I had my first moment of being afraid of getting old last year. It was a true, deep, emotional panic about time slipping through my hands. And it wasn’t so much about aging, but the realization that I will never be able to read all the books I want to, especially given the pace of publishing. That thought gave me the vapors.
Once I had cleared my head and accepted this truth, I had to figure out how to adapt. My plan became simple-
- Don’t finish crappy books in hopes that it will get better.
- Do not finish books that you just aren’t liking because you hope that you will “get it” by hanging in there.
- Don’t feel pressured by people to read their favorite book if it isn’t in your wheelhouse, or you straight-up know that you have differing tastes.
- Don’t feel pressured to read something just because it was deemed a classic. (I’m talking to you, Moby Dick.)
- Do spend time seeking out books that sounds exciting, challenging, interesting among what’s being published now and throughout the year so you can get ahead of the game.
To that end, I started listening more regularly to bookish podcasts, to get both recommendations on what book lovers liked, and to hear about upcoming releases that I may want to put on my list. This, of all my other techniques, was the most successful at alleviating the fears that I was missing out and gave me something (many things) to look forward to from the publishing world.
Here are my favorites (in no particular order of preference):
Simon Savidge’s gentle snark makes me laugh. And I like the interplay between him and Thomas Otto, who have different tastes in books, but clearly have a fun tension at play in the podcasts.
Ann Kingman raved so passionately about a book, that I immediately preordered it, and I am thrilled that I did because it means that I was able to read A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara the week it was released. (Being perfectly honest, I inhaled every devastating moment of that tome in 2 days.) And Michael Kindness also delivered this year with a beautiful recommendation for one of his favorite books, Any Human Heart by William Boyd.
Seriously- can we talk a moment about Angela Ledgerwood’s buttery voice for just a moment? I could listen to her read the phone book. It’s so beautiful! She is a great interviewer and some of the most memorable author interviews I heard last year have been on her show.
I really like the ensemble feel they have with this podcast. There is always something to think about or a book to add to my TBR (To Be Read) pile after listening to their episodes. And I especially like that they have varied tastes and come at the topics and suggestions from all sorts of angles. Plus they aren’t book snobby, so they get an A+ from me on that point.
- any of the Book Riot podcasts
You really can’t go wrong with any of these options. The Book Riot team have a number of podcasts, and I listen to their offerings most regularly. Their engagement, passion and drive to make reading fun, diverse, and free from judgement is what keeps me coming back.
Are there others that you love that I have missed? Please leave a comment below and let me know!