Podcasting is so hot right now. A recent report in Business Insider magazine showed that 20% of adults aged 18 to 49 in the United States listen to at least one podcast per month. But for many people who are unfamiliar with podcasts, I may as well be writing in wingdings right now.

So, for those who are unfamiliar, what are podcasts? According to Wikipedia, a podcast is an episodic series of digital audio files that a user can download and listen to. ("Podcast." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast) Basically, a podcast is a radio show available on the internet. Think old-fashioned, serialized dramas like "The Lone Ranger" or talk shows like "The Howard Stern Show" but available to download and listen to on the go.

You may be thinking, "What's the big deal? Who care about gussied up radio shows on the internet?" Well, podcasts offer a number of advantages over traditional radio.

  1. For one thing, you can listen to podcasts any time you want whereas you have to tune in to the right station on the right time and day to catch a radio program. You can pause, rewind or fast-forward your podcast while a radio program will keep playing no matter what.
  2. Podcasts are portable and you can listen to them on almost any digital device even when you don't have internet access, provided you download your podcasts ahead of time. Radio programs require a radio and keep you tied to the limited area where you can receive the radio station's broadcast.
  3. Finally podcasts an opt-in entertainment choice - you have to seek out and download or stream the particular show that matches your interests. Because of this, podcasts can have a much narrower focus in terms of subject matter than traditional radio. Want a show that takes an in-depth look at every aspect of a real life unsolved mystery? Serial has you covered. Want to listen to a bunch of professional comedians play Dungeons & Dragons? My friend, let me introduce you to Nerd Poker. You get the picture - there's a huge variety of shows to choose from in the world of podcasts.

In fact Kitsap Regional Library sponsors a podcast called the Book Lovers Podcast, a reading-themed show produced by and starring the Poulsbo Teen Advisory Board. You can listen to all of the episodes here, or if you want to get in on the action yourself you can join us on the first and fourth Fridays of each month. Come see what all the excitement is about!

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