The Best Bookish Podcasts

best bookish podcasts
If you haven’t taken a dip into the world of podcasting, it’s chock full of fun, informative discussions just waiting to be listened to. The best part is that they are free, update automatically and can go almost anywhere. Get your notebooks (or mouse) ready, here are my favorite bookish related podcasts!


Literary Disco

I came late to the Literary Disco party, but boy have I ever caught up! Julia, Tod and Rider are HILAROUS, with a great side of R-rated humor, but also have incredibly smart, intense discussions on literature.
Favorite Episodes: Episode 9: Tiny Beautiful Things, Episode 29: The Fault in Our Stars (great discussion about the role of YA lit)

Other People With Brad Listi

Brad Listi interviews all the bookish people I wish I could talk to and asks them interesting, real questions. Plus, a new episode twice a week!
Favorite Episodes: Episode 188: Lee Boudreaux (editorial director at Ecco, there are dozens of authors to listen to, but this one is fascinating)

Books on the Nightstand

Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman both work in the publishing industry, and each week they touch on hot topics and recommend books. It’s just such a cozy, welcoming podcast to listen to – I definitely look forward to it every week. Since it’s news-centered and weekly, start at the most recent for the best!

The Readers

This is another one that I’m relatively new to, but loving already. The best part about The Readers is that it’s based in the UK (though, now Simon‘s co-host is American Thomas), so there is a bit of a different perspective and some discussion of books that have not yet been published here in the US.
Favorite Episode: Episode 85: Your Country in Ten (or Eleven) Books (it’s the most recent, but I loved it!)

The Book Riot Podcast

Another weekly gem! Jeff and Rebecca have perfect, casual banter while talking about what’s going on each week in books and this stat nerd loves how they break all those “studies” down in Methodology Corner. Just like Books on the Nightstand, start with the most recent episode and fall in love!

The Bookrageous Podcast

This was my first adventure into literary podcasting and is still one of my favorites. Though Jenn, Rebecca and Josh record monthly instead of weekly or bi-weekly, the podcast has the feeling of a great book club that is always excited to meet together. Each episode is topical, but always starts with a list of what each person is reading and, trust me, you better have your TBR list ready. 
Favorite Episodes: Episode 49: How a Book is Made Part 2, Episode 50: E-Books Revisited (one of the most sensible conversations on paper/e-books ever)

So, if you’re completely new to podcasts, you might be wondering how you listen to these little gems. If you’re just listening from home, you can click on the links above and stream directly from each podcast’s website. However, if you want to listen from your mobile device, you have several options. Podcasts work much like RSS feeds in the blogging world: once you’ve subscribed, new episodes are automatically sent to whichever “reader” (player) you use. Many people subscribe using iTunes, but there are also dedicated podcasting apps available for specific operating systems. I recently started using Stitcher, for both Apple and Android, and love it. Stitcher recently shared their top podcasts for Book Lovers, with some from this list and a few others you can add, too!

Are there any other literary or book related podcasts you’ve been listening to lately?

  • The Book Wheel

    Thank you for the list! I’ve been meaning to start listening to podcasts and this is a great list to get me started.

  • My favorite is The Book Riot podcast! I didn’t know about some of podcasts listed here, so that might change soon… Thanks for sharing this! :)

  • My favorite is definitely Book Riot, with Books on the Night Stand as a close second. I listen to all the others too, though not as regularly. Thanks!

    • I love that they’re both weekly and catch up on everything I’ve been hearing snippets of on the internet!

  • You would like Adventures with Words, whose narrators also join up with the guys from The Readers for a book club podcast called Hear…Read This!. Simon of The Readers also does a podcast on his own called You Wrote the Book. The last one I listen to (watch) that isn’t on your list is The First Tuesday Book Club (it’s a video-cast). All of these are great.

    • Ooh, thanks for the great suggestions! I’ve been wanting to jump into Hear…Read This, and I’ll definitely be checking out the others. *does the dance of the filled podcast list*

  • Kerry M

    Awesome list, thanks! I’d never heard of The Readers or Literary Disco, though I really like the others. I’d add NPR Books – it’s short, quick snippets collecting author interviews and book reviews from several different NPR shows, and can be an interesting way to hear of new books. Someone recently recommended The Bat Segundo Show to me as well, though I haven’t listened yet.

  • I love this list! There are some new-to-me podcasts here as well as some faves. Have you tried the Reading the End podcast with the two Jennies??? Super fun!

  • What a great list!! I’m completely new to book-related podcasts. I’m going to have fun checking these out!

    • I’m so sorry for the time that you’re about to lose…unless it’s time spent in the car, then your’re putting it to good use :)

  • Jennine G.

    These are a new discovery to me. A friend sent me some Barnes and Noble funny videos…I don’t know that they’re podcasts. But, amusing…about a guy who talks all in quotes from authors. Can’t recall how to get to it on B&N’s site…it was a few links in…but here’s where I posted them for easy access.

  • I love the Book Riot podcast and have heard of a couple of the others… now I just have to find time to listen! Thanks for introducing me to a few more, always happy to discover new ones :)

    And I also love Lexicon Valley from Slate. it’s not about reading per se, but it is about words and their associated cultures/histories.

    • Oh, yes…I’m all over linguistics and words – thanks for the suggestion! My Stitcher app is filling up fast!

  • Well done you! I’m glad you’re still loving Literary Disco. They make me laugh so hard and they’re the only group I can think of it that will flat out HATE a book without apology.

    • Right? I love that you can almost always count on one of them to at least have iffy feelings, so you know they’re going to have some good debate.

  • Kelly Massry

    How did you get the Sitcher App? I tried to download it from the App store on my I-phone and only found Sticher Steueberator. And when I opened it up it didn’t look right. Direct me, please! Thanks.
    And did you say if you subscribe they update automatically? (Like book riot does each week?) That would be great. I couldn’t listen to half of these if I had to follow them manually.
    PS: Can I share your post on my blog? (With credit, of course.) Love it, love it, love it.

  • Words for Worms

    I am so out of the loop, I listen to zero podcasts. This will have to be remedied, and quickly. Thanks for the head’s up on where to start!

    • If you pick up with one of the weekly ones first, they’re really great to catch up on all the bookish things going on that you hear little bits of through Twitter and the internet!

  • After I started listening to the Book Riot podcast, I somehow stumbled into nearly all of these. I love to catch up on all of them on a Sunday. My favorite ones are Bookrageous and Literary Disco, even though Rider Strong gets a little grumpy over YA sometimes. The way they play off each other makes me laugh out loud sometimes and I like all the games they play.

    The only one I’m not familiar with is the Other People, I’ll have to check it out !

  • Kelly Massry

    I got my husband to figure it out for me! Though we couldn’t find on Sticher Literary Disco, The Readers and Bookrageous. Has that been your experience too? And if so how do you listen to those on your phone?

    • Literary Disco should be there! But The Readers and Bookrageous didn’t pop up for me either. For those I use iTunes and Google Music. I think you can do something similar by downloading the Apple Podcasting app to access your iTunes account from your phone.

  • So many great podcasts there. I listen to them all on a regular basis. Have you tried Adventures with Words as well?

  • Kelly Massry

    You’re the best – thank you! I downloaded the apple podcast app and was able to get the rest of them! I’m psyched :)

  • You have some good choices! I just have a tough time remembering to listen to podcasts.

    • I usually listen to them when I’m in the car or walking my pup – they would be hard to squeeze in at home!

  • I love this! I listen to all of these podcasts, except for Other People… I actually did listen to one episode, when the fabulous Tim Horvath was on. And now I’m going to subscribe!

    I actually did a post about literary podcasts about a year ago and was thinking of doing a follow-up post with more podcasts that I’ve started listening to since then.

  • Just subscribed and now I am going to make it a point to listen, maybe while I’m straightening my hair, while I’m showering, etc.

  • The only one I’ve listened to here is The Readers; thanks for sharing this list, I’ve been meaning to find some cool bookish podcasts for a while now.

  • It’s not a literary podcast, but The History Chicks have a fantastic podcast. And they DO usually recommend a book that goes with their topic. I think you’d like it, given your love of nonfiction. :)

  • Wow, I only knew about Books on the Nightstand from your list. Clearly, I’m behind (though I’ve gotten plenty of great recommendations from Ann and Michael over the years!). I’m excited to check out some of the others…thanks!

  • The Whynott Blog

    I’ve been meaning to check out Literary Disco. Not gonna lie, mostly because I’m pretty excited that Sean Hunter is on a book podcast hahaha. I listen to and love the other podcasts you listed too!

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