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Do you prefer watching TV or reading books and why ? - IELTS Speaking Test Preparation

There are many advantages and disadvantages of both watching TV and reading books.

Main discussion points:

Watching TV: Advantages:

  1. Visual and auditory experience: TV provides a combination of audio and visual elements, making it easier to engage with certain types of content.

  2. Convenience: TV allows for passive consumption and can be more accessible for people who prefer a more relaxed form of entertainment.

  3. Varied content: TV offers a wide range of genres and shows, catering to different interests and preferences.


  1. Passive consumption: Watching TV can be less mentally engaging than reading, as it often requires less active participation from the viewer.

  2. Potential for distraction: TV shows often come with commercials and distractions that can interrupt the viewing experience.

  3. Limited depth: Some TV shows may lack the depth and complexity that can be found in books.

Reading Books: Advantages:

  1. Cognitive engagement: Reading books requires active mental participation, which can lead to improved cognitive skills such as comprehension and critical thinking.

  2. Depth and detail: Books often provide more in-depth exploration of characters, plots, and themes due to the longer format.

  3. Improved focus: Reading can enhance concentration and focus, as it typically requires sustained attention to the text.


  1. Time-consuming: Reading books can be more time-consuming compared to watching TV shows, as it demands a higher level of attention.

  2. Limited sensory engagement: Books rely solely on text to convey information, which might not be as appealing to those who prefer visual and auditory experiences.

  3. Accessibility: Some people might have difficulty accessing physical books due to factors like availability, affordability, or physical limitations.

Ultimately, whether someone prefers watching TV or reading books depends on their personal preferences, interests, and the type of experience they are seeking. Some individuals might enjoy a balance of both activities, while others might have a strong inclination toward one or the other.

Example Answer 1 :

When it comes to watching TV, it offers the advantage of a multi-sensory experience involving visuals and sound. This can enhance the overall engagement and understanding of certain content. Furthermore, TV provides convenience through passive consumption, allowing individuals to unwind while being entertained. Additionally, the diverse range of genres and shows on TV caters to various interests, offering something for everyone.

On the other hand, reading books has its own set of merits. Reading requires active mental engagement, thereby fostering cognitive skills such as critical thinking and comprehension. Books often delve deeply into characters, plots, and themes, offering a more comprehensive exploration due to their longer format. This can enhance the reader's understanding and emotional connection with the material. Moreover, reading can lead to improved focus and concentration, as it demands sustained attention to the text.

However, there are drawbacks to both activities. TV watching can sometimes be passive, potentially leading to reduced mental stimulation. On the other hand, reading books can be time-consuming, and its reliance solely on text may limit sensory engagement for those who prefer visual and auditory experiences.

In conclusion, whether one prefers watching TV or reading books is subjective and depends on personal preferences, interests, and the type of experience one seeks. Engaging in both activities can offer a well-rounded and balanced approach to leisure and information consumption.

Example Answer 2:

Personally, I find myself drawn to reading books more than watching TV. One reason for this is the escape and immersion that books provide. For instance, when I read fantasy novels, I can vividly imagine the magical worlds and characters in my mind, creating a personalized experience that is unique to me. Additionally, I enjoy the freedom to imagine and interpret the story at my own pace, without being limited by the visuals presented on screen.

IELTS Speaking Topic – Speaking Part 3: Reading

Other Follow Up Questions:

What kinds of books are considered good reads in your opinion?

Example Answer:

In my opinion, good reads encompass a wide range of genres and styles, as everyone’s preferences differ. However, books that are considered good reads often have engaging and well-developed characters, a compelling plot, and thought-provoking themes. They may offer unique perspectives, challenge societal norms, or provide insights into different cultures and historical periods. Ultimately, a good read is subjective and depends on the individual’s personal tastes and interests.

Do you think that people read nowadays as they did in the past?

Example Answer:

In my observation, there has been a noticeable change in reading habits compared to the past. Growing up, I remember spending hours engrossed in novels, eagerly turning the pages to uncover the next chapter. However, with the rise of digital media and smartphones, I have noticed a shift in how people consume information and entertainment. Nowadays, it’s common to see people scrolling through social media feeds or watching streaming services in their spare time. Although reading may not be as prevalent as before, I still believe there is a significant number of people who value the power of books and continue to read regularly myself included.

Do you regard famous writers as good role models?

Example Answer:

Famous writers can serve as excellent role models for aspiring writers and literature enthusiasts. Their accomplishments and contributions to the literary world can inspire others to pursue their own creative endeavours. Additionally, famous writers often possess a deep understanding of language, storytelling techniques, and the human condition, which can be valuable for individuals looking to enhance their writing skills. However, it is essential to recognize that writers, like any other individuals, have their own strengths, weaknesses, and complexities. Therefore, it is important to assess their work critically and draw inspiration from their craft rather than blindly idealizing them as role models.

If a movie is based on a book, would you prefer to read the book or watch the film? Why?

Example Answer:

When a movie is based on a book, I prefer to read the book first before watching the film adaptation. This preference stems from a personal experience with “The Lord of the Rings” series. I read the books before the movies were released, and the depth of the storytelling and the richly imagined world of Middle-earth captivated me. The books allowed me to form a deep connection with the characters and experience their emotional journeys in a profound way. Later, when I watched the film adaptation, I appreciated the visual spectacle and how it brought certain scenes to life, but I still cherished the depth and complexity that the books offered. Reading the book first enhanced my overall enjoyment of both the book and the movie, as I could compare and appreciate the different elements each medium brought to the story.

How do our reading habit change as we grow up? Why does it happen?

Example Answer:

As we grow up, our reading habits tend to evolve due to various factors. One reason for this change is the increasing demands on our time and responsibilities, such as work or family commitments. This may result in less leisure time for reading. Additionally, our interests and preferences may shift as we gain exposure to different genres, authors, and life experiences. Our reading habits may also be influenced by technological advancements, as digital media and online platforms provide alternative sources of information and entertainment. However, it is important to note that reading habits can vary greatly among individuals, and some people continue to maintain a strong passion for reading throughout their lives.

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