A Road Built From Unsold Books


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • toll road: a road that requires drivers to pay a fee to use it
  • shred: to break up into very small pieces
  • pulp: soft, wet material
  • congestion: high volume; crowdedness
  • absorbent: holds a lot of water
  • Tarmac: a road material made of crushed rock and tar

A Road Built From Unsold Books

In 2003, approximately 2.5 million unsold books from the UK romance book publisher Mills & Boon were used in the reconstruction of a in the UK. The damaged or end-of-the-line books were shredded and turned to pulp at a before being used by a construction company on the M6 Toll, a relief road designed to reduce traffic congestion. The resulting paste from the books was Tarmac to create an absorbent for the road. The secret keeps the road from cracking.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is Mills & Boon?
  2. What is the M6 Toll?
  3. What is the secret ingredient on the M6 Toll?

Discussion Questions: The toll road mentioned in this passage is actually a controversial road. Many people don’t use it because it’s too expensive. Do you think it’s worth it to spend money on toll roads in order to get places faster? Why or why not?

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