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!