Not so long ago I decided to see if there were any good book review channels on YouTube. I mean it has just about everything else and I wanted something to partner with the book podcasts that I follow. And after hours spent searching and poking about here and there I found a community on YouTube that goes by the moniker ‘BookTube’. I am unsure if this is an official or unofficial name. I suppose it should have been obvious that they would exist. Instagram has its own version called ‘bookstagram’. Anyway, the people who are part of this group make vlogs and post videos talking about all things books – new releases, reviews, reading challenges, available literary resources, book hauls and generally encouraging lots of interaction with books.
Now who you choose to follow on BookTube is entirely up to personal preference but I was lucky enough to find a few that I enjoy interacting with and who’s content I trust.
Book Riot has a presence on many digital platforms (podcast, website, Instagram and Twitter) so I was very happy to find them on BookTube as well. They used to have three main hosts or contributors who posted segments, each having their own particular perspective when it came to the content they posted. However they have changed their schedule recently and at the moment it is limited to one contributor.
And that person is Rincey Abraham whose hosts the weekly Tuesday New Releases but has in the past included a wide variety of discussion topics such as My Publishing Wish List, Include Fiction In Your Anti-Racist Reading, 4 Ghost (ish) Stories To Keep You Comany and Figuring Out My Favourite Authors. I really like the way Rincey delivers her videos and I always find her to be honest even if she doesn’t like something which adds a layer of integrity to her views and reviews that I appreciate.
The second BookTube channel I follow is called MercysBookishMusings and this was something of a recent discovery. For background I decided that I wanted to hear different perspectives and different sounding voices when I watched BookTube and I was in luck in finding this contributor. She’s from England (she lives in Norwich) and concentrates on a lot of non-commercial fiction and non-fiction from independent presses in the US and UK, as well as short stories and essay collections with a female focus, so I get to see and hear about a lot of titles that might have otherwise passed me by. She is very thoughtful in what she says about books and has a fabulous way about her. I am slowly watching her back catalogue of posts as I think she is very intelligent and has such a lot to offer. She also has two very lovely cats – Albus and Luna – which is always a bonus. I also find her humour and honesty to be very refreshing in the current world in which we live.
And so we make our way to BookTube channel number three which is, in fact, related to Book Riot. How? Well Rincey has her own personal channel that I, rather ashamedly, only discovered very recently, long after I discovered Book Riot. I really should pay more attention. Rincey Reads is a mixture of regular postings such as Friday Reads (which is a weekly summary of what Rincey has read that week) and individual Book Reviews with Top 10 Book Lists, among other things, thrown in. Now you are probably wondering if there is much difference in between the content Rincey posts on her own channel as compared to Book Riot. And I can happily report that, yes, there is very little double up. On Rincey Reads she goes into more detail on individual books which is one of the things I most enjoy. Her opinions are thoughtful and considered as well as being emotive when something in particular speaks to her, for good or bad reasons. And I just like hearing her talk about books. She obviously loves reading so that is at the core of what she does and she engages with those who leave comments on her posts which is also great. Also Rincey is American so it’s another voice from another culture to add to the range of perspectives that I want to hear from.
But it doesn’t stop there! Another channel that I watch and subscribe to is BooksWithEmilyFox. Emily is French Canadian with the best accent ever – I love it especially when she breaks into the French language! It would be divine if she posted an entire vlog in french (even though I would understand it, I’m sure it would sound beautiful!). She’s focussed on SciFi and Fantasy works, which is the reason I followed her in the first instance, but also with a dash of Mystery/Thriller thrown in. I want to read more of those genres and was looking for someone who could offer good informed recommendations. And again, I love that she has strong opinions and is not afraid to voice them. She calls a spade a spade and I like that. I am very much looking forward to watching my way through her upcoming posts and along the way getting some excellent guidance on what to read (and what not!).
And lastly there is Jean BookishThoughts. Now I knew I was going to like Jean as soon as she opened her mouth. Why? Because she’s scottish (she lives in Edinburgh)! It is so wonderful to hear book conversation delivered in that most wonderful of accents. I have only watched a few of her posts at this stage but she seems to have a wide range of reading tastes which is great and it will be fun to become more familiar with her and her reading likes, dislikes, thoughts and opinions.
So that’s me and BookTube so far. I am always on the lookout for other channels (I would really like to find more POC and LGBTQI BookTubers) but for now Book Riot, MercysBookishMusings, Rincey Reads, BooksWithEmilyFox and Jean BookishThoughts are serving me very well. Check them out if you are looking to expand your book horizons and you never know, they may lead you to great literary adventures and reading treasure.
(NOTE: These are purely my personal opinions and I have not been asked to promote any channel).
(Header Image: Negative Space)