What Is Booktube?

What Is Booktube?

Meet Youtube's book-obsessed community!
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I remember reading Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy back in 2013. I devoured those books quickly and after I reached their conclusion, I felt an intense need to share my feelings with someone. None of my friends have ever heard of the trilogy and I desperately needed to discuss with someone, anyone.

I turned to my trusty friend, the Internet. My search results were flooded with several videos of people discussing the books. I noticed that these people have posted other types of book-related videos—from reviews to book hauls, recommendations, book tags and even bookish skits. As I kept on clicking on suggested video to another one, I was thrown into an endless rabbit hole that is called Booktube.

So what is Booktube? Booktube is a small community in Youtube that has exploded during these past few years. It is a place in which passionate readers, called Booktubers, upload videos in which they film themselves discussing their favorite books, among other bookish activities. Booktube’s is a place where people share and talk about what they have been reading recently, as well as connect with other avid readers.

Some months later, after watching hundreds of book-related videos, I decided that I wanted to start a Booktube channel of my own. I got a camera for my birthday and started my channel, Sabrina the Teenage Reader. At first I was incredibly awkward in front of the camera and my editing skills were messy, which made my videos really hard for me to watch. As time passed, I started to loosen up and worked arduously on producing quality videos. I also reached out to people with similar personalities and reading tastes.

After joining the Booktube community, I went on from reading about 20+ books to more than 50 per year. Having a Booktube channel has also helped me improve my media creating and marketing skills. After having talked to a camera for more than 200 videos, I have developed public speaking abilities and it has even made me a spunkier individual filled with gumption. Most importantly, Booktube has given me the opportunity of meeting amazing people who I have the honor to call friends.

Booktube is a diverse community filled with thousands of individuals from all over the world. All of these people are from all races, nationalities, ages, sexualities, etc. Booktubers are not only diverse in their background, but also in the kind of content they produce. The variety of book videos you can find is astounding.

Booktube is also regarded as one of the most inclusive Youtube communities. Some people even regard the Booktube community as a family, such as Booktuber Elizabeth from the channel The Owlery, who says that "I found Booktube at a time when I really needed a community and a support system. [...] I had never met anyone who loved books as much as I did growing up so to be in a place where we all have one passion in common is so cool and unique!"

According to Booktuber Alyssa from pucksandpaperbacks, “Booktube is very unique in various ways such as acceptance and open arms into the community. Booktube differs from other communities because everyone is welcoming and understanding of bookish opinions. [...] Booktube is an enthusiastic community of video makers and will add many books to start or add to your to-be-read piles!”

Another Booktuber, Amanda from Read by Amanda, says that “Booktube is a community where readers not only go make videos to discuss books but also make lifelong friendships. Booktube to me means that I've found a creative outlet that feels like home. […] [I like] finding people who I can talk about books with, but also creating friendships, learning new ideas and thoughts and starting a discussion, and seeing things from different point of views”.

"Being a part of BookTube means being a part of a community meant to inspire, encourage, and include others of like interests." says Booktuber Emma from emmmabooks. "It means that there's a place where readers around the world can interact without judgement and without exclusion. And that's kind of an amazing thing".

The Booktube community has transformed reading from being a passive and mostly individual activity to a shared and collective experience. Booktube is a place where readers can express their individuality and connect with like-minded individuals. So if you are in need of some book recommendations, or just want to talk about your feelings regarding a book you just read, look up some Booktube videos (or even make some of your own) and prepare for your entire life to change!

Cover Image Credit: Bookstacked

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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Being Acquainted With The Night, And Being Acquainted With Death

The narrator is still someone who is "acquainted with the night," someone who is ready for death, no matter when or how it comes. He is at peace in ways that I even envy, in ways that allow him to live freely, one day at a time, not worrying about what tomorrow and the future hold.

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"I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light."

In this article, I will unpack and apply another Robert Frost classic, "Acquainted with the Night." It is one of the saddest Robert Frost poems, one that is very often interpreted to deal with issues like depression and suicide. "I have been one acquainted with the night," indicates a person familiar with the night's darkness, of having a lack of light present in their lives. The sun may also rise, but at the end of the day, darkness and the night will win. The night means death, and is an acknowledgment that all of us will one day die, and be acquainted with the night. To be acquainted with the night means to be acquainted with death, and also not to actually be dead.

The narrator next says that "I have walked out in rain - and back in rain," suggesting that he has, quite frankly, been through a fair deal of horror in his life. Chilly detached, he has found darkness, and perpetual darkness almost everywhere he goes, almost numbed to the "furthest city light." The narrator's adverse circumstances show that any further circumstance means nothing to him, that he has been through so much that he is numb, and almost immune to anything else that may phase him. He is at peace, much more so than any person we know.

"I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain."

The narrator further compounds upon his weary peace, that he has been through "the saddest lane." Emotions like guilt and shame are pervasive in his mind, as any person he walks past, like the watchman, is "unwilling to explain" these emotions. He drops his eyes constantly, staring down at the ground that there are no explanations for the situation or behavior that the narrator finds himself in.

"I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,"

It may be a misinterpretation, but I read that the narrator is somewhat of a pariah, a person that stops the sound of feet when he passes people by. He has been through some obscene tragedy that others cannot possibly comprehend, and thus try to avoid. I read him almost like Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea, who witnesses and is partially responsible for his two children dying in a house fire.

There is a voice that beckons at the narrator, that transcends houses and distance. The voice is a cry, that has strong emotion behind the urge, even if we don't know what it says. The voice doesn't want the narrator to take his life or just die. He is one acquainted with the night. He lives as if he's already dead.

"But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky"

The voice doesn't tell the narrator to change anything, for the voice does not "call me back or say good-bye." It is a voice that urges the narrator to go on and keep living with the status quo, as painful as it may be, and as much as the narrator himself may not want to keep on going on.

The luminary clock against the sky is the only light we see in this poem, the only light in the middle of the night. It is almost holy or biblical, what the narrator looks to for guidance, as it isn't of the Earth. It is at an unearthly height, symbolizing almost heaven, but to say so is a stretch. The final two lines proclaim:

"Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.

I have been one acquainted with the night.

The world of the luminary clock at the unearthly height beckon at the narrator, but not yet. Maybe he could go to it, because the time is not wrong. But it's also not right, and that may mean that Robert Frost meant to impart a message that death never happens at a wrong time, nor a right time. It happens arbitrarily, when we expect it least.

The narrator is still someone who is "acquainted with the night," someone who is ready for death, no matter when or how it comes. He is at peace in ways that I even envy, in ways that allow him to live freely, one day at a time, not worrying about what tomorrow and the future hold. And so I say that I, too am one acquainted with the night. And that gives me the freedom to live without fear, with hope.

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