[Easy English Blog] Making paperbacks

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Until this year, we only published our graded readers as e-books. E-books are becoming more popular, and they are usually cheaper than paper books. This year, however, we started making paperback versions of our graded readers.

Some people prefer reading “real” books, so we decided to make books for those people. We hope they enjoy reading our graded readers.

I bought an e-book reader (Kindle) about six years ago. Now, most of the books I buy are on my Kindle. It is easy to carry around, and the books don’t take up any space in my apartment. Now, I read more than I did before. It is easy for me to buy books – I just click a button! (This is also dangerous, because it is so easy to buy many books and spend a lot of money!)

I still buy paper books. If I want a reference book or a textbook, I will buy the paper version. It is easier to switch between pages, and go backwards and forwards. But if I want a novel, I usually buy the e-book version.

How about you? Do you prefer e-books or paper books?

Heather@I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Pets

Do you have a pet? I want a dog, but I can’t have one. I live in an apartment, and pets are not allowed. When I was a child, I had a dog. He was a West Highland Terrier – like the dog in the photograph above. His name was Mac. I loved Mac. We were always together. I took him for a walk every day when I got home from school. Sometimes I took him out in the morning before I went to school.

He was a very clever dog. He enjoyed watching TV. When a dog came on the TV, he became very excited. He ran to the TV and barked at the dog. Then, when the dog went off the TV, Mac walked around to the back of the TV to look for the dog! He was always confused. Where did the dog go? 🙂

Mac died when I was in Japan. I was so upset. I cried for many days. He was not just a pet. He was a family member. I still have his photograph in my room. When I look at the photograph, I remember our time together. I will never forget him.

If I move to a different place in the future, I hope I can have a dog. I would like a shiba dog. I think they are very cute, but also strong.

Do you have a pet?

Heather @ I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Sunsets

I love sunsets. I love sunrises too, but I usually miss them because I am still sleeping… (I must get up earlier!)

The area of Japan where we live has a lake. Every evening, when the weather is fine, photographers gather at the side of the lake. They all want to take pictures of the beautiful sunset over the water. When I have the chance, I go to watch the sunset too. Although I only have a small, cheap and old camera, I like to take pictures. Here are some that I took this summer. I hope you enjoy them!

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Can you see nice sunsets where you live?

Heather@I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Reading in a foreign language

I think reading is very important when learning a foreign language. I learnt Japanese by using textbooks and CDs, watching TV, and by talking to my friends. I also read. I read everything I could –  newspapers, magazines, manga, pamphlets, advertisements, books…

Of course, I didn’t understand everything. But I continued to read and read. After a few months, I noticed a change. I could understand more and more. When I read, I didn’t use a dictionary. If I didn’t understand a kanji character, I just guessed the meaning, and continued reading. Sometimes I understood most of the text. At other times, I understood nothing.

I still read in Japanese. Now, I like to read novels. I mentioned this before on this blog. One of my favourite writers is Matsumoto Seicho. He wrote detective stories and mysteries. I read them at night, before I go to bed. Sometimes, they are so exciting, that I can’t sleep! I want to read more!

Now I am reading 「時間の習俗 」(Jikan no Shuzoku). A detective is trying to solve a murder. The murder suspect has an alibi, but the detective is not giving up. I wonder if the suspect is the murderer?

This is the book.

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And this is Matsumoto Seicho.

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I want to read all of his books. Of course, reading them will help me to maintain my Japanese skills, but it will also be fun!

Do you read in a foreign language? What kind of books do you like?

Heather@I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Learning something new

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Every September, I feel like studying something new. Why is this? I think it is because the school year in the UK starts in September. So in September, I have the “back to school” feeling. For me, autumn is a season of beginnings, of starting something new. I think many people, especially in Japan, have this feeling in spring. The school year starts in April in Japan, and the cherry blossoms bloom.

I have lived in Japan for a long time, so I can feel this too,  but for me, the feeling is stronger in autumn. So what am I going to start?

Well, I decided to start this blog again! Also, I’ve decided to start learning a new language. I am bilingual (I speak English and Japanese), and I speak some Chinese. I have Chinese lessons twice a month. However, I have always wanted to learn Russian. So, I decided to start studying it. I can already read the Cyrillic script, so I think that will make it easier. People say the grammar is difficult, but every language is difficult until you get used to it. I bought a Russian grammar book online, and I am waiting for it to arrive.

While I am waiting, I am learning Russian on Duolingo. It is free, and the lessons are short and easy!

How about you? Are you learning anything new this autumn?

Heather@I Talk You Talk Press

[Easy English Blog] Starting again

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I haven’t written an Easy English Blog post for a long time. I think it is time to start again. I’m going to try and post something every day! Can I do it? I don’t know, but I’m going to try.

It has been a tough year here in Japan. We have had big earthquakes, strong typhoons, flooding and a heatwave. The summer was long and boiling (boiling = very hot). I thought it would never end! But now, it has become cooler. We can feel autumn in the air.

When I wrote my last blog post, it was early spring. My ume (plum blossom) plant was blooming, and we were recovering from a winter of heavy snow. Now, we are recovering from a summer of very hot weather. I hope autumn is kind to Japan. We need a break from severe weather and disasters.

Autumn is my favourite season. I hope I can enjoy it. And I hope you enjoy our regular blog posts!

Heather@I Talk You Talk Press