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 (iTunesFeedWeb 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 (iTunesFeedWeb Site) brings together the network’s many book reviews and author interviews in a nice audio collection. C-Span’s After Words (iTunesFeedWeb Site) serves up interviews with important authors of recently published hardback non-fiction, and Slate sponsors an Audio Book Club (iTunes –  FeedWeb Site), although it unfortunately updates the podcast rather irregularly. Meanwhile, over in the UK, The Guardian (iTunesFeedWeb 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 (iTunesFeedWeb 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 (iTunesFeedWeb Site), a weekly podcast that features new books and audio books coming out of the New York publishing house. Random House (iTunesWeb Site) similarly lets listeners check out excerpts from new releases. And then on the bookstore front, Barnes & Noble presents Meet the Writers  (iTunesFeedWeb Site), a podcast that features authors discussing their favorite books, influences, and the reasons they write. And similarly Amazon Book Clips (iTunesFeedWeb 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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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.