8 Great Podcasts for Book Lovers

A bibliophile in her natural habitat.
A bibliophile in her natural habitat. / vgajic/iStock via Getty Images

For bibliophiles, reading is really more of a lifestyle than an activity. You’re either reading a book, talking about a book, deciding which book to read next, or reorganizing your bookshelves to accommodate a few freshly purchased paperbacks (even though you promised your bank account it was a “browsing only” bookstore jaunt). If you recognize yourself in that description, here are eight book-related podcasts to help you further your passion and make your to-be-read pile even taller.

1. The Maris Review

Maris Kreizman’s podcast is her latest endeavor to prove that literary fiction and bingeable television aren’t mutually exclusive passions—work that started with her blog Slaughterhouse 90210 and eventually became a book of the same name. On The Maris Review, she interviews authors about their work (of course) but also asks them about all their pop-culture interests. Kreizman is a deft, gracious interrogator, and her guests always bring insight and intrigue to the table.

2. LeVar Burton Reads

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing LeVar Burton would reboot Reading Rainbow for adults, we have some fantastic news for you: He basically did. On LeVar Burton Reads, he narrates short fiction that he’s chosen himself. The sound quality is high; Burton’s narration is just as captivating as you remember from childhood; and the stories are written by some of the best, from Shirley Jackson to Carmen Maria Machado.

3. Backlisted

On each episode of Backlisted, British bibliophiles John Mitchinson and Andy Miller invite a writer (or writers) to talk about an old book they dearly love. They cover some well-trodden territory—George Orwell, Toni Morrison, J.R.R. Tolkien—but it’s mostly work that doesn’t get widely discussed these days. The conversation is erudite but accessible, possibly compelling you to listen while curled up in a comfy chair with a cup of tea.

4. Book Riot’s SFF Yeah!

Book Riot is, unsurprisingly, a great place to go for podcasts in general. Get Booked offers all kinds of book recommendations, and Book Riot: The Podcast is an even more decentralized discussion of all things book-related. For science fiction and fantasy fanatics, there’s SFF Yeah!, hosted by Book Riot staff members Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams. They chat about genre fiction with the ease of people who really know their stuff, so you’re not just getting great book recommendations—you’re also subconsciously learning how to be a better SF&F reader.

5. What Should I Read Next?

On What Should I Read Next?, Anne Bogel (who’s also behind the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy) chats with readers from all over the country about all their book-related habits and proclivities. It doesn’t take long for you to feel like you’re part of a tightly-knit yet very far-reaching book club. Not only will you get endless book recommendations, but you’ll also get to hear how people make time for reading; what formats they prefer; and, of course, why they love to read.

6. Ink to Film

In Ink to Film, writer Luke Elliott and filmmaker James Bailey team up to talk about everyone’s favorite debate topic: books vs. screen adaptations. They spend one whole episode discussing the book and then follow it up with an episode devoted to the film or TV series based on it. Recent highlights include I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid, If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin, and Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.

7. Books & Boba

Hosts Marvin Yueh and Reera Yoo highlight books by Asian and Asian American authors on Books & Boba, which spans every genre from memoir to graphic novel. Since the authors themselves are often guests on the show, you get to hear about the personal experiences that shaped—sometimes indirectly—the themes and characters in their work.

8. Fictional

Jason and Carissa Weiser, creators of the uber-popular podcast Myths and Legends, retell classic literature with a modern tone on Fictional. It’s great for people who feel like they might’ve missed some of the finer points of Dante’s Inferno when they were supposed to read it in school, and it’s also a nice exercise in showing how certain centuries-old works (looking at you, Shakespeare) manage to seem so timeless.