Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Salon: On NPR Books

The Sunday Salon.comI listen to a lot more audiobooks than I used to. In January, audiobooks comprised half of my reading. A lot of this change is due to the nomadbaby. I don't have as much time to read as I used to, so I've consciously transitioned most of the time I used to spend listening to music or NPR and now listen to audiobooks. I listen while I'm feeding him. I listen while I'm cleaning. I listen while I'm driving (and sometimes driving is an activity we'll spend an hour doing just for fun--and the opportunity to listen to an audiobook.)

Perhaps because the nomadbaby has only known a life in which his mom is often listening to audiobooks, he enjoys them. He is a very verbal child, which is no surprise given who his parents are. And while I feel like I talk to him all the time, I noticed early on that I had very little to narrate while feeding him, washing dishes, etc. When we're walking around the house, I talk to him. But the rest of the time, I like to think it's good for him to hear different voices and different accents. I know the time will come when I can't listen to audiobooks in his presence, but for now, it works.

Still, one of the things I miss is NPR, so I've recently started listening to the NPR Books podcast, and I'm really enjoying it. In a sense, it's not a podcast. The NPR Books podcast is actually a feed of every NPR news story about books, regardless of which program (i.e. All Things Considered, Morning Edition) airs it.

I particularly enjoy these clips because they're short, usually about five minutes. That's the sweet spot for me listening. If I have more than five minutes, I typically opt for my audiobook, as I have been having such awesome success with audiobooks lately. I also find myself more drawn to the pieces on new nonfiction titles. I'm not as plugged in to nonfiction publishing as I am fiction, and while I don't always add the titles to my TBR, I do enjoy hearing the author interviewed and learning some about the topic. These stories certainly take me out of my "what's new in literary fiction" bubble. In the past week, I've heard stories featuring poets, children's book authors and illustrators, nonfiction, and fiction. There's an intimacy to a radio interview I quite enjoy, and it's also prompted me to seek out other bookish podcasts. In the coming weeks and months, I'll bring you my thoughts on more podcasts.

Convinced? Subscribe to the NPR Books podcast . If you're not the podcast type, you can also subscribe to their RSS feed or read (and listen to) their stories online.

Now tell me: do you listen to podcasts? What ones should I also be subscribing to?

This post is not sponsored. In fact, it's so un-sponsored, I give money to NPR. 


  1. I used to listen to that podcast and then for whatever reason I forgot about it.

  2. The only podcast I've listened to is Serial which was almost like a non fiction book. I think I tried npr's books one once but I need to try it again.


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