There is something strangely soothing about a pile of second-hand books. The knowledge that they have already been read, that the information within their covers is also, somehow, out in the world can be calming for the anxious book-lover who knows that there could never be enough time for one person to read all the books that have ever been written (see Carl Sagan, Cosmos). And every spot of ketchup or grain of sand or stray hair or feather trapped between the pages of a book that someone else has read is testament to the transfer of its contents to the great library of human experience that ensures, in some barely graspable way, that what one of us knows, all of us know (see Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays).

 

And in case all of that is too esoteric for you, this podcast is gathering some of that knowledge into an archive of digital sound files. With each episode, you get an introduction to three books. That's three books in twenty minutes. At this rate, we'll get through them all in no time.

 

The format is as follows: Charles Adrian asks his guests to bring a book that they like and a book that they think he should have. He brings a book that he thinks they should have. At the end of the episode, they exchange books and two new second-hand books are created. Which is why these episodes are also called the Second-Hand Book Factory.

 

If you have comments or questions about the podcast or the books that have been read from - or if you think that you would be a good guest - please get in touch via Twitter or email using the contact buttons below.