES Method to give a good length answer to part-one questions. Just say:
- Your answer (say what type of book you like to read)
- Explain your answer, or add more details
- Stop talking (let the examiner know you’re ready for the next question)
The following 10 answers are a good length. You can use them for ideas for your own answer.
1. Well, I mostly like reading science fiction novels. I think I like them because they take my imagination to different worlds, on amazing adventures. And the advanced technology they use is really fascinating to me.
2. I really like romance novels because they’re so exciting to read and they’re all about love, and they make me feel warm inside. I especially love romance novels with happy endings.
3. I usually read self-help books, which can help me to grow and become better at my job. I like to improve myself, and those kinds of books help me to improve my knowledge and skills a great deal.
4. I’ve always enjoyed autobiographies because you can learn a lot from someone else’s life. Right now, I’m reading a book about Steve Jobs. It’s very interesting.
5. I like reading history books because I think it’s really important to understand the history of your country and the world.
6. To be honest, I don’t read many books. I prefer to read articles or blog posts online about topics I’m interested in. They’re easier and quicker to read than a long book.
Used to Read
7. I used to read a lot of books, but these days I don’t have much free time to read. If I want to learn about something, I just watch a video online.
8. The only books I read are children’s books. I read them with my son and daughter in the evenings. We’ve recently been reading Alice in Wonderland, which my children enjoy a lot.
Fiction and Nonfiction
9. For fiction, I like reading classic adventure stories like Treasure Island. And for nonfiction, I like to read books about programming, for my job.
10. To be honest, I haven’t read a book in a long time, but when I was younger I used to enjoy reading fantasy novels, like Lord of the Rings.
Now… It’s Your Turn!
Set up the recorder on your phone, and ask yourself aloud, “What books do you like to read?”
Answer clearly, using the YES Method.
When you’ve finished, listen to your recording and write down what you said. This way you can clearly see your mistakes.
Think about how you could improve your answer a little.
Then… answer the question again!
This process of recording and improving is a great way to prepare for a band-seven answer to any part-one IELTS Speaking question.