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18 Best Bookish Podcasts You Need to Subscribe to Now

If you love books and just don’t have enough time or energy to read, bookish podcasts are your best bet.

Whether you’re hoping to learn what book you want to read next, you want something read to you, or you just like hearing literary conversation, a podcast is an easy way to get your literary fix.

bookish podcasts

Here’s a list of bookish podcasts for you to listen to at work, on the road, or just lying on the couch.

Find your next great read. Have the literary hero of everyone’s childhood read you the best short stories the world has to offer. Hear fantasy authors get nerdy about the books they love. Just close your eyes and listen.

1) Poem-a-Day

poem a day podcast

Brought to you by the Academy of American Poets, Poem-a-Day is exactly what it sounds like. Every single morning as you drink your coffee, enjoy a celebrated poet reading one of their very own poems to you.

With each recording only being a couple minutes long, it’s a morning meditation for readers.

Listen to Poem-a-Day

2) LeVar Burton Reads

levar burton podcast

Take a listen, it’s in a podcast! The host of Reading Rainbow has not deserted our inner children. In this charming podcast series, LeVar Burton reads you his favourite short stories – from Kurt Vonnegut to Amal El-Mohtar to Terry Pratchett, and then tells you why he loves them so much.

Having a short story read to you by a master booklover is all the nurturing your soul will ever need.

Listen to LeVar Burton

3) Alice Isn’t Dead

Alice isn't dead podcasr

I wanted to include one bookish podcast that had a plot. It was difficult to pick just one, particularly given that the same person wrote Welcome to Nightvale.

Alice Isn’t Dead feels a bit more like a book you can listen to, rather than a podcast, and it will grip you by the throat and never let go.

Listen to Alice Isn’t Dead

4) Debutiful


Debutiful is the best motivation for any aspiring author, but it’s just as great as a means to find great new books. Host Adam Vitcavage talks to debut authors about their little stories that could.

He also lets them read excerpts. It’s a podcast any budding author would aspire to be on.

Listen to Debutiful

5) Is This Just Fantasy?

is this just fantasy

A charming journey through the realm of fantasy writing, from tropes to series. Both hosts like the opposite ends of the fantasy spectrum (brick-like tomes vs. light, fun, and quick). It’s the kind of podcast you find yourself talking along to.

Listen to Is This Just Fantasy

Read More: The Best History Books Ever Written

6) Books and Boba

books and boba

Covering a range of genres, Books and Boba is a book club/podcast about the works of Asian and Asian American authors.

It’s a great way to widen the scope of your reading list, and they also have riveting author chats so listeners can get to know more about the experiences that led to the existence of these books.

Listen to Books and Boba

7) Adaptation Nation

adaptation nation

There’s a lot to listen to from Book Riot, but this is one of my personal favourite concepts. Adaptation Nation takes deep dives into beloved books that have been adapted into often even more famous films.

They also look at the moment in history these adaptations happened. The episodes are surprisingly short and digestible for the lengths they go to represent both versions of the stories they talk about.

Listen to Adaptation Nation

8) Authors on a Podcast Talking Books

authors on a podcast talking books

If you need a podcast about writing while you work or study, this is a great choice. It’s a simple premise (authors talk about books on a podcast, of course) with a lot of fun guests, spanning genres and ideas.

A friendly chat you feel like you’re just happening to overhear, Authors on a Podcast Talking Books has something for everyone.

Listen to Authors on a Podcast Talking Books

9) This Queer Book Saved My Life!

this queer book saved me life

If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you could likely add your own selection to this narrative.

In this podcast, ordinary people get to tell the authors of the books that saved them exactly what the story means to them and how it helped them.

That’s right: readers actually get to have this conversation with the author who saved them through their art.

Listen to This Queer Book Saved My Life

10) Can’t Lit

can't lit podcast

Canadian writers have a very close-knit community and love their country, so of course there’s a podcast specifically about Canadian literature (often referred to as CanLit…hence the name of the podcast).

Hosted by two hilarious Canadian writers, the show brings the friendliness of the Great North to the literary world.

If you haven’t heard of hosts Dina Del Bucchia and Jen Sookfong Lee, you’re missing out, but it’s difficult to tell you where to start, since they’re both so multitalented. So, you may as well start with Can’t Lit!

Listen to Can’t Lit

11) SFF Yeah!

sff yeah

This is the second Book Riot podcast on this list, but with good reason.

SFF Yeah isn’t your average sci-fi and fantasy podcast; they dive deep into a wider range of topics than author chats or book reviews (as awesome as those are, it’s fun to find something more niche).

They’ve talked about webtoons, discussed whether Men in Black would have been better as a romance, and discussed which sci-fi and fantasy worlds they would or would not visit.

Given that Book Riot is a well-loved organization and can have a bit of fun with their formatting, is that the episodes vary wildly in length: some are ten minutes, some over an hour.

Listen to SFF Yeah!

12) Smart Podcast Trashy Books

smart podcast trashy books

Romances get a bad rap, and Smart Podcast Trashy Books isn’t here to argue about that as much as embrace it. It’s as silly and light-hearted as any podcast can get, but with an amazing array of guests.

This isn’t only authors of romance books but readers of a wide variety.

It’s an inviting enough format that even those who don’t stray too far into the genre can get a kick out of the conversation, as long as they’re a fan of anything bookish. Or meme-ish…if you don’t know where to start, I recommend the Chuck Tingle episode.

Listen to Smart Podcast Trashy Books

13) Well-Read Black Girl

well-read black girl

Well Read Black Girl is more than just a podcast. It’s a community for black women to find literature and poetry for them.

Founded by multi-award-winning author Glory Edim, the podcast portion of this community celebrates the writing of black female authors and everything their struggles, accomplishments, and stories can teach.

She also has a variety of other kinds of literary guests. It’s a daring and insightful listen. They also have online writing courses coming soon!

Listen to Well-Read Black Girl

14) The Anthropocene Reviewed

the anthropocene reviewed

Author (amongst a million other things) John Green hosts this show where he reviews various facets of modern existence.

Although there’s no guarantee he’ll talk about books or writing, the way that John Green carries a narrative, the themes and deeper meanings from simple things that you or I might have missed feels perfectly aligned with something more literary.

There’s also a book to go along with the podcast, in which his musings are described as personal essays, and that’s exactly what this podcast is: spoken personal essays.

Listen to The Anthropocene Reviewed

15) What Should I Read Next?

what should i read next

It’s a daunting question, and only a true hero would strive to answer it for complete strangers on a podcast.

If you’d like, you can join the community of readers, simply listen to the podcast to see how they go about helping you choose your next read, or even apply to be a guest on the show.

What Should I Read Next? gets to the bottom of many reading issues and creates a fun and inclusive space for literary listeners.

Listen to What Should I Read Next

16) Poetry Unbound

poetry unbound

Poetry can be daunting, even when you’re simply listening to it. Poetry Unbound has a fix for that. In this short, beautiful podcast, you will be read a poem, and then have the poem broken down and explained piece by piece.

It simplifies the concepts in these beautiful pieces of art that might otherwise go unenjoyed.

These explanations feel just as poetic as the poems themselves, giving you something to think about as you work or perhaps do some slow, mindful activity like cleaning.

Listen to Poetry Unbound

17) Books Unbound

books unbound

Booktubers Ariel Bissett and Raeleen Lemay discuss the books they’ve read, and the books they’ve bought, and recommend new books to listeners every Sunday morning.

It’s full of witty banter and good vibes. You can tell the hosts really get on and most importantly love books.

This is a great podcast to listen to while doing chores, or just when you want to feel like you’ve got some bookish friends with you.

Listen to Books Unbound

18) If Books Could Kill

if books could kill

Michael Hobbes of Maintenance Phase and lawyer Peter Shamshiri dive into mass-market hits that you vaguely remember and see if they were ever worth the hype.

If you enjoy snark then this is the one for you. You won’t learn much but you will laugh.

Listen to If Books Could Kill

Thanks for reading this list of bookish podcast, try our audiobooks lists for more literary listening.

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