Literary Fun for Your Ears: A Guide to Our Favorite Bookish Podcasts

Strand Book Store
Startup Grind
Published in
4 min readJun 30, 2016


Yes, reading will always be #1 in our hearts. But podcasts are a very close second. Especially when they are about books! Discussing new releases, learning more about the authors behind our favorite books, discovering new writers, remembering old ones, and even just laughing with some of the wittiest minds out there keep us coming back to these podcasts time and time again.

  1. Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts is a program produced by and recorded in New York’s Symphony Space featuring some of the most iconic voices reading contemporary and classic short fiction. Guest hosts have included Stephen Colbert, Neil Gaiman, and David Sedaris, and the stories read range across the board of genres and topics. Selected Shorts is an easy way to experience short stories and learn about new writers — for free!

2. Poem of the Day

A great way to learn about poets, or re-experience old ones, this is exactly what it sounds like — a different poem every day, read aloud for you, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation. Ranging from well-known classics to up-and-coming contemporary poets, this podcast might introduce you to some new favorites and will definitely reinvigorate your relationship with poetry.

3. Lit Up

Deep and often very personal interviews with authors of the moment are the feature of this podcast. A variety of guests discuss what’s new and exciting both on and off the page with host Angela Ledgerwood. Recent authors featured include Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing), Melissa Broder (so sad today) and Max Porter (Grief is the Thing with Feathers).

4. Dear Book Nerd

This podcast, associated with the bookish internet hub Book Riot, offers advice to book lovers, Dear Abby style. Love, life, and literature questions submitted by listeners offer advice on topics like how many books are too many, how to diversify your reading, and how to relate to those friends and family who don’t like to read (!).

5. The Allusionist

All right, it might not be strictly literary but if you love thinking about words and language The Allusionist is a delightful treat nonetheless. Examining the origins of words and phrases, delving into the history of usage and meaning, Helen Zaltzman and her guests reach deep into the English language and unearth the intriguing — and sometimes bizarre — stories behind the things we say every day.

6. Nerdette Podcast

The Nerdette Podcast hosts Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen interview an array of authors, artists, and others to examine all things nerdy. Recent guests have included Felicia Day, Judy Blume, and Rebecca Traister.

7. Myths and Legends

If you are or ever have been a mythology buff, this podcast will be your jam: re-tellings of stories from the familiar to the obscure, and uncovering the origins of some of the most well-known legends. Host Jason Weiser brings fresh life to these stories, and reminds us of the power of oral history and storytelling.

8. Get Booked

Book Riot produces a number of regular podcasts, but this one is one of our favorites — customized book recommendations, tailored to specific requests by listeners. Recent subjects have included mermaid books, series by POC, and fun history books. All the books!

9. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

This podcast isn’t exclusively for books — it covers video game and movie culture as well — but there are plenty of interviews with sci-fi authors and discussion of recent releases for the sci-fi/fantasy fan, including Kameron Hurley (The Geek Feminist Revolution), Manu Saadia (Trekonomics) and Joyce Carol Oates (The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror).

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Strand Book Store
Startup Grind

Independent NYC bookstore since 1927. Where books are loved.