No sooner has CNN’s Jake Tapper delivered the final chapter of his CNN + show for book lovers than another high-profile TV journalist is preparing to launch a similar project – a podcast, to be more specific.
That journalist, Charlie Gibson, is a former anchor for Good Morning America and ABC News. His is a new ABC News podcast for book aficionados called “The Book Case”Which Gibson will host along with his daughter, Kate Gibson.
The first episode launches on May 2, and it will be available across all the major podcast platforms. Or, as the elder Gibson likes to joke, “You’ll be able to find us, wherever free podcasts are sold.”
“Wander the aisles of your local bookstore with Kate and Charlie Gibson and meet fascinating characters who will open your appetite to new categories while deepening your hunger for books,” the podcast’s official description reads. “This weekly series will journey cover to cover through the literary world, featuring interviews with best-selling authors, tastemakers, and independent bookstore owners.”
The inaugural episode will be built around an interview with Oprah Winfrey, who is, of course, one of the world’s mainstream book foremost tastemakers (and the namesake of her own book club). “Your love for books and Kate’s love for books will naturally inspire your podcast listeners,” Winfrey tells the hosts in Episode 1.
A love of reading
In addition to such interviews, the episodes will also spotlight local independent bookstores. And after Winfrey, future installments will include interviews with novelists like John Irving and Sue Miller. As well as Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
As for the Gibsons, the podcast is a fitting project for them both to undertake, seeing as how father and daughter themselves stayed connected during the pandemic thanks to their mutual love of reading. Spending her free time engrossed in books was one way the younger Gibson says she maintained a bit of sanity after the outbreak of Covid. Missing her father, once social distancing became everyone’s new normal, coupled with their conversations about a shared love of reading, gave birth to the idea for the project.
“I can’t believe we got to talk to Oprah, who I think is probably the most famous reader on earth,” the younger Gibson tells her father in a teaser for the podcast.
Responds her father: “But while she may be the most famous, Kate, you’re my favorite person to share a good book with. And like so many others, that’s how we stayed connected during the pandemic. ”
There is, to be sure, no shortage of podcasts competing for listeners’ attention these days. High-profile creators, like the Obamas, drive an outsized share of attention to the format. Books, meanwhile, are an especially advantageous focal point for a podcast, given the communal nature of fandom – which has led, for example, book lovers to create so-called Bookstagram and Booktube social media accounts.
And it makes sense, when you think about it, for fans to be extra-committed to this format, given the investment of time (sometimes hours upon hours) that it takes to finish a book, compared to burning through something like a new Netflix
“We hope these conversations will inspire you and give you ideas about your next read,” said Gibson, who served as an anchor of ABC News’ flagship “World News” broadcast starting in May 2006. He retired from full-time employment with the network – which had been his professional home for more than three decades – at the end of 2009.
Below, meanwhile, you’ll also find some other podcasts for book lovers to check out, along with a snippet from each show’s description:
- NPR’s Book of the Day: “In need of a good read? Or just want to keep up with the books everyone’s talking about? NPR’s Book of the Day gives you today’s very best writing in a snackable, skimmable, pocket-sized podcast. ”
- On the Road with Penguin Classics: “On the Road with Penguin Classics is a podcast that takes a stroll around the world’s favorite books. In each episode, author and editor Henry Eliot travels to a different literary location to explore a brilliant book in the company of a remarkable reader. ”
- LeVar Burton Reads: “The best short fiction, handpicked by the best voice in podcasting. In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. ”