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BookTube–YouTube’s Bookish Community

by on September 4, 2015

With book vlogging becoming a more popular form of readers advisory, many librarians are creating their own web blogs to share their latest book recommendations. The following is a sampling of what is out there as well as tips to get you started with your own Youtube channel.

The Library Lovers Tag is a video created by teenage vlogger Josie on her YouTube channel PiandBooks. Josie is a member of BookTube, a community made up of Youtube users whose content focuses on books. Josie’s tag, like the many tags on YouTube, is intended to prompt viewers to create and upload their own videos. The tag is a survey of her viewers that is made up of the following questions:

    1. How often do you visit your local library?
    2. Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you know you can read or are you someone who only checks out the exact amount of books you intend on reading before they are due?
    3. How old were you when you got your first library card?
    4. Do you go to your library looking for a particular book or do you check out anything that peaks your interest?
    5. Do you use your library to check out just books or do you also check out DVDs, audiobooks etc.?
    6. From what section of your library do you check out a majority of your books?
    7. What is your favorite part of using your local library?

BookTube was recently featured by The Huffington Post Canada in an article entitled “Amazing BookTube Channels To Suit Every Reading Personality,” which showcases a few prominent BookTubers. The videos range from book reviews to tours of bookshelves to book-related games. YouTube’s bibliophiles also use the platform to engage viewers who share their own perspectives by writing comments. BookTubers abookutopia and TheBookTuber have also been able to engage authors in their respective videos THE WHISPER CHALLENGE: Author Edition! and AN INTERVIEW FROM OLYMPUS | Rick Riordan & tiernanbe. Some of the most widely watched BookTubers have over 100,000 subscribers, such as PolandbananasBOOKS and Katytastic. As a worldwide community, BookTube is diverse and multilingual. Non-English BookTube channels include: French (e.g. Bulledop, Corentyne23, LesLecturesdeNiNe), Italian (e.g. EvaLunaSulTubo, Galassiacartacea, Thebitterwords) and Spanish (e.g. Blogflylikebutterfly, GraviEchizen, LibrosPorLeer).

While it’s possible to get lost in the ever-expanding realm of BookTube, a few of the most uploaded videos include:

Hauls – Showcase acquired books either bought or borrowed. (eg. 1, 2, 3)

Readalongs – Viewers are encouraged to read a book simultaneously with the BookTuber. (eg. 1, 2, 3)

Reviews – Detail overall thoughts of a book.  (eg. 1, 2, 3)

TBR – Announce “To Be Read” books. (eg. 1, 2, 3)

Wrap-Ups – Discuss the books that were read. (eg. 1, 2, 3)

Here is a sampling of other types of videos uploaded by BookTubers:


Are eBooks killing print books (and libraries)? | Library Q&A

Are Video Games Literature?

Book Discussion || What Makes a Great Genre?

Book Talk: Feminist Non-Fiction

Discussion: Booktube’s Influence On Our Reading

Glitterature: How To Enjoy Reading

How Reading Has Affected my Behavior!

Movie Adaptations | Best, Worst & Wanted

READING SLUMPS (& how to get rid of them)


Booktuber Recommendations: Adult & Literary Fiction

My Favorite Character Driven Books

Overhyped Books!

Series I Won’t Finish

Top Five Favorite Standalones of 2014

Top Five Favourite Authors

Top Ten Books BookTube Made Me Read

Games and Challenges

Infinite Book Challenge – Players have one minute to name as many books as they can.

Rip It or Ship It – Two names of literary characters are chosen at random. The player then decides whether or not the characters would be compatible.

First Sentence Challenge – Players guess the title of the book based upon the first sentence of the book’s first chapter.

Book Shelf Scavenger Hunt – Players locate books having certain attributes.

BookTubeathon 2015 – Spanning seven days, participants must read and create videos. A post about last year’s BookTubeathon appears on the Spines & Covers blog.

Surveys or Tags

Booktube Newbie Tag

  1. Why did you start this channel?
  2. What are some fun and unique qualities you can bring to BookTube?
  3. What are you most excited about for this new channel?
  4. Why do you love reading?
  5. What book or book series got you into reading?
  6. What questions would you ask your favorite BookTuber?
  7. What challenges do you think starting a BookTube channel will be the hardest to overcome?

Inside Out Book Tag!

Discuss books that represent joy, disgust, fear, sadness, and anger.

Summer Reading

  1. It’s morning and a hint of sunshine is in the sky. What book has had a great start for you?
  2. You go outside with a good book in hand. What book do you choose?
  3. You decide to fetch an ice-cream to cool down. Name a chilled out/cool read.
  4. The sun gets trapped behind a cloud. How annoying. What book has annoyed you recently?
  5. It’s later in the day and the sun has moved. Time to re-locate. What book has moved you?
  6. The day is almost over and it’s been fantastic ’til the end. What book has amazed you to the finish?

Would You Rather Book Tag

Would you rather…

  1. Read only trilogies or stand alones?
  2. Read only female or male authors?
  3. Shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?
  4. All books become movies or TV shows?
  5. Read five pages per day or five books per week?
  6. Be a professional reviewer or author?
  7. Only read your top twenty favorite books over and over or always read new ones that you haven’t read before?
  8. Be a librarian or bookseller?
  9. Only read your favorite genre, or every genre except your favorite?
  10. Only read physical books or eBooks?

The wide array of BookTube videos can inspire programming ideas in libraries. Spoiler-free book reviews can be understood as a form of peer-to-peer reader’s advisory encouraging viewers to check out books. Patrons can use technologies available in public libraries to gain digital literacy skills by creating and sharing their own BookTube videos. Former school librarian, Tara, wrote a post on her blog The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shh! announcing her channel’s launch. For those interested in becoming a BookTuber, Youtube user climbthestacks offers useful advice and LittleBookOwl’s video How to BookTube explains terminology, equipment, filming, editing, and getting seen.

Do you have a Youtube channel? Share it below in the comments!

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