Bookishness for Incurable Readers

Close Reads is a literary endeavor produced by Goldberry Studios, a family-run company in North Carolina that is connected to Goldberry Books, an indie bookshop in Concord, NC.

Our goal is have emphathetic and intelligent conversations about good books. We think of ourselves as enthusiastic curators and advocates—friendly bookish neighbors, if you will.

Originally launching in 2015, Close Reads is dedicated to deep reading and stimulating conversation about the best novels and short stories ever written. We have read and discussed works by Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Charlotte Bronte, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Wendell Berry, Dorothy Sayers, Flannery O'Connor, Evelyn Waugh, E.M. Forster, Ernest Gaines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Daphne DuMaurier, Charles Portis, and many, many others — with more to come!

Close Reads HQ

Here at Close Reads HQ you will find every episodes of the podcast, including subscriber-exclusives, plus written content, from essays and interviews to reviews and contemplations. In addition to giving you access to that content, your subscription funds the production of our shows.

When you subscribe you gain access to:

  • Bi-weekly bonus episodes on longer novels (Anna Karenina, LOTR, Crime and Punishment, etc. )

  • A monthly column from Heidi White that contemplates the ways the themes of Duty and Desire show up in the books we discuss for the show

  • Periodical discussions on new release books

  • Occasional book reviews from our team as well as guest reviewers

  • Interviews with authors and experts

  • David’s occasional “From the Stacks” column

  • Access to live episodes discussing short stories and other topics

  • Access to ongoing subscriber-only conversations through Substack’s “thread” tool

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THE DAILY POEM — An audio anthology of the greatest poetry ever written
Goldberry Studios also produces The Daily Poem, a podcast that offers one essential poem each weekday morning. From Shakespeare and John Donne to Robert Frost and E..E Cummings, The Daily Poem curates a broad and generous audio anthology of the best poetry ever written, read-aloud by David Kern (on Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursday) and Heidi White (on Mondays and Fridays). Some brief commentary is included and poems are often read twice, as time permits.

The Facebook Group

Close Reads is driven by a book-loving, conversation-loving, and all-around loving community of listeners. If you love good books and want to talk about them with other people, be sure to join the Close Reads Facebook discussion group.

You can also follow Goldberry Studios on Instagram here.

Subscribe to stay up-to-date

To keep up with all the happenings, be sure to subscribe here. It’s free.

Show Archives

We have received many questions about the Close Reads archives, since most podcast apps don’t go back further than around 100 episodes. Click here to see the full archive list of the earliest episodes.

Subscribe to Close Reads HQ

Close Reads HQ is a place for the incurable reader. We produce podcasts, reviews, interviews, essays, and more, all related to bookish things.


Goldberry Studios

Goldberry Studios is the team behind Close Reads, The Daily Poem, Withywindle, and Bibliography podcasts.

Heidi White

Teacher, editor, podcaster, and author. Specializes in Classical Education, literature, and the Christian imagination.

Tim McIntosh

Contributor to the show.

David Kern 

I am the owner of Goldberry Books in Concord, NC, and host of several bookish podcasts including Close Reads, The Daily Poem, Withywindle (a show for kids), and The Goldberry Books Pod, all available on Substack or wherever you get podcasts.

Sean Johnson

Classical teacher and administrator, Close Reads co-host, Amateur

Graeme Pitman 

Co-host of the Withywindle podcast. Designer + Photographer. Grammy award winning artist. Champion cliff diver. Person of interest. First man on the Moon. Inventor of Hamster Garage™, Pop Socks™, Certified Stick™ and Sour Patch Keds™.