What’s one of the best ways to improve your English outside school hours? Apart from hanging out in the Three Johns practicing English over a pint or two the answer is… reading, reading and…reading as much as you can, as often as you can, on the tube, on your lunch break, while you’re waiting for the bus, before and after your lesson.
I’ve always been very passionate and enthusiastic about literature, though I admit I can be a very fussy reader who likes browsing, looking for independent bookshops and hunting for a bargain. There are interesting places just around the corner from the IslingtonCentre for English and I would recommend these in particular:
Waterstones You all know this one, right? In between Islington Green and Essex Road, here you can find anything from fiction, non-fiction, foreign languages, travels, science, politics and children’s literature. Perfect if you like to shop in a cozy, quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Keep an eye on the various events and talks happening during the month. In November, for example:
An Evening with Barney Norris on Thursday, 24th. Barney is a very young playwright who has just published his first novel Five Rivers Met On A Wooded Plain. It would be interesting to see how he has shifted from stage plays to fiction.
"The Green Room" YA Book Club on Sunday, 27th where you can meet fellow book lovers, review the Book of the Month Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven and most importantly, make newfriends!
Oxfam Bookshop This charity shop is Heaven for the book junkies where rarities, second hand books and recent publications come at a very low price tag. Perfect for students who want to save their pennies but can’t get enough of binge reading, here many classics cost under £3! A few months ago I bought a very vintage edition of Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party (yes, I’m into the good old stuff) for less than a fiver but for those who are into ‘easier reading’ there’s a fine selection of art & cinema books, music biographies (great for a last minute Christmas present) and CDs if you still remember what they are.
Skoob This is a proper hidden gem located in Russell Square, just a short bus journey from Angel. Not the easiest place to find, it’s in basement of the Brunswick Shopping Centre. Dusty, messy with bookshelves about to burst, this is one of my favorite bookshops in the whole London. Books aren’t always labeled in alphabetical order, so be prepared to spend a good hour or two to find what you’re looking for but it’s safe to say once you’re there you don’t want to leave!
Oh yes, don’t forget about our mini-libraries in the Islington Centre for English , one at reception (for beginner to pre-intermediate levels) and next door at 98 where you can find novels, magazines and newspapers and… keep improving your vocabulary!
Keep reading, keep learning! Until the next page of my blog…
Our Cambridge advanced exam evening courses run from 6:30 to 8:30 every Tuesday and Thursday. Our courses are designed to help students study the grammar, language skills and exam techniques required for the CAE exam.
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