So lately I have been eying the BookTube community with a curious sort of fascination. My fascination has continued to grow with some posts other bloggers have done on the topic that have really inspired me to think about the community of book lovers on YouTube, or booktube. Specifically, Charlotte from Gypsy Reviews wrote a discussion post about the era of book vlogs, and Melissa at Harley Bear Book Blog did a post on booktube vs book blogging. And while I have no desire to sit in front of a video camera myself most of the time(I’ve done a haul video or two, which was fun), I just really like thinking about communication on the internet, what it means for communities, etc.
I’m also not typically a big video person, even just watching. I’ve never been someone who would spend some free time on YouTube looking up funny or informative videos. I like watching things like The Lizzie Bennet diaries, but for the most part, YouTube has not been a big interest of mine, so when I first heard about BookTubing, I was a bit surprised that there was a whole community of people on YouTube who LOVE books as much as book bloggers do. So I’ve been watching some BookTubers for a few weeks, and I have some general thoughts. Again, this is just my impression after watching and how I feel. I think there’s definitely both advantages and disadvantages to videos or blogs or what have you. I just find it interesting to think about.
Thoughts on BookTubing:
- Personally, I can’t watch video reviews. I tried, I really did, but they don’t hold my interest the same way written reviews do. And I think this is for a few reasons. First, when I read a written review, I often go back and reference things bloggers have referred to in earlier paragraphs. I also like being able to scroll and find the rating first(whether it’s star reviews, a general impression, etc.) before reading the review or halfway through the review. If I haven’t read a book yet, I sometimes also like to skim reviews, which you can’t do when you’re watching a video.
- Aesthetics matter a lot more in BookTube. Obviously, if you’re blogging, you probably want a design that’s easy to navigate and appealing, but it doesn’t have to be the most beautiful thing ever. In BookTube, the video quality matters a lot more(at least to me), because it’s distracting if the video is really grainy, blurry, or if the audio quality is bad. I feel this might make BookTube harder for some people who are interested but don’t have high-end equipment. Built-in webcams don’t tend to have high qualities, so I do wonder if this alienates some BookTubers.
- Less frequency. Even the “big” booktubers I looked at don’t post all that often, and certainly not daily, which is understandable since even just doing my book haul which my crappy webcam and non-edited version took FOREVER to film, mess with, and upload.
- Personally, I like book haul videos the best. This kind of surprises me, actually. I found video book hauls super fun, but I generally just skim written book hauls on blogs. I’m not sure why this is. I guess I just like seeing the actual books.
- SO many of the BookTubers I watch have similar bookshelves! They all have these really tall black bookshelves. This doesn’t really matter, I just thought it a bit humorous.
- Tag videos are pretty fun to watch too. Melissa at Harley Bear Books explained them better in her post, but tags are sort of the equivalent of memes. However, because they’re videos, I think personality shines through just a little bit more and I find them personally slightly more compelling.
- BookTube seems to depend a great deal on personality. I think book blogging also does too, but when you’re writing, you can sort of stretch your personality. I mean, in general, I’m a happy person, but there are days I’m sad and can still write a happy posts. I haven’t tried to BookTube really, so I’m not sure if this is true, but it seems it would be harder to hide the “off” days if you tried to make a video anyway.
- There seems to be a stronger wall between BookTubers and their subscribers than most book bloggers & their commentors, just from what I can see. All of the BookTubers I watched were really friendly and were very gracious to anyone who subscribed/commented, but I don’t see the same back-and-forth dialogue in the YouTube comment section like very often happens on blogs.
I had some more thoughts, but these are definitely the ones that stand out to me the most. I know a lot of people aren’t video people, which makes me curious about the book blogging and the BookTubing communities. Obviously, we all love books, but I’m wondering if there will ever be any sort of wide-spread cross-over. And to finish this post, I thought I would link to some of the BookTubers I’ve discovered when I was falling down the YouTube black hole:
A Few Favorite BookTubers:
Are you a fan of videos in general? What about bookish videos? Would you ever want to make BookTube videos? And if you read the two blog posts that I linked to at the top, any thoughts in general?