Episodes
We have explored a lot of different components of the book publishing industry on the podcast, but neither of us know much about the work of literary translation. So, we were thrilled to get the chance to talk with Polly Mackintosh about her work. Polly is Commissioning Editor and in-house translator for Gallic Books, and is the translator of the forthcoming novel, Clara Reads Proust by Stéphane Carlier.  We chatted with Polly about how she got started as a translator, what her favorite and...
Published 04/10/24
This episode was recorded in-person and on location during our sister vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii! We kept our reading choices for the trip a secret from one another and did a live reveal, then we talked all about vacation reading while getting a little tipsy on tropical fruit juice and rum cocktails.  Among and around several digressions, we discuss questions like, what types of stories do you like to read on vacation? How many books do you bring? What format of book do you bring...
Published 03/27/24
Published 03/27/24
Even if you don't use TikTok, you've likely at least heard of the phenomenon known as BookTok. Individual videos sometimes get millions of views, and the combined hashtags for these videos on TikTok have had hundreds of billions of views. The publishing industry is paying attention - and so are we!  Is BookTok really driving book sales? Or is it just creating yet another thing for people to envy online and feel bad about in their real lives? Is it lowering the quality of writing in books,...
Published 03/13/24
What do you do with books that you're finished with? Books you've read or don't want anymore or spilled coffee on? In this episode we discuss what makes a book valuable - to individuals and to society - and why this can sometimes result in anxiety about how books are disposed of.  We dig into the work libraries do to preserve books and the “weeding” they have to do to stay functional for the communities they serve. Elizabeth goes on a teeny-tiny rant about the controversy this weeding can...
Published 02/28/24
Romance novels generate over $1.44 billion (with a 'b!') in revenue and are highest-earning, biggest, and fastest growing genre of fiction in the book industry. And yet, if you're a romance reader, you've probably had to defend it to someone at some point or maybe you've even been embarrassed of your reading. Why are these books that so many read still so fraught? We talk about our personal experiences with reading romance, the history of the genre, and discuss questions like, what defines...
Published 02/14/24
If you're a reader, you know the feeling: you turn the last page of a book and want to cry that it's over. You immediately feel bereft. You can't stop thinking (and even talking) about the characters, the story. You wish you could turn back time to when you were still reading or somehow enter the pages of the book and live in the world. No other book appeals to you, and you might even start and then abandon books trying to move on. You have a book hangover! In this episode, we're talking all...
Published 01/31/24
The idea that "the kids just don't read anymore" is a tale as old as time. And, it is something that Elizabeth decided to investigate head-on in her role as an academic librarian. The results of the research study she designed and ran, interviewing just under 100 university students in the U.S. and the U.K., were published a few months ago and we talk about them in this episode. Spoiler alert: young people (even when they're in college and even during the semester) do still read for fun! We...
Published 01/17/24
Happy New Year! Who doesn't love a good year-end round up?! Join us as we talk about our year in reading, our favorite books of 2023, and what we're looking forward to reading in 2024. We discuss the pros and cons of setting reading goals, complete with research that will not only let you off the hook with your yearly reading goal (if that's what you want) but will also get you out of having to walk 10,000 steps a day :) ----------------------- Books we talk about in this episode:   2023...
Published 01/03/24
We say yes! But there's a way to do it well. As with any type of gift-giving, there are some pitfalls to avoid... For example, arbitrarily giving a book to someone because you like it, or because you've latched on to one detail about them and thus neglected the bigger picture. But never fear! We’ll help you match the right book to the right person using reading doorways. (If you haven't listened to our bonus episode about reading doorways...what are you waiting for?!) Bonus: we’re offering a...
Published 11/22/23
If you're a reader, you've probably had someone ask you this question. We unpack what this question sometimes really means (How do you have so much free time? Must be nice having no obligations! I'm so busy I could never find time to read. You must be some kind of a superhero!) and explore the roots of some of these false beliefs about reading. We then talk about tips and tricks for reading more if you or someone you know is asking this question in earnest. Part sass, part research, and part...
Published 11/08/23
In this bonus episode, we talk about something that didn't come up in the genres episode but should have. It’s a concept called the four reading doorways. Could it be an alternative to genres? Nancy Pearl thinks so! Join as we talk about what the four reading doorways are, learn how they're useful when recommending books to others, and explore how they show up in our own reading. Sources: Pearl, Nancy. “Check It Out with Nancy Pearl: Finding That Next Good Book.”  March 16, 2012. Publishers...
Published 11/01/23
CW: discussions of sexual assault and other crimes, racism, antisemitism, and other forms of bigotry, as well as Zionism (all in reference to books and authors from the 19th/20th centuries, rather than to current news). Can you separate the book from the author? The art from the artist? What do we do with books that were written by people with views that we disagree with or who have done things we find morally objectionable? Can we entirely put these scruples aside and appreciate art on it's...
Published 10/25/23
What makes a good audiobook narrator? Is it enough to have a good voice? To be a good reader? A good actor? Something else? What about on the side of the reader? There are certainly things that make the experience of listening to an audiobook narrator better or worse for people. But are some of these things objective and common to everyone? Or is this a totally subjective preference? Join us as we dive into this topic! ----------------------- Books we're reading in this episode:  Romantic...
Published 10/11/23
Do genres help or hinder your reading? Some people are very loyal to their genres of choice. Genres can be a way to connect with other readers, provide a language to talk about books you love using tropes, and help steer you in the direction of books you may like when you visit a bookstore. Genres can also help narrow down the world of reading choices. But do they narrow that world too much? Do genres keep you from reading books and discovering new types of stories you may enjoy? Do you enjoy...
Published 09/27/23
Do you finish every book you start? Why or why not? Some people feel a strong moral imperative to finish a book once they've started reading it. Other people will mark a book DNF (Did Not Finish) after a few pages if they're not able to get into it and move on to the next book. What pulls some people to keep reading a book if they're not enjoying it? And are people who give up missing out on a book they would love if they stuck with it? Do we owe it to the author to keep reading? And does the...
Published 09/13/23
Do audiobooks count as reading? And does it really matter? Why do some people seem to care so much about making this distinction? Where do the moral overtones surrounding reading that underlie this question come from? Arguments around this topic are often centered on the benefits of reading - and there are plenty, including educational, professional, psychological, social, and emotional. So, does the format we read in matter when it comes to the benefits we get from reading?   Whether you've...
Published 08/30/23
Welcome to All Books Aloud. Here is a short intro to the show. Subscribe for more from us soon! ----------------------- Intro and outro music: "The Chase," by Aves. Do you have thoughts, questions, or ideas for future episodes? Email us at [email protected]. And if you want to learn more about the podcast, visit our website at allbooksaloudpod.com. If you liked this episode, please consider leaving us a review to help us reach more listeners. And if you'd like to see more...
Published 08/18/23