The Ever-Changing World of Books

On most days, you can find me blasting my iPod in the car. I have a bit of a commute to get to work and back so music makes the time in the car tolerable. Lately though, my focus has been all over the place and the frantic beat has been a bit of a distraction.


I decided to listen to the literature podcasts that I had subscribed to. The thing is, those podcasts, for whatever reason never updated with newer ones so when Jennifer Schuessler mentioned that The Lost Symbol was #1 on the bestseller list, I glanced down only to discover that what I was listening to was from this time, last year!

Literature Podcasts

At first, I was irritated. I cursed my iPod. After I got it all out though, I was sort of charmed by the mention of these books. For the most part, these books escaped my radar or I actually made the effort to add them to Goodreads and then promptly forgot about them. I do that all the time.

It occurred to me how much changes in a year’s time. I don’t know how publishers deal with the never-ending cycle of books and then add to that the trends we’ve experienced with e-readers. How many e-readers are out there now? Several and more than one version of each. One of the podcasts I listened to discussed Vook. Do you remember when vooks came out? Do you use them?

If I think back to my reading tastes from last year, they are quite different than what I enjoy now. True, I still learn towards literary fiction but I’ve been loving dystopian fiction too and years ago, it was not a genre I would have given a second thought to. Coincidentally, it’s not a genre that was discussed in any of those podcasts from a year ago either.

It’s been discussed before but I’ve never been clear on what drives trends when it comes to reading. Do publishers push certain genres or do readers, through their purchasing habits, dictate what appears on the shelves? I imagine it’s probably a bit of both.

Listening to these dated podcasts has been refreshing though. I mean, if the book was great back then, why wouldn’t it be now? Needless to say, I will be adding a few more books to my TBR list.

Oh, and if you have any literature podcasts that you’d like to recommend, please let me know. Currently, I subscribe to the ones noted above, plus Nancy Pearl and the Seattle Public Library.


10 thoughts on “The Ever-Changing World of Books”

  1. I so totally agree with you about tastes in reading…I scoffed at reading Hunger Games…and now I can’t believe it took me so long…I did the same thing with Harry Potter and Twilight…I was only into intense dysfunctional women’s fiction…I love that blogging and reading about other people’s taste in reading has helped me to expand my reading tastes…except for memoirs…double ick…

  2. My NPR station used to air a couple of book-related programs and once I discovered them I went back and listened to all of the old shows. The books weren’t the latest but they were new to me and I’ve enjoyed several of them. There are so many books and, as bloggers in particular, we are so inundated with the latest titles that it’s easy to overlook the ones we missed.

  3. I really need to update my podcast subscriptions. I mean add them. It’s hard to find the time, but I miss many of them – I’ll make sure to get some of these on my list.

    I swear I had never heard of Vooks until just now. I feel really ridiculously out of the loop.

    My TBR pile would weight about a ton if I had actual copies. Right now it’s a never-ending list. Thank goodness for libraries and ebooks and audiobooks.

  4. That’s the nice thing about books, even though there are trends and fads (especially in covers) quality books are still good years later.

    I had too look up Vooks to see what they were, so obviously I don’t use them. 🙂

    I don’t listen to podcasts, but I do love audiobooks and I tune in to Book TV when I have time.

  5. I guess I missed the whole Vook thing. I didn’t even know what it was.

    And I guess I don’t think of trends in books. I think the biggest hits are almost always surprises and hit because they are good. Of course, I’m naive and don’t have my finger on the pulse of the industry.

  6. i have yet to listen to a pod-cast, 4 years after purchasing my first ipod. 🙂

    i’m a fiend for audio books and can’t drive without them. glad you found a way to pass the commute. as for a vook…i’ve never heard of it and an off to check it out.

    have a great week.

  7. So, even though I’m about 2 weeks late on this, I can answer why you had year-old episodes of your podcasts. If you don’t ever actually listen to a podcast you subscribe to, iTunes will, after some length of time, decide that you are no longer interested in said podcast and stop downloading the new ones.

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