YouTube hosts an array of content from diverse and niche communities. These online groups range from popular ones, such as beauty and gaming, to lesser-known ones, like the anti-multilevel marketing community. One of these niche communities that I have been invested in lately is “BookTube”, a portmanteau of the words “book” and “YouTube”.
BookTube is a YouTube community centered around avid readers who express their love for books and reading. These channels are run by people called “BookTubers,” who make videos on topics including, but not limited to, their favorite books, book reviews, reading lists for that specific month, weekly reading vlogs, and book hauls. Sometimes, these accounts also post videos focusing on writing craft and storytelling.
This particular section of the video-sharing platform has been rising in popularity as of late. Even though BookTube is receiving attention, the origin of this community goes as far back as 2010 when Christine Ricco, known as xtinemay online, posted her first video on her channel polandbananasBOOKS. Riccio was a college student at Boston University at the time, who began filming and posting videos on YouTube to share how much she enjoyed reading and encouraged others to do so as well.
Since then, a multitude of BookTube channels have been created, and BookTubers have been able to amass hundreds of thousands of views on their videos. As the first BookTuber, polandbananasBOOKS has gained over 400 thousand followers and more than 75 million views. Riccio has also published two standalone novels, Again, But Better in 2019 and Better Together in June of 2021.
I have always had a passion for reading, and I spend most of my free time with my head in a book. While reading is a hobby of mine that I invest a lot of my time and energy into, there aren’t a lot of people in my personal life that I can talk to about this activity. They are either not readers or too busy to read. I’ve never been active in fandom spaces on the internet either. I don’t desire to post about or communicate with others online about my reading opinions. However, I do enjoy watching videos and reading comments other people have made about books. BookTube has been great for me because I can hear how fellow readers feel about certain books and get recommendations from them. I am a part of a community without having to curate content myself.
Overall, I would recommend BookTube for readers out there who want to hear from others who are as connected to books as they are. Some of my favorite channels include BooksandLala, emmmabooks, uncarley, The Artisan Geek, and withcindy. I am excited to see where BookTube will go from here and the new channels I will eventually discover.