Picture of SSR Podcast
Credit: The SSR Podcast /

Remember SSR time in elementary school? It was a quiet, relaxing part of the day devoted to our favorite things: books. Those 20 blissful minutes were silent, sustained, and full of reading. If you’ve ever sat at your desk as an adult and thought, I wish I could take a break for some SSR right about now, fear not. You might not be able to crack open a book at work, but you can listen to The SSR Podcast.

The SSR Podcast is the brainchild of Alli Hoff Kosik, one of the biggest bookworms around. Kosik studied journalism in college and worked in book publishing at Penguin Random House for almost five years. After she left her job to get back to her writing roots in the freelance world, she found herself craving a more structured way to talk about books — specifically, literary throwbacks from middle school and high school. And thus, The SSR Podcast was born.

The SSR Podcast is built around the idea that even if you weren’t a big reader as a kid, most of us still share certain childhood reading experiences. Every episode offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane; episodes range from Animal Farm to Goosebumps. Oh, and in this case, “SSR” doesn’t just stand for “silent sustained reading” — it also stands for “shit she read.” We see what you did there, Alli.

Every week, Kosik welcomes a guest to discuss a book from their childhood or teenage years.

Sometimes, it’s a beloved favorite; other times, it’s a title the guest missed out on reading. In every episode, they discuss what it’s like to visit a text intended for kids as an adult. Spoiler alert: Your favorite books aren’t always as charming as you remember.

To Kosik, The SSR Podcast is about more than just revisiting literary throwbacks.

It’s also a way for women to revisit strong influences from their childhoods and have a platform for conversations about important topics like gender politics.

Some of Kosik’s favorite literary throwbacks so far will probably be yours, too.

You can listen to new episodes of SSR every Tuesday on iTunes, Stitcher, and the SSR Podcast website.