Listen Up, Book Lovers: 10 of the Best Podcasts for Bibliophiles

Bryan Clark 11-06-2015

Finding a good podcast, no matter the subject, makes me happy. As a proud bibliophile 5 Tips To Read More Books Every Year There are just so many amazing books out there. To never have finished at least some is a regret waiting to be felt. Forestall it by reading more and reading smart with the following tips. Read More myself, I am thrilled to get the chance to share some of my favorite podcasts about books and literature, as well as some crowd-sourced suggestions I wish I had been listening to for years.


There is some solid content here, so if you have the time to spare and are always on the lookout for great book recommendations The 7 Best Book Review Podcasts & Shows To Discover New Books Read More , look no further. These will keep your “to read” list full, and offer some insightful commentary into the lives of authors everywhere.

Books on the Nightstand


Any show with over 300 episodes is typically one worth listening to. Books on the Nightstand is no exception. Having just crossed the 330 mark at the time of writing, hosts Michael and Ann have a wealth of literary insight, and during the show they take a deep dive look at the world of books, bookstores and publishing.

The commentary is insightful, and unlike a lot of the podcasts on this list it focuses heavily on the publishing world. Mark and Ann are both in the industry themselves and are currently employed at Random House.

Literary Disco



Tod, Julia, and Rider of Literary Disco are self proclaimed “book nerds” and it’s obvious they mean it. All three are writers, but the show focuses around an obvious friendship between them and their frequent quarrels and discussion surrounding their favorite (and not so favorite) books.

The show itself takes on an almost “book club as a podcast” feeling as they’ll typically pick a book (or have a guest pick one) and then discuss it on the air. These podcasters also have a way of integrating pop culture references into the show and making them intermingle with literature in a way that is both delightful and highly entertaining. This is one of my personal favorites.

Book Riot Podcast


Book Riot is the one podcast that I can’t miss without the fear of losing my mind. The show has a regular schedule, unlike many others, and features hosts Jeff O’Neal and Rebecca Schinsky. The two are undeniably smart and quick-witted enough to have me laughing to myself in the car each time I listen.


The podcast is a little different from most as it’s not just a “read this, not that The 11 Best Sites for Finding What Books to Read Next Want your next read to be a good one? These are the book recommendation websites you should look up for books to read next. Read More ” sort of show but an almost news-y program that features insights into publishing, tips on diversifying reading choices, and research-oriented programming such as notes and commentary on how reading affects human behavior. Of course, there are great book recommendations along the way as well.

Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm


Bookworm might have the most devoted following of any of the podcasts listed here, at least amongst authors. Michael Silverblatt regularly hosts really top-notch authors on his show such as Ann Patchett, Joan Didion, and Edmund White.

In my opinion, this one is very hit or miss. The content is good, the guests are spectacular, but Silverblatt has a way of meandering in his lines of questioning which often makes me lose focus of just what it is he’s trying to say.


On word of warning: Don’t even attempt to listen to an episode about a book you’re currently reading, as the spoilers are strong with this one.

Guardian Books


Guardian Books is a product of popular British newspaper The Guardian. The podcast is a mixed bag that includes literary reviews, author interviews, and of course, book recommendations.

From time-to-time host Clair Armistead even features readings and excerpts from some of the more popular new releases in the book world. Which all adds up to make this show always entertaining, albeit a little dry for my personal tastes.


The New Yorker Fiction


Hosted by Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker Fiction features a monthly update schedule featuring famous and not-so-famous authors selecting books by other people, and reading excerpts (typically 30-45 minutes) from them.

Outside of the reading, the podcast features commentary and discussion between the guest and the host that often provides insight into the passage, as well as their own work, and that of others.

The New Yorker Fiction is another favorite of mine, and it never falls short of expectation. I just wish they’d release more than one show a month.

The BBC’s World Book Club


The BBC’s World Book Club features some of the most famous authors on the planet discussing hot topics pertaining to books, life, and the works of some of their idols. The list of past guests reads as a who’s who in the literary world, featuring names such as: John Grisham, Maya Angelou, and Neil Gaiman.

Arguably the most satisfying element of this show is the constant intermingling of current hits and the classics of yesteryear. While one week might feature a current best-selling author, the next week has lively discussion about Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, or J. D. Salinger.

Slate’s Audio Book Club


From the minds behind the popular online magazine, Slate, this podcast features recommendations and discussions pertaining to the current successes and failures in the literary world. The discussion typically takes on more of a debate format, and it sometimes gets rather heated 5 Methods to Transform Your Online Arguments & Make Them Stronger There is a smart way to argue constructively online. Take the help of these five concepts and bring your best words and best behavior to the table. Increase the value of your online arguments. Read More .

Slate’s Audio Book Club takes the form of an actual book club with a sort of “assigned” reading approach and then discussion upon completion. The format works like a charm, and it’s a real treat to be able to listen to the post-reading discussions which typically provide additional insight into the characters and the book itself which you may have missed.

Two Book Minimum


Two Book Minimum is another of my favorites that I just can’t miss. While Dan Wilbur and his guests certainly talk about books for most of the program, Two Book Minimum features an author, a comedian and a comedian/author, and as such the topic has a way of veering off into no man’s land. The results are often hilarious.

The way in which they interact is always entertaining and provides a humorous approach 5 Ways to Enrich Your Life by Developing a Sense of Humor Humor - oh, dearest humor. Without it, life would be much more dull, and the basic human function of laughter would be absolutely useless. How boring that world would be! Read More to literature that is rare in this niche.

Dear Book Nerd


Another Book Riot podcast, Dear Book Nerd does not disappoint. Unlike other podcasts in this list, Dear Book Nerd features an always changing lineup of guest hosts.

The program takes a sort of write-in column slant and provides answers to everything from writing advice, to the science behind why readers want to read your content. There are also book recommendations scattered throughout, of course. The format of this show ensures that it never grows stale.

Close That Book & Open Your Ears

So there we have it, a roundup of the finest podcasts for book lovers available to listen to right now. And if you’re not yet aware of the value of podcasts, take a look at some of the best apps to enjoy them on iPhone The Best Podcast App for iPhone and iPad: 7 Top Choices Compared Looking for the best podcast app for iPhone and iPad? Enjoy your favorite podcasts with these great feature-filled podcast apps. Read More and on Android 4 App Showdown: Which Is the Best Android Podcast App? There are great podcast apps available for Android, whether you're willing to pay for an app as good as anything you'd find on an iPhone or want a polished, free app. Read More .

As podcasting grows in popularity The Evolution Of The Podcast -- How A Medium Was Born [Geek History] Some say they're already old-fashioned, others argue they're more popular than ever. Whatever your take on podcasts, you have to admit: they've democratized broadcasting, and provided people with a smorgasbord of things to potentially listen... Read More , there’s no shortage of wonderful options to fill your time. With hundreds of literature- and book-related podcasts floating around the Interwebs, I’m absolutely certain we’re missing some really good ones. So please fill us in on some of your personal favorites in the comments below.

Image Credits: White earphones and tablet PC via Shutterstock

Related topics: Book Reviews, Podcasts, Writing Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Julie Goodman
    November 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I listen to a good podcast called What Should I Read Next Donne by Ann Bogel also known as Modern Mrs Darcy of her online book club . It discusses books with guests and authors and is quite entertaining and well done. Check it out. It has a large following, and many many episodes.

  2. Anonymous
    February 21, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Just wanna find a Podcasts app for myself, hope it’s an amazing way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favorite podcast. My must-have point is numerous free audio and video radio podcast in the Featured tab, or browse Top Charts to see what’s hot right now. So that I can add favorite radio and podcast to personal stations that stay up to date when new episodes become available. I wanna try PocketCast, RadioLab, any evaluations on CastBox this new podcast app on Google Play? I also hope the podcast can also for kids when story time and for my parents as they would like to listen to the radio with their new smart phone.

  3. Anonymous
    October 27, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Also check out Heather Ordover's CraftLit, which brings listeners classic audio books "with benefits" (historical context, insightful commentary, friendly chat). Perfect way to learn and love the books you skipped...or never were taught...in school.

  4. Anonymous
    October 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Great list. Thanks. Though I think Terry Gross from Fresh Air http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/ should get an honourable mention as she does some amazing author interviews. And a show I have been recently getting into is Ideas Books http://www.ideasbooks.org

  5. Anonymous
    June 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I am very interested in checking these out! Do any of them focus on YA, middle grades, or children's books? As a middle school librarian and mom of a 6 year old, I would be most interested in that.

    • Bryan Clark
      June 16, 2015 at 12:14 am

      None of them are specific to YA material, but I have heard good things about

      Blog Talk Radio has another, and you can find that here.

  6. Anonymous
    June 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Hi! Great suggestions! I've never really considered podcasts before, but I will start with these suggestions. Do you have any podcast suggestions targeted towards librarians?

  7. Anonymous
    June 13, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    A co-worker and I just started a book-related podcast called "Well-Read". Only two episodes so far, but we'll be doing it bi-weekly and plan to give lots of reading suggestions. I hope you'll check it out! http://www.beaufortcountylibrary.org/well-read

  8. Anonymous
    June 12, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Love "Books on the Nightstand" but was surprised that the New York Times "Book Review" was not on the list. It is always extremely well done and thoughtful.

    • Bryan Clark
      June 13, 2015 at 2:12 am

      I haven't listened to that one, but I'll definitely check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.