Meet the mom behind 'Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books' podcast

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019
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Sandy Kenyon reports on the mom who chooses the books she likes and talks about them on her podcast.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A mom from Manhattan has become the toast of the book business due to the success of her podcast, "Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books."

Zibby Owens has four children under the age of 13, so she knows how to help other mothers find the time to read.

She says she always has a book in her hand, whether waiting to pick up her kids at school or waiting for them to go to sleep at night. She chooses the books she likes and talks about them on her podcast.

Mothers met authors this week in her apartment on the Upper East Side, where those who buy books could greet those who write them. Most have been guests on "Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books."

"I just tell it like it is," Owens said. "I'm not trying to be a professional reporter. I'm a mom. I'm a book lover. I'm just trying to share my enthusiasm and passion and love of books with other people like me."

Owens provides an ideal platform for authors like Laurie Gelman and her "Class Mom" series of books. For first time novelists like Julie Valerie, this publicity is crucial.

"It was very important to me for sure as a debut author," Valerie said. "Zibby is so warm and so lovely, and I felt like I was just talking with a friend, as if I was in somebody's living room talking about books, and the things we love, and what it means to be a mother."

The episode devoted to Valerie's novel, "Holly Banks Full of Angst," is just one of more than 200 episodes that have been downloaded a total of a quarter of a million times.

It's an impressive feat, considering Ownes has only been doing this for less than two years.

"An author friend of mine said, 'You know, you should really do a podcast," she said. "I was like, 'What's a podcast?'"

By starting at square one, Owens found her perfect job after a "lifelong love affair with authors and books."

"The fact that I can read these books now and have access to almost any author is unbelievable," she said.

Podcasting has enhanced her life -- and the lives of so many others.

"A lot of moms tell me now I've inspired them to read more, that they've gotten back into reading after so long and they're so excited about books again," she said. "And it makes me feel so good. It's just the best feeling."

When she was a little girl, Owens used to write to the authors of books she enjoyed, so connecting with writers via her podcast is like a dream come true. For her, the greatest thrill is getting to know the people behind the stories.

For more information, visit or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


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