Review: Dear Book Nerd Podcast

Image via BookRiot

From BookRiot (a personal favorite) comes the podcast Dear Book Nerd — self-described as “a bi-weekly show that answers your questions on life, love, and literature.” Sound familiar?

The podcast is hosted by Rita Meade, a children’s librarian, who takes questions written in by listeners and offers her perspective and advice. She rotates co-hosts, sometimes pulling in-house at BookRiot and other times co-hosting with authors — such as A.S. King (ep 36), Heidi Schulz (ep 35), and Varian Johnson (ep 28) to name a few.

If you’re a first-time listener or have been here since the start, you’ll quickly pick up on a common theme of no guilt or shame. A lot of readers will compare their reading habits to others and will start to feel inferior for not being caught up on the newest and greatest or for not being as educated on the classics. Meade is quick to combat this by advising that you simply read what you want to read. There’s no right or wrong. Reading is meant to be enjoyed! You shouldn’t feel as though you have to read something or have to work at it.

The podcast is also really good about encouraging listeners to read diversely. There has been a big pull for this within the literature community as a whole, and Dear Book Nerd is no exception. Whether it’s reading outside of your gender, race, social status, what have you, they have some suggestions for you.

It has also been great to hear them question certain societal norms. For instance, I can recall an episode where someone was trying to recommend certain books to their niece, but the girl’s mom had vetoed the recommendations because they were “boys’ books.” Meade and her co-host immediately shot down the idea that books can be genderized, though the remaining question was whether or not to respect the mom’s wishes and how to approach that subject. All in all, there was a great discussion with a lot of helpful advice, just as you might hope.

Another nice feature is that the entire podcast is riddled with amazing book recommendations (for readers of all ages)! As a librarian, Meade spends a lot of her job coming up with titles that someone might enjoy, and I, personally, get really excited when she brings up a book that I either haven’t previously heard of or know very little about. Needless to say, listening has caused my TBR list to grow exponentially, which is, arguably, a pretty great problem.

What I really love about Dear Book Nerd is that it is constantly a source of encouragement. Their mission is to get people to embrace what they like or love, but that doesn’t come without its challenges. Not only can you love what you love, but you should also accept and respect what others love. There are times when Meade stops, and you can hear her choosing her words carefully. It is awesome to see someone who isn’t necessarily prepared with long-winded answers or drop-the-mic one-liners, and yet she gets it so completely right.

I began listening to Dear Book Nerd a few months ago. I decided to start from the beginning until I caught up, and I have enjoyed every minute. It has definitely made doing the dishes far more entertaining and thought-provoking. I almost look forward to it, even when I’m forced to look up a new book recommendation with soapy hands.

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