LeVar Burton Reads to Adults!

The excitement surrounding the LeVar Burton Reads podcast is either bewildering or very justified depending on your age and early reading experience. If you tuned into Reading Rainbow on public television during its 26-year run beginning in 1983, you probably understand why grownups might jump up and down then grab their blankie at the prospect of having LeVar Burton once again read them a story. If not, I can imagine your confusion but ask you to stay with me, anyway.

On June 13, 2017, Burton released the first of ten weekly podcast episodes in which he reads a work of short fiction for adults. As for genre, Burton reminds us at the start of each episode that “the only thing that these stories have in common is that I love them.” The entire season can now be streamed for free at the podcast’s home on Stitcher.

Even if the podcast doesn’t hold nostalgic value for you, it may pique your interest in short-form fiction. I admit to a lukewarm attitude toward short stories, novellas and any other fiction that deviates from the traditional novel. I’m not proud of this and decided to give LeVar Burton the chance to convince me I’m missing out. Seven episodes later, Burton has definitely made the case for listening to short fiction; now I’m willing to give it a go the old-fashioned way.

If you are looking to explore beyond the podcast (or have always loved short fiction), check out this list of short works by the authors featured in LeVar Burton Reads.

LeVar Burton Reads: Short Fiction Authors

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Even if I end up going back to my novel-only ways, having LeVar Burton read to me as I drive around town has been fun, nostalgic and very entertaining.

-Stephanie M.

Editor's note: for extra nostalgia, or to introduce a new generation to Reading Rainbow, you can borrow some classic DVDs and the featured books from the library, too!

Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow