Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Favorite Book Podcasts

Recently, the Wall Street Journal's Dear Book Lover column (unfortunately, its last column) was about The Best Book Podcasts. It was an interesting column, with some good recommendations, so it inspired me to tell you about some of my favorite book-related podcasts.

I discovered podcasts a few years ago and still listen almost exclusively to those related to books and reading.  I don't always have time to read as many book blogs and other online resources as I'd like, so I enjoy listening to these bookish conversations while I am walking or cooking.  Some of them feel like listening to good friends talking about books - one of my favorite things to do!

So, in rough order, starting with my most favorite, here are some of my favorite book podcasts:
  • Books on the Nightstand (BOTNS) - the first podcast I discovered and still my favorite!  Anne and Michael both work for Random House (though the podcast is their own personal project), so sometimes they discuss book publishing insider stuff but mostly, they are two friends discussing favorite books and talking about bookish topics.  For me, they have the balance between casual conversation and informative book talk just right.
  • The Readers - Simon and Gav are British (in case you couldn't tell from their names), so I find them extra amusing - sometimes their British slang or phrases just crack me up.  Like Anne and Michael on BOTNS, they have an easy conversational style that I enjoy, though they tend to run a bit longer than BOTNS.  Their podcast is sub-titled Book Based Banter, and that is exactly what it is.
  • NPR Books Podcast - this is a weekly collection of book-related stories and interviews from a variety of National Public Radio broadcasts.  I rarely have time to listen to much NPR anymore, so I enjoy being able to catch up on all the book stuff in one place!
  • The Bookrageous Podcast - This podcast is hosted by 3 young people (hip twenty-somethings, I think) who work in bookstores.  It is often rather long and rambling and punctuated by lots of giggles, but their reading tastes are wide-ranging and their discussions are usually pretty interesting.
  • NY Times Book Review Podcast - This is the official podcast to go with the venerable New York Times Book Review.  It usually showcases interviews with authors and/or reviewers featured in that week's printed Book Review, as well as reports from the publishing industry and a weekly recap of the NY Times Bestseller Lists.  Depending on the topic, I may find it fascinating or boring or boring or somewhere in between (it can sometimes have a bit of that high-brow stuffiness the NY Times is known for!), but it is usually at least mildly interesting, and I like hearing what's hot.
Any of these podcasts can be listened to online or downloaded from the websites linked here or from iTunes.  If you subscribe to a podcast on iTunes, it will automatically remove those you've listened to and add new ones each time you plug your iPod in, so I find that convenient.

How about you?  Are there any book-related podcasts you enjoy? 


  1. I like books on the nightstand and need to check out the npr one!

  2. I've never listened to a podcast on books - I feel like I have way too many choices to think about now by just reading blogs, I can't imagine what listening to podcasts will do to my "books I want to read" list.

  3. Man! More things to listen too!
    I listen to NPR's Wait Wait and This American Life. I also was addicted to the first season of Serial and am listening to Undisclosed which is a bit of a spin off.
    I am not sure if I can add any more, but thank you for sharing ones that I should check out :)

  4. Thanks Sue, will explore all these!