According to Google’s algorithm, there are roughly 130 million books that have been published in modern history, and sometimes, I don’t feel like reading any of them. Because these reading slumps tend to stick around for a while, you can either give in when they emerge or you do something about it.
A good method for climbing out of the reading slump is listening to podcasts, especially ones about books. As it turns out, there are a lot of people who like talking about literature, and plenty aren’t here to bore you with the hum-drum of capital L literature and drag on about the symbolism of a chair.
1. “By the Book”
Comedian Jolenta Greenberg and her friend Kristin Meinzer host “By the Book,” and their book podcast tackles one self-help book per episode. Greenberg and Meinzer adopt the advice from the books and then report how much success they had following each guideline.
Meinzer and Greenberg are wildly different personalities that bring their podcast to life. Meinzer is significantly more skeptical than Greenberg, and between the two of them, they present the self-help books worth reading. Maybe they’ll inspire you to pick up a book that will change your life!
2. “The Book Review”
The New York Times’s “The Book Review” is more formal than the other book podcasts on this list, but it has a wide variety of awesome interviewees who go over their various works, including guests such as Neil Gaiman. The host, Pamela Paul, conducts the interviews and keeps all the episodes connected. They’re extremely information-based for the fact junkies out there and those who like hearing about how stories are made.
Although “The Book Review” isn’t comedy-based like many of the other book podcasts on this list, it’s extremely intelligent and informative in its historical context. Hearing the authors speak about their books is inspiring; they have an infectious passion about their life’s work.
3. “Terrible Book Club”
The hosts Chris and Paris read bad books and then share their experiences on their podcast, “Terrible Book Club.” They truly take one for the team, selecting cheap books that look like they might be bad. Sometimes Paris throws the book across the room in hatred, and sometimes they’re pleasantly surprised.
There’s something fun about hearing about bad books, and it’s even more fun to pick some of them up to see the awfulness for yourself. They’re honest and funny, and picking up books that have hilariously bad reviews is another way to get back into reading.
4. “All the Books!”
“All the Books!” covers just that: all the books. Book Riot’s Liberty Hardy and Rebecca Jones Schinsky present the newest releases for each month, and they cover pretty much every subject and share their enthusiasm for reading, which is pretty contagious.
Hardy and Schinsky clearly have a lot of fun talking about books as they laugh and talk about all sorts of books, new and old. They’ve also read all their picks, so their summaries are intelligent and in-depth, but their enthusiasm is really what inspires reading. And new material is always great!
5. “Get Booked”
“Get Booked” is also from Book Riot and is hosted by Amanda Nelson as well as many other guest hosts through the episodes. “Get Booked” is a series of personalized reading recommendations; listeners email in, and they respond through their podcast.
The personalized feature of this book podcast is what makes it unique, and sometimes it’s more motivating to have someone recommending books to you rather than staring blankly at the hordes of books that you don’t want to read on your shelf.
6. “Mean Book Club”
The four hosts, Sarah Burton, Clara Morris, Johnna Scrabis and Sabrina B., rip into books from the New York Times’s bestseller list in their book podcast, “Mean Book Club,” because why not? They enjoy discussing their experiences reading the books and revealing their embarrassment purchasing the works (including “Fifty Shades of Gray”).
Like any good podcast, the hosts are as entertaining as the content. The hosts are from UCB-NY, BuzzFeed, College Humor and “Impractical Jokers“, so their backgrounds provide lighthearted overtones to their jabs. Much like the “Terrible Book Club,” they’ll make you curious as to how bad those books really are.
There are a ton of book-related podcasts out here, too, if none of these seem to do the trick, so go explore the different types. The varying subsets of book podcasts provide something for everyone, and I recommend finding one that fits your particular likes! And maybe then you’ll fall back in love with reading by secondhand love/hate/enthusiasm.