I have been known to read while cooking, showering, walking the dog, and on one memorable occasion, at a concert. On more than one occasion when I have been behind the wheel, I have seriously considered whipping a book out at stoplights to continue a story that has gripped me.
Unfortunately, even though I have tested the limits of where one can responsibly and comfortably read, you can’t read books all the time. And even though audiobooks can scratch the reading itch for many of those instances when it’s simply impossible to bury your nose in a book, there can be times when readers need something a little different.
There’s where reading and book-related podcasts come in. With these podcasts, not only can you listen to people talking about your favorite subject, but you can also get some great suggestions for what to read next and get some new insight into stories, authors, books, and subjects that you hadn’t thought of before.
If you are looking for your next great book-related listen, consider one of these 12 podcasts for bookworms. (See also: 11 Great Apps for Book Lovers)
1. Book Club Appetizer
This show describes itself as a “snackable podcast to help kick off book club meetings or enhance solo reading.” Each episode of Book Club Appetizer focuses on a single title. The hosts, Abbe and Emma from the book blog Read It Forward, recap the chosen book, talk about some of the big ideas, questions, and details of the story, and then invite the book’s author into the studio for an interview and a brief reading from the book.
2. All the Books!
Book Riot covers all book and literature-related news, reviews, commentary, and advice for diverse readers. The site hosts a number of book-related podcasts that are sure to tickle any reader’s fancy.
All the Books! is one of Book Riot’s outstanding weekly podcasts. It has recommendations and discussions about the most interesting and exciting new releases for the week. The hosts of All the Books! have a great chemistry and banter and their love of all the books they are reading very clearly shines through. (See also: 5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks)
3. Book Riot: The Podcast
Another podcast from Book Riot, this weekly show focuses on what’s new and interesting in the world of books and reading. Book Riot: The Podcast is where you can go to learn about everything from upcoming movie adaptations of your favorite books to news about major literary awards to reports about the publishing industry.
4. Hey YA
Young adult literature gets the love and elevation it deserves in this brand-new weekly podcast from Book Riot. Hey YA discusses everything from new titles to classic reads in the YA genre, as well as news about film adaptations and opinions about which traditional writers should attempt YA lit.
5. Read or Dead
If you love mystery and thriller novels, the Read or Dead podcast is for you. This twice monthly show from Book Riot includes discussions about mystery and suspense tropes as well as recommendations for future reading.
6. SFF Yeah!
Science fiction and fantasy fans get their own twice monthly podcast with SFF Yeah! from Book Riot. This show covers all aspects of the sci-fi and fantasy genres (with some discussions touching on horror), and offers great book recommendations and deep discussions about the genre.
7. KCRW’s Bookworm
Michael Silverblatt, host of Bookworm, was once called the best reader in America by Norman Mailer, and listening to this show will help you to read deeply and ask big questions of the books you read. Each week, Silverblatt interviews writers of both fiction and poetry to talk about their work. You can do a deep dive into the archives of this show, since it has been airing for over 20 years.
8. The Myths and Legends Podcast
Human beings have been telling stories for far longer than we’ve been writing them down. The Myths and Legends Podcast introduces you to stories from myths, legends, and folklore from long ago — retelling these ancient stories with a modern sensibility and a dash of humor. Listening to this podcast can help you better understand the roots of your favorite tales.
9. The New Yorker: Fiction
In this podcast, host and New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman invites an author with a published story in the New Yorker to choose a piece of fiction from the New Yorker archives to read and discuss. When you tune into the monthly New Yorker: Fiction podcast, you get to hear some of the best short stories ever written being discussed by some of today’s best writers. (See also: 6 Great Side Jobs for Book Lovers)
Every reader has a stack of books in their “to be read” (TBR) pile that they just haven’t gotten around to. Overdue is the podcast that plunges into all of those older books that you’ve been meaning to read but just haven’t opened yet. Each week, the hosts tackle one book from their backlog of “overdue” books, covering everything from classic literature to best sellers of bygone years to obscure works that you may not have heard of. The podcast posts its upcoming titles so you can read along with the hosts and listen after you have checked the book off your “overdue” list.
11. Smart Podcast, Trashy Books
Romance readers, rejoice! The hilarious writers behind the subversive romance fiction blog Smart B*tches, Trashy Books have a weekly podcast to discuss what’s new, what’s funny, and what’s truly weird about romance novels. Smart Podcast, Trashy Books offers everything from author interviews to book recommendations to feminist discussion of romance tropes. If you know what a “glittery hoo-ha” is, then this is the podcast for you.
12. What Should I Read Next
Every reader knows the dreaded feeling of falling into a book rut. After finishing a great read, you might feel adrift trying to determine what book you should pick up next. Anne Bogel, host of What Should I Read Next and the blogger behind Modern Mrs. Darcy, interviews a new guest reader with every weekly podcast. Together, they discuss the books the guest loves, the books he or she hates, and what they are reading now. From there, Anne makes three book recommendations for what the guest can read next. Ultimately, every episode will give you some excellent ideas for new books to check out.