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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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