Podcasts That Book Fans Can Groove On


Somewhat unexpectedly, the proliferation of audio podcasts has been a boon for book lovers and writers. Looking around the digital landscape, you'll discover a number of podcasts that enhance the experience of reading good old fashioned books. Let's quickly have a look at the lay of the land.

The New York Times now notably puts out a podcast (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) that complements its beloved Sunday Book Review section. Hosted by Sam Tanenhaus, the Book Review editor, this podcast runs about 20 minutes, and it gives Sam a chance to have substantive chats with authors, editors and critics who figure into
the weekly print edition. Along somewhat similar lines, NPR Books (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) brings together the network's many book reviews and author interviews in a nice audio collection. C-Span's After Words (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) serves up interviews with important authors of recently published hardback non-fiction, and Slate sponsors an Audio Book Club (iTunesFeed - Web Site), although it unfortunately updates the podcast rather irregularly. Meanwhile, over in the UK, The Guardian (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) produces a quite robust podcast that features regular talks with well-known authors, many of them British. The Times, another English paper, does the same (iTunes - Feed - Web Site), but its collection is noticably slimmer, though good.

Quite smartly, publishers and bookstores have also started churning out podcasts for the literati, using the digital medium as a marketing tool for their paper goods. Simon & Schuster produces Simon Says (iTunes - Feed - Web Site), a weekly podcast that features new books and audio books coming out of the New York publishing house. Random House (iTunes - Web Site) similarly lets listeners check out excerpts from new releases. And then on the bookstore front, Barnes & Noble presents Meet the Writers  (iTunes - Feed - Web Site), a podcast that features authors discussing their favorite books, influences, and the reasons they write. And similarly Amazon Book Clips (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) lets you keep tabs on both bestselling and up-and-coming authors. You can find other Amazon podcasts here.

Lastly, the book lover always has access these days to a growing list of free audio books. We've sifted through many of them and included the classics in our Audio Book Podcast Collection. You can also find a broader, more extensive collection over at Librivox.



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