Why do Books Still Exist?

When you consider it, it’s rather weird that we still have books in our technologically advanced society. But they’re here to stay. Books will live on as long as people love to see new stories unfold. As long as we’re human, we will love escaping and we will love stories. Thinking about the future, about a future job, a mortgaged house and things to put in it, one more and more often decides not to buy a television. Why would people need it, when everything they want to watch is available on Youtube or Netflix? That’s when it becomes obvious: the television side of media has moved on – people don’t need televisions anymore, and a piece of technology that was so modern is now considered obsolete. So
why are books still so loved, still so popular despite all the distractions we face in the 21st century, when all they are, essentially, is bound pieces of paper? The answer is simple. Because they certainly are not simply bound pieces of paper.

Modern life runs amok. Sometimes, we feel like life has the wind behind it, pushing it forward, and it leaves us behind, gasping for breath and calling for it to slow down. Books are tiny pieces of magic in a constantly moving world. Books are the world’s greatest and worst metaphor for life all in one. They’re the worst metaphor, because you can close books. You can shut them whenever you want and go and do something else. You can stay up all night reading, get to the end of the book and put it down, shut your eyes, and return to your dreams. You can’t do that with life and maybe that’s the reason we love books so much. Books allow you to live a thousand lives and dream a hundred dreams, put yourself in the position of someone completely different, or someone completely similar. In real life, you only get one chance.

There’s no rewind button, and you never get the chance to just stop your life for a minute to do something different, and then come back to it. We get really jealous when we think about books like that. Then we remind ourselves we’re being jealous of an inanimate object and go back to the page. But the true reason we love books is because they’re such a great metaphor for life. A metaphor to tell you that no matter what happens, there’s always another page. No matter what awful things and events might have happened on one page, something different will
happen the minute you give your fingers the chance to turn the page. A character who seems simple at the beginning develops, and you never quite know them until the very last page. And lastly, some books are great. Some books are not so great. Some books are great to certain people. Others are great to other people. And that’s ok.
There’s a reason people still choose reading books over watching one more episode of Suits. And it’s because you can’t get feeling that you get reading a good book that you get watching a program. There’s something fulfilling about feeling those crisp edges on your hands, of watching scenes play out in your head, of fantasizing over characters you wish existed. There’s just something truly magical about having something so simple in your hands that has the power to make you feel so much, to make you feel less alone and to make you feel worth more, as you become involved with the plot, the twists and the turns.

Adapted from www.theguardian.com


Exercise 1
Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) waiting to be used: __________
2) one that everybody knows about: __________
3) something that diverts your attention from sth: __________
4) simply: __________
5) to move sth backward: __________
6) sth that isn’t alive: __________
7) a person: __________
8) a part of a TV series played weekly (usually): __________
9) satisfying: ___________
10)complications: __________
11)to move in an uncontrolled way: __________
12)having some value: _________


Exercise 2
Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) sth has sth over sth
2) sth is considered sth on your hands
3) to gasp for breath
4) to stay moved on
5) a metaphor sb feel sth
6) to choose involved in sth
7) to feel out in your head
8) sth plays up all night
9) to make obsolete
10)to become for sth


Exercise 3
Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) pomimo czegoś
2) być zazdrosnym o coś
3) bez względu na to …
4) okropne
5) postać
6) wątek
7) fantazjować o czymś
8) rozważać coś
9) historia rozwija się
10)dom obciążony hipoteką



Grammar corner…

In informal, but also in Business English, we often help ourselves with little words that solve many of our language problems. One of them is GET, which usually means something along the lines of BECOME. Here are some useful phrases with GET: get along – work well with someone, get away – to escape, get back – to return, get going – move rapidly, get in – to enter a vehicle, get into – to have an interest,
get it – to understand, get lost – to become lost, get off – to disembark from a vehicle, get on – to enter a vehicle, get out of – to leave a car, get over – to recover from, get to – to arrive at a place, get up – to stand up, get through – to finish.


Exercise 4
Fill in the gaps with a phrase with GET.

1. Margaret always tries to get _______________ from the heat of the city each July.
2. You had better get _______________ if you want to complete your homework by tomorrow.
3. Lisa will never get _______________ the death of her husband.
4. Peter always gets _______________ at 6 o’clock.
5. My daughter missed the train and couldn’t get _______________ school on time.
6. Grandmother got _______________ and had to call me for help last week.
7. After I got _______________ the red car in the showroom, I instantly wanted to buy it.
8. I was suddenly sick and had to get _______________ the car.
9. Lily didn’t get _______________ when Emma told her joke.
10. Mr. Paterson got _______________ from his trip to Florida yesterday.
11. Alex and his father don’t get _______________; they disagree constantly.
12. I had a very difficult task to do, but I managed to get _______________ it with hard work and discipline.
13. What activities do you get _______________? – I enjoy hiking and climbing.
14. Jenny gets _______________ the bus at 6 o’clock each morning. Her trip lasts an hour.
15. At 7 o’clock, Jane gets _______________ the bus. After a short walk, she arrives at work.


available – dostępny
obvious – oczywisty
essentially – w zasadzie
to rewind sth – przewinąć (np. taśmę wideo)
an inanimate object – rzecz martwa
a character – postać
an episode – odcinek
fulfilling – satysfakcjonujący
the twist and turns – zwroty akcji
to run amok – mknąć bez opamiętania
worth – warty
sth has moved on – coś poszło z duchem czasu
sth is considered obsolete – coś jest uznawane za przestarzałe
to gasp for breath – chwytać oddech
to stay up all night – nie spać całą noc
a metaphor for sth – metafora czegoś
to choose sth over sth – wybrać coś w miejsce czegoś
to feel sth on your hands – czuć dotyk czegoś
sth plays out in your head – coś odgrywa się w czyjejś głowie
to make sb feel sth – sprawić, że ktoś jakoś się czuje
to become involved in sth – zaangażować się w coś
despite sth – pomimo czegoś
to be jealous of sth – być o coś zazdrosnym
no matter what happens – bez względu na to, co się stanie
awful – okropne
plot – wątek
to fantasize about sth – fantazjować o czymś
to consider sth – rozważać coś
a story unfolds – historia rozwija się
a mortgaged house – dom obciążony hipoteką
a piece of technology – urządzenie
constantly – ciągle
a distraction – coś, co rozprasza

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Ex. 1
1) available
2) obvious
3) a distraction
4) essentially
5) to rewind sth
6) an inanimate object
7) a character
8) an episode
9) fulfilling
10)the twists and turns
11)to run amok
Ex. 2
1) sth has moved on
2) sth is considered obsolete
3) to gasp for breath
4) to stay up all night
5) a metaphor for sth
6) to choose sth over sth
7) to feel sth on your hands
8) sth plays out in your head
9) to make sb feel sth
10)to become involved in sth
Centrum Języków Obcych Archibald poziom B1/B2
Ex. 3
1) despite sth
2) to be jealous of sth
3) no matter what happens
4) awful
5) a character
6) plot
7) to fantasize about sth
8) to consider sth
9) a story unfolds
10)a mortgaged house
11)a piece of technology
12) constantly
Ex. 4
1) away
2) going
3) over
4) up
5) to
6) lost
7) in
8) out of
9) it
Centrum Języków Obcych Archibald poziom B1/B2