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When the meaning is 'to take' why would I choose to use 受け取る rather than just 取る? Are they equivalent or do they carry different nuances? Here's an example:

「もしよろしければ、オレンジの皮をいただけますか」と言い、受け取ると、わたしに背を向けて、いそいで皮を食べた。

"If it's okay, can I have your orange peel please?" he said, and when he had taken it, he turned his back to me and hurriedly ate it.

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取る is simply to take, whether or not anyone else is involved.

受け取る is to take something that has been offered, given or handed to you.

In the case of your example, it sounds as though someone else (I assume whoever he asked the question to, the author I suppose) handed the orange peel to him, and he reached out and took it. If it had been simply 取る, he could have instead just taken the orange peel off the table directly.

The key is in 受け-, from 受ける 'receive' - this is a compound verb of 'receive' and 'take', meaning that it has something to do with getting something from someone else as well as taking it.

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