Review of The Worldwide Listening Guide

It has been a long while since my blog/online portfolio has been updated with posts. Nonetheless I am committed to writing articles, especially those related to radio, video games, and photography. With that said, there is something I want to share with you, the reader.

As a shortwave radio listener (SWL), I am aware that some major broadcasters have stopped their transmissions. In fact, the last post explained how Radio Canada International signed off permanently. Additionally, Radio Netherlands Worldwide stopped broadcasting as a whole. It’s nothing more, but a website claiming to promote free speech.

Newcomers to the radio hobby might wonder if there is anything worth tuning into anymore. There is a book that would tell you that so much programming is still available on shortwave. Heck, you don’t even have to listen to it to enjoy this piece of literature.

The book I am referring to is The Worldwide Listening Guide by John Figliozzi. It is among many radio hobbyist literature including World TV/Radio Handbook, Monitoring Times, and Popular Communications.

I actually had an older version of this book back in 1999/2000 when they were sold in Radio Shack. The edition I have now is the 5th Edition, and has served me well since it was purchased January 2012. While it’s not advertised in Radio Shack, it can be purchased on Amazon, eBay, Universal Radio, and C. Crane for about $25 US.

A word of caution: this book is mainly intended for radio hobbyists living in North America. While it can be used by any region, The Worldwide Listening Guide tailors it to this audience. Many sections reference North American time zones, cities, local broadcasters, and even broadcast mediums available in this continent.

However, I can say this book is like TV Guide, but…for radio. First of all, it covers every single way radio is received in North America. Coverage includes shortwave, AM/FM, Satellite, Podcasting, Internet, and even HD Radio.

In the front, there are several sections for each broadcast medium, which gives an overview, types of equipment, content available, advantages & disadvantages, etc. The meat of the The Worldwide Listening Guide is the program guide. This large section covers nearly every radio show broadcasted. Starting at midnight UTC (or 2000 Eastern time), the pages are filled with program name, station name, time and day it airs, frequency or platform, and program type.

To look for a specific genre of radio program, the “Classified Program Lists” will guide you. Say someone wants to listen to rock music shows or sports talk, the book lists that category and follows with a list of programs, the time/day they air, and which station to find it on.

There are other reference pages like the Program Name & Description List, Glossary, and even Listener Log pages where you can fill in details about your listening experience. You don’t have to be a shortwave listener to enjoy this book.

Having owned this for about 9 months, The Worldwide Listening Guide is a great companion to have while listening to your favorite shows and what to figure out what to listen to. While some information does get a little outdated, the author provides a web link for an updated addition to the existing book until the next edition rolls out.

I would not say The Worldwide Listening Guide is any more or less better than the other competing radio hobbyist books out there. It’s more of supplement to the experience. All these books deserve some attention.

With that said, I recommend The Worldwide Listening Guide for the new shortwave or even just radio hobbyist. It’s easy to read: simple but very detailed & informative.