As a book lover, I really appreciate everything that spreads literature and love for reading, and I think that everything that makes other people read more books is worth my devotion. Here’s why I am going to talk to you about one of my latest obsessions: Booktube channels.
If you haven’t lived under a rock in the past ten years or so, you know what YouTube is. I am old enough to remember those days when the videos were uploaded randomly on websites and shared through simple links. YouTube centralized the way videos are hosted, and made it very easy to share video content.
It wasn’t long before the first Youtubers started becoming popular, so much so that now being a Youtuber is a proper job.
Are you going to tell us the history of the Internet? You may ask.
I know sometimes I tend to start telling stories from the very beginning, but I always enjoyed the Once upon a time version of the fables. So yes, it’s exactly what I’m going to do.
1: The story of Booktube
Once upon a time, there was YouTube. YouTube was a platform where content was uploaded. Cat videos were very popular and everyone loved them. Then epic fail videos arrived and they were as popular as Cats.
But people were not truly happy, they were not truly satisfied. They needed something to keep their minds awake, something to prevent them from falling in the deep void.
In the dark, a hero started to rise. It was Booktube. All the Booktubers that contribute to it keep literature alive and fresh. They spread the joy of reading books and exploring the world without ever leaving our house.
They’re the heroes we don’t deserve, and the heroes we need.
2: What is Booktube?
Booktube is the name of YouTube channels that mainly talk about literature and books. Users go on Booktube to get recommendations about new releases, best books of the year, book hauls, or wrap-ups, or to get inspiration on how to decorate the bookshelf.
Usually, the creators record themselves in front of their gorgeous library walls, sometimes decorated with props such as funko pops, candles or flowers, sometimes illuminated by shiny christmas light.
3: What do Booktubers talk about?
The content that Booktubers post can be somehow similar to what us book bloggers do. It can vary depending on the time of the year, on the books that are coming out, the ones that we read, and so on.
At the beginning of the year or the month, the main trend is to list the most anticipated books. At the end of the year, you can find recaps of the most loved books.
In book reviews and wrap-ups, the creators talk about one or more books they’ve read and sometimes present them monthly as a wrap-up, or singularly depending on the length of the video.
Book hauls happen when the Booktuber adds a number of books to their library. Usually they’re new release books, but sometimes new books can also be backlists, depending on what the Booktuber buys or receives. Books can also be unhauled when the Booktuber decides they aren’t interested in that book anymore, so they give it away or sell it back.
Readathons and challenges usually have a limited amount of time to be completed. Readathons happen in one or two days (but don’t forget to sleep!) that the Booktuber uses to read as many books as they can, and challenges have a common theme.
Reading Vlogs are becoming more popular. The Booktubers film themselves during the read of a book (sometimes they film themselves in the act of reading itself) and stop to comment whatever they’ve just read and share their thoughts.
It’s not unusual to see Bookshelf tours, where the Booktubers show their library and describe how they organize their books.
Some Booktubers also post original videos where they do unusual stuff, like book haul while stretching, or where they ask you to follow them around bookstores while they pick up new books. Another quite popular theme is “if you like this, then you like that” which gives recommendations depending on books that you’ve already enjoyed.
4: Booktubers & Community
The thing that I really like about this community is that there are some Booktubers that are real-life friends, and you can see them hanging out together in libraries, at Disneyland or at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If there’s something that I really love to watch, it’s the cameos of Booktubers in their friends’ videos. So delightful.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the shared channels, like Booksplosion or Bookmarked, where two or more Booktubers get together and run a Book club, pick up a book of the month and discuss it live once a month with their readers.
5: Booktubers I follow
Without further ado, here’s a list of the Booktubers I often watch. The list is random, they’re not ranked in any way (except my memory).
Jesse The Reader:
Hailey in Bookland:
A Clockwork Reader:
Read by Zoe:
The Farah Project:
Little Book Owl:
6: Shared Booktube Channels
Hailey in Bookland + Read by Zoe + A Clockwork Reader
PolandBananaBOOKS + Katytastic + Jesse the Reader
As you can see, there are a lot of Booktube channels around. In reality, there are even more than the ones I’ve added here.
Booktube channels are very popular among book readers, and this can only be positive. As I always say, anything that can convince people to read more books is worth my devotion. Even better if this is done through a really accessible medium like YouTube, by smart people who know how to entertain.
We have seen that the way Booktubers can present their content varies depending on the topic, on the time of the year or on the latest releases and trends. Book hauls and wrap-ups are the most common topics, but there are also some Booktubers who get creative and come up with funny ways to present their books.
Now it’s your turn to tell me: do you have any favorite Booktubers? Let me know in the comments!