As I’ve started to shift gears to reading more books than comic books, I’ve come across something (a phenomenon?) called BookTube.
BookTube is not a separate site. From what I can tell it’s all on YouTube. Unsurprisingly, the people apart of this digital subculture refer to themselves as BookTubers.
So what does a BookTuber do? This is what I’ve witnessed:
- They talk about the books that they have read
- Sometimes this all the books they have read for the month
- Sometimes one post is dedicated to a single book
- Sometimes its a themes like: Great Sci-Fi Novels, or My Least Favorite Popular Books
- They create and participate in Tags
- It’s basically a questionnaire that they respond to in a video.
- They do bookshelf tours
- They review their book hauls
- They offer advise for new BookTubers
- They spend a lot of time editing (ok, I haven’t witnessed this, but it seems like a safe deduction)
- In between all of that, they read an inconceivable amount of books
- Some say they’ve read an entire series in a weekend
My other observation is that the most popular ones, review a disproportionate number of YA titles. From what I understand, YA is a format that fits between Mid-Grade and Adult. It primarily features characters who are at least 13 and generally younger than 18. My hypothesis is that youtube is the first place that teens go for reviews/testimonials. And since book publishers offer some compensation for really popular BookTubers, reviewing YA titles is the probably the fastest way to get views and subscribers that publishers are willing to pay for some sort of access.
Also, some people just love YA. (Personally, I prefer Mid-Grade)
So if you start watching BookTubers in general, be ready for lots of content centering on teen drama. However, if you search for reviews of a particular non-YA title, the chances are good that you’ll find something good.
A quick warning to everyone, if you are watching a BookTube review a book that you are currently reading, assume it has spoilers unless it says spoiler free review. I saw one that was kind enough to say, “Mute the video now until I put the book down to avoid spoilers”, but there were others that offered no warning and blabbed a bunch of spoilers.
I’ll confess, for a brief instance I considered trying it. This was tied to my revelation that I’ve basically been treating the World As My Book Club and needed a healthy outlet (in addition to random people). But then I realized three things that discouraged me from posting videos to youtube.
- I don’t know anything about editing videos
- I’m lucky if I read 1 book in 1 month (this is partly because I’m a slow reader) and BookTubers try to post 2-3 times a week.
- I have this blog where I write about random things related to fiction at random times. Why not just return to that?
So here I am. Also, I’ll probably start posting relevant BookTube videos when I actually get around to writing book reviews.