Reading has always been my go-to stress reliever. When I want to escape from the noise and stress of the world, I can curl up and lose myself in a great book. Stories are magical that way, and that will always be my first respite when I need some quiet space.
However, there are times and places where reading isn't convenient, like when I'm driving or doing dishes or walking to pick up my son. Yes, I could listen to audiobooks, but I've never gotten into listening to a book. It's just not something my brain processes well. Maybe that will change one day, but for now, audiobooks aren't my jam. However, over the last year, I've discovered the perfect alternative for me for those times and places I can't read: podcasts ABOUT reading. :)
I blogged a while back about how I'd recently discovered the joy of podcasts and listed some of my favorites. But at the time of that post, I hadn't yet discovered the full world of podcasts about books. Now I'm totally and completely hooked.
Somehow, listening to people talk about and recommend books is wildly soothing--even when they may be talking about a book I'm not interested in reading. And in many cases, books I would've never thought about picking up suddenly become my next must have. (So fair warning: book podcasts can be a hit to your wallet because you're going to want to buy ALL THE BOOKS. But it's so worth it.)
Now, there are many different types of podcasts about books. Ones that discuss a book at length. Others that focus on author interviews. But my particular favorites are ones that recommend books to specific readers because a) I love hearing what readers are seeking in their reading life and b) I love the idea of tailored book recommendations. It's like going into a great local bookstore and having someone in the know personally shop with you for the books that fit exactly what you're seeking. How great is that?
And because the focus is totally on books, you can kind of escape from everything else while you're listening. There are no news breaks to distract you, no arguing, no stress. It's just this happy little place where you can listen to people describe books and get excited about them. It's the best. And did I mention podcasts are free? Bonus. :)
So, I thought I'd pass along my very favorites if you think you could use your own happy nerdy listening place.
My Top 3 Bookish Podcasts
What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy
This one is my absolute favorite of all. I've listened to every episode in the backlist and look forward to new episodes every Tuesday. For each episode, Anne hosts a reader guest and has them list three books they loved and one book they hated and then asks the guest what they're looking to change in their reading life. Based on all that, Anne then recommends three books for them.
I love this one so much because it just feels cozy and warm to listen to. Anne is a welcoming host with a soothing voice and her love of books comes through. I can also listen to this one with my kiddo in the room without worry, so that's nice. And though this podcast focuses on mainstream fiction, literary fiction, and non-fiction for the most part (in other words, no romance recommendations), I have gotten SO many great recommendations from this podcast. In fact, I found my favorite read of the year so far, One True Loves, from one of the episodes. And inevitably, you'll also find yourself thinking about how you'd answer the "three books you love and one book you hate" question if you were a guest. Highly recommended.
Get Booked by Book Riot
Get Booked is hosted by Amanda and Jenn over at Book Riot and has a really energetic, fun vibe to it. This is also a show where the hosts recommend books to specific reader requests, but instead of having the reader on the show, readers write in and their questions are read on air. And though this seems similar in style to What Should I Read Next in concept, it's completely different and pairs nicely with the podcast above because they recommend books in a much wider variety of genres. So you'll get your romance, YA, sci-fi, graphic novels, non-fiction along with some mainstream and lit fic. I often hear recs on this show of books I've never, ever heard of, which is a plus. Plus, the titles of their episodes (Intergalactic Trailer Park, Sunburn Up Your Nose, It Sucks to Be a Princess) are the BEST.
Smart Podcast, Trashy Books with Sarah Wendell
This show is more of an interview style show with authors, readers, and bloggers. However, it is all about the romance genre, so you know it has a special place in my heart. Romance novels are often left out of book discussions and I love that this podcast (and the website from which is came: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) gives romance a place in the bookish spotlight. Smart ladies talking about sexy books is always a win.
So, those are my top three favorites. If you give them a try, let me know what you think!
New to podcasts?
If you're new to podcasting, do not fret, your next addiction is easy to access. :)
If you have an iPhone, you have the Podcasts app already. Just search for these podcasts from within the app and subscribe. You'll be able to access old episodes and it will alert you when new episodes are available. Then just hit play and listen. (You can also download episodes to listen to when you're offline, which I took advantage of on the flights I took this week.)
There are also many apps you can use. I prefer the Overcast app because it has a few more features than the native Apple one, but there are many to choose from. For a detailed guide on how to listen to podcasts from all different kinds of devices and some of the apps available, check out this post at Digital Trends.
That's all I've got for your today. Do you listen to any bookish podcasts?