As a reader who listens to A LOT of audio books (that is how I keep my read books numbers high), I am always in a search for new, preferably free, ways of getting my hands on audio entertainment. My first encounter with podcasting happened via accidentally glancing at one of my Goodreads.com friend's conversation in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy group.
Any book lover will appreciate this cool story - Surviving the eBookalypse by Randy Henderson. Imagine that digital books in fact ruin publishing world as we know - piracy is so rampant that writers are forced to seek out their personal sponsors who they attract by reading them excerpts from their works, in person, in confined and soundproof spaces where audio/video pirating is virtually impossible. Life is tough, brutally competitive for writers, they have to fight for each and every reader. With so many self-published writers these days such future does not sound that far fetched. This story is funny too.
For lovers of the "serious" contemporary fiction, there are two great podcasts - The New Yorker Fiction Podcast and Guardian Books Podcast.
The New Yorker introduced me to Alice Munro, fan of whom I immediately became after listening to her short story Axis read by another writer - Lauren Groff. Another great offering, funny and sad, is Junot Diaz's How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie).
Guardian Books Podcast has a wider variety of materials - interviews, discussions, reading, a book club. Guardian introduced me to one of the best books I have read this year - Lauren Beukes' Zoo City in its Science Fiction Now and Tomorrow discussion.
And, finally, one last podcast I am going to mention. It actually has nothing to do with books and reading. It is Entertainment Weekly's InsideTV Podcast. Yep, I listen to it because it is funny and here they talk about Downton Abbey. If you are not hooked on this British costumed soap, you are missing out!