Get ready to book it with this newly launched podcast that focuses on conversations surrounding books.
Like to talk about books? The newly launched B**K It! podcast recently launched to encourage conversation about literature while providing book lovers with another outlet for their passion.
“We wanted to have conversations about books and reading in a way that was approachable and fun, because reading can be intimidated,” explains B**K It! host Michael Woodson. “It’s hard to be a casual reader when you compare yourself with people who are in publishing or read for a living. Simply, we love reading and we love talking about reading, so the natural next step was a podcast.”
B**K It! is a bi-weekly podcast streaming every other Wednesday, with the occasional extra episode, featured book chats, author interviews, book club, and so much more.
Woodson works on B**K It! alongside Jill Burket Ragase. Woodson, a freelance editor and writer in his professional life, and Regasse, a licensed librarian and book buyer for the Blue Manatee Literacy Project, are both lifelong readers.
“I grew up with a mother who was an avid reader and my school’s librarian, and Jill grew up between the stacks herself,” he says. “Books have surrounded both of us, in some of our most important memories. I think it’s safe to say that reading and books have helped mold us into the people we are today.”
Woodson says that he and Regasse previously worked at the Blue Manatee Literacy Project together. The Blue Manatee Literacy Project is a Cincinnati-based nonprofit that operates on a buy-one-give-one model. That means that for every book purchased with them, one is donated to a child in need.
Then, last winter, Woodson and Regasse wanted to start a podcast together and Blue Manatee agreed to sponsor the first season.
“It was such a joy working with them – an organization that we love and people doing amazing, difficult work,” says Woodson. “Our first episode aired in spring of 2020 (right at the start of the pandemic) and our first season ran through the end of December 2020. We produced over 20 episodes all in quarantine.”
The B**K It! podcast covers a little bit of everything from picture books to books for adults. Woodson says that they talk about movie and TV adaptations of their favorite books, pet peeves, guilty pleasures, and vacation reads. They’ve also interviewed a number of authors including Jacqueline Woodson, a Newbery Honor winner; Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize winner; and Blair Imani to name a few.
Woodson says that what makes the podcast stand out from others is that they like to focus on the conversation surrounding books rather than how many books are read.
“If you read one book a year, that’s just as valuable to us! The thing we care most about is the conversation you decide to have about that book,” he adds. “We hope our podcast offers people a diverse range of books to choose from. We want people to feel comfortable and confident in their reading goals, whatever they are.”
Additionally, Woodson says that another way B**K It! sets itself apart is that that he and Regasse are different readers.
“We don’t necessarily gravitate to the same kinds of books, and that’s what makes it so interesting,” he adds. “I’ve read so many amazing books over the last year because Jill has brought them to my attention. I’m so grateful for that on a personal level, but I also think it just makes our conversations more varied. We aren’t just talking about one type of book over and over again. And we’re funny! I mean, I think we’re funny! I should probably let somebody else tell me that, but Jill makes me laugh and I make Jill laugh, so hopefully our listeners are laughing, too!”
Although B**K It! is fairly new to the podcast world, Woodson says they’re already planning for more to come. He says they will continue working with the Blue Manatee Literacy Project and in season two they’re featuring indie bookstores across the country. They also have Book Club, which they hope readers will read along with them before listening to the book club conversation episode.
“Our first book club is The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson, and we’re so excited because we also are interviewing the author for an extra episode,” says Woodson. “We have so many other author interviews lined up, like Cincinnati’s own Jessica Strawser for her upcoming novel A Million Reasons Why. We’re also partnering with local baker/influencer Josh Lehenbauer (joshisbaking) for a “food in fiction” episode!”
After episodes, listeners now have the opportunity to visit their Bookshop.org link. As a go-to online retailer for indie bookstores, Woodson says that every purchase made through the link will help financially support indie bookstores across the country.
“It’s the indie bookstore’s answer to Amazon,” he says. “Every single book we talk about on the podcast is available for purchase on the Bookshop store.”
To learn more about the B**K It! Podcast, give them a follow on Instagram. You can also visit the website for indie bookstore features, blogs, and more. B**k It! is available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Audioboom, and Stitcher.