Advanced Listening Practice

The Electric Page - Transcript

Two friends talk about reading eBooks.

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Amber: Hi, Dennis, what have you got there?

Dennis: Hello, Amber, it's my new e-book reader.

Amber: Let me have a look. It's nice, really elegant looking, but I don't think I could ever use one.

Dennis: Why not?

Amber: Oh I don't know, it doesn't seem right to me, books shouldn't be read on small machines like that. I'd never get used to it.

Dennis: It took me some time, I admit. You should try it, Amber. I used to be so skeptical about new technology. Now, I'd be lost without my little e-book reader!

Amber: Don't you miss the feel of a real book, the smell of it?

Dennis: Not especially. And you know, I saw some place the other day selling a little bottle of spray that you could spray onto your eBook reader, onto the back of it. It was called "Real Book Aroma". Can you believe that?

Amber: That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard! But you do understand what I'm saying, don't you? There's a romance about real books, the glossy covers, the blurb on the back, folding over a page to remember where you are, all of that. Don't you miss that?

Dennis: A lot of people just don't like progress, I guess. I'm sure the first people to see real books said that stories should be told by storytellers and heard by attentive listeners around a blazing fire. Things change.

Amber: Well, how does it work? Isn't it like reading a big PDF document on your laptop? When I have to do that at work, my eyes get so tired. I can't imagine what it would be like to read an entire Jane Austen novel in that way.

Dennis: No, no, it's nothing like that! I thought that it was, but then my cousin, Tim, showed me his one last year and I was totally sold on it; I had to get one. There isn't a light on it like a laptop or a cell phone has, so it doesn't tire your eyes.

Amber: Doesn't that mean you can't read in the dark?

Dennis: That's right, it's like a normal book. You can buy a little light to clip onto it if you want. They have this special thing called E-ink and on the screen, look, it's just like words on a page in any book you've got.

Amber: Huh, I never realized that. Don't you find yourself turning over the whole thing when you get to the end of the page? That would drive me insane!

Dennis: Yeah, I admit, I did do that a few times at the beginning.

Amber: How do you put books on it? I suppose you have to fiddle around with memory sticks and USB cables, don't you?

Dennis: You can do that if you want, I just buy books for it online and they get delivered straight to the reader.

Amber: By e-mail?

Dennis: Yeah, sort of. You just need a Wi-Fi connection.

Amber: It sounds a bit complicated.

Dennis: It really isn't!

Amber: I just don't have the time to read what I used to before starting this job. I would read two or three books every month and now, I can't even remember the last time I picked up a new book.

Dennis: That's because it's just not convenient dragging around heavy hardback books with you: who's got time for that? With this thing, I take all my books with me and it weighs nothing, the same as a newspaper probably.

Amber: How many books have you got stored in there?

Dennis: Twelve hundred.

Amber: You're kidding me! Twelve hundred books?

Dennis: And it's so convenient. I take this thing out whenever I've got a few minutes to kill: on the bus, in a cab, in the dentist's waiting room, you name it.

Amber: Hmm, you're doing a good job of convincing me.

Dennis: Listen, I'm going out of town for a couple of days. I'll leave this e-book reader with you. It's got the latest Grisham novel on it, the one you said you wanted to read. See if you get on with it, if you like it.

Amber: Would you do that?

Dennis: Yeah, sure.

Amber: Thanks a lot, Dennis. I can't wait to see what it's like.

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