One of the most common IELTS Speaking Questions is related to books. Specifically, test takers are most of the time asked to describe a book they just read or talk about their favorite book.

Here are words and phrases you need to learn to effectively describe a book. Being able to correctly use these set of vocabulary during the IELTS Speaking Test will certainly give you a chance to get a high score.

There are 2 types of books: Fiction and Non-Fiction and there are many genres of books.


Travel Guide Novel
Self-help book Autobiography/Biography
Science Fiction (Sci-fi) Satire
Drama Romance
Horror Suspense
Thriller Health
Historical Comics
Journals Diaries
Religion, Spirituality & New Age Fantasy
Series Trilogy


Amusing Boring
Easy-to-read Hard-to-read
Brilliant Silly
Captivating Predictable
Gripping Confusing
Informative uninformative
Entertaining Inaccurate
Hilarious Complicated
Well-written Creepy
Deep Deceptive
Funny / Goofy Dreary
Action-packed Erratic
Addictive Gross
Astonishing Haunting
Inspiring Obnoxious
Adventurous Redundant
Breath-taking Terrifying
Charismatic Tragic

IELTS Speaking Practice Questions and Sample Answers about books:

Part 1:

Do you enjoy reading?

I used to enjoy reading when I was still a student. Now that I work many hours everyday, I prefer to go out for a walk during my free time, as I find reading these days so dull.

What is the last book you read? Did you like it?

It’s been years since the last time I read a book, that I cannot even remember what book it was. I do recall though that it was a historical book about the Second World War, set in Poland. It was very informative but I remember it was too hard to read because of too much unfamiliar names and places. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it.

Do you read for leisure or work purposes?

My hands are full these days that I have very limited time to read. Unfortunately, I no longer have time to read my favorite DIY magazine.  My new job requires me to set aside few hours everyday to read a bunch of manuals related to my work.

What was your favorite book as a child?

On my fifth birthday, my favorite Uncle gave me a book as a present. It was a hard-bound, illustrated book called “Little Red Riding Hood.” It was written in English and although I didn’t understand the story quite well at that time, it became my favorite book because of the colorful illustrations of the characters.

Part 2: Cue Card

Describe a book you want to read again

You should say:

  • what it is
  • what it is about
  • when you read it for the first time
  • explain why you want to read it again.

About five years ago, I read a book called “The Prey” written by a renowned science fiction author Michael Crichton. It was quite a long read, more or less 400 pages, about nanotechnology and its danger to human life.

It was such a gripping novel and the plot was so unique and unpredictable. I commend the author for coming up with such a well-written piece that I didn’t even realize I have been reading for hours.  There were however a lot of technical terms used by the author which made it a bit difficult for me to grasp some ideas. I want to read it again to see whether after few years, I have already improved my reading skills enough to understand more about the book.

Part 3: Discussion

Do you prefer reading a physical book or its digital version?

Although I still love printed books, I am quite a practical person so these days I prefer to read digital books. E-books are quite handy and usually cheaper that their printed counterparts. It is also easy to find digital books on the internet, so that is very convenient. Lastly, I can have even a hundred books on my mobile phone, while I could probably take only up to three printed books at a time.

What kinds of materials do you think people should read?

Everyone should read anything that makes them relax, entertained, informed and inspired. Regardless of the kind of material, people should read as this habit encourages productivity and creativity. Newspapers, DIY magazines, novels and self-help books all contribute to a knowledgeable society.

What kinds of books can boost people’s imagination? 

Thriller and Fantasy books are great resources to improve people’s imagination. Well-crafted stories encourage the reader’s mind to work out the scene or event. Self-help books and recipe books are also good brain ticklers to boost someone’s imagination. When people follow written instructions, they have to create an image in their minds in order to properly follow the procedure and come up with the expected results.




  1. Pingback: IELTS Vocabulary: How to Effectively Describe a Book | THE IELTS NOOK

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