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IELTS speaking – books and films

In this lesson you will learn some key vocabulary to describe books in the IELTS speaking exam. In order to get a IELTS band 6 or higher, the examiner requires you to use a range of vocabulary with some less common vocabulary. Let’s have a look at some below. 

Adjectives to describe books and films: Try to use some of these adjectives when describing books or films.

Action-packed Full of action.“My brother loves action-packed movies. Probably that’s why his favourite film is the “Terminator”.
Drearygloomy or depressing.I can’t stand dramas, thrillers and other dreary movies.
Futuristictelling about the future.“Star Wars” movie is futuristic and dynamic”. 
Tear-jerkingtragic, making you cry.“My sister is very emotional. I would rather watch a comedy with her than a tear-jerking movie!”
Heartbreakingthat breaks your heart and evokes sad emotions.“When my aunt watched “Titanic” she cried all day! It’s such a heartbreaking film”.

Now let’s look at some extra vocabulary that you can use when talking about books or films in the IELTS speaking test.


    1. Bedtime reading: a book you read in your bed before going to sleep.
    2. Box office hit: a very successful movie, in terms of money. 
    3. E-reader: a gadget for reading books.
    4. From cover to cover: from the first page to the last. Example: I am a slow reader so it takes me a lot of time to read a book from cover to cover.
    5. Hardcover: a book with hardcover. Opposite to softcover.
    6. Page turner: a book which is so good that you cannot stop reading it. My sister recommended to me a great book. It was such a page turner that I read it in one day!
    7. Plot: a storyline of a book or film.
    8. Intricate plot: a very complex, labyrinthine plot.
    9. Subordinate plot (subplot): a plot that is related to, but less important than the main plot of a story. 
    10. Unravelling of the plot: the way in which a story develops over time.

Now let’s have a look at some more complex vocabulary to use in the IELTS speaking exam. Using some of these idioms will help you to achieve an IELTS band 7. 


  1. Don’t judge a book by its cover: a metaphorical phrase which means “you shouldn’t judge someone or something by its appearance alone”
  2. To catch the latest movie: to see a movie that has just come out in the cinema.
  3. To flick through: to look quickly through a book.
  4. To know like a book: to know something extremely well.
  5. To read between the lines: to understand the hidden meaning of something.

Now that we have had a look at some advanced vocabulary about books for the IELTS speaking test, let’s have a look at some of the possible speaking questions about books. 

IELTS Part one questions


Now let’s move on to talk about books.   

  1. Do you like reading books?
  2. What kinds of books do you like to read?
  3. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
  4. Is reading books a popular activity in your country?
  5. Do you think that electronic books / eReaders are better than real books?



  •  Do you think that people read nowadays as they did in the past?
  •  Do you regard famous writers as good role models?
  •  If a movie is based on a book, would you prefer to read the book or to watch the film? Why?
  • How do our reading habits change as we grow up? Why does this happen?


About me… Hello, my name is Victoria, an IELTS instructor at EasyEnglish and an English teacher for 8 years. This site is where I share my IELTS exam strategies to help people get the band score that they need. I hope it helps you!

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