YouTube is a huge place. When I go through my subscription channels I realize how agoraphobic it can get and like everyone I find myself wandering aimlessly through it on a daily basis. It goes something like this: Funny cat video – click – Buzzfeed video – click – makeup video – click – cat video – click – cat video…you get the idea. But hidden somewhere in a small nook of YouTube is BookTube, a community of people that read and review books.
When I first started watching booktube videos I had to google what TBR and DNF meant but I got sucked in rather quickly. Book hauls and monthly wrap ups can keep me up at night where I voraciously click away watching people just talk about books. What I love about booktube is that reviews are mostly short and non-spoilery.
When someone’s channel praises all the books you adore you know you have found your reading soul mate whose taste will never betray you. True, it is sometimes annoying when their January wrap up covers 8 books and you’ve only read three this month and you think “how in the world do they read so freaking fast?!?” or Dracula appears on every Halloween list of scary books (sorry mr. Stoker, you are good, but not that scary) but then you click on the next one and all gripes are forgotten.
Now, if you haven’t come to this conclusion by now, I have a love/hate relationship with booktube. Most are YA reviewers which is fine and good but publishers send the same books for them to review. When you are subscribed to one, you pretty much know what others will rave about as well (don’t worry, I am not attacking YA. There’s a YA reviewer if you keep reading).
In my search for more diverse booktubers I found a few that cover everything. I am going to share them here. The thing is, some of the ones listed, and most I am subscribed to, read books I wouldn’t pick up on my own. And that is exactly why I watch them. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Elizabeth from booksandpieces
Genres and topics: SF/fantasy
Elizabeth talks almost exclusively about SF and fantasy. She is funny, fast and informative. Her videos are short and most of the time she does monthly wrap ups and recommends several books per video. I like that she doesn’t do many individual reviews because spoilers.
Many SF/fantasy reviewers are so passionate about their books they retell half of the plot in 10 minutes. She never does this. She tells you what she loved and why and mentions adventurous, light reads as well as huge space operas and fantasy sagas.
Katie from ChapterStackss
Genres and topics: thriller and horror
Katie loves her books dark and a little bit strange. She reads pretty much everything but thrillers and horror are her forte. She gives the most honest reviews I have encountered and she won’t hold back if she doesn’t like something. If you are in the mood for a good murder or haunted house case, her channel is for you.
Genres and topics: Fairytale fantasy and poetry
Jen reads everything. But the reason I watch her videos is because she loves books that are more on the fantasy, fairytale side. She has a whole video on books based on fairy tales and she reads a lot of essays and literary theory as well as poetry and short story collections. I noticed she covers a lot of female authors and I love that.
Regan from PeruseProject
Genres and topics: YA
Regan mostly does weekly and monthly wrap-ups and book hauls. She works with a lot of publishers and she is one of my favourite YA booktubers. She loves historical fiction as well (she’s a history major) and she is a wonderful speaker.
Rincey from rincey reads
Genres and topics: contemporary, literary fiction, a very diverse reader
Rincey is one of the few I ran into who does not cover a lot of SF and fantasy. She is a Book Riot editor and reads everything, and I do mean everything. She makes an effort to read as diversely as possible. She reads a lot about non-American characters which I know sounds weird to point out but when you think about it, when was the last time you read a book about an Egyptian family?
She will recommend books by African, African American and Mexican authors, nonfiction, essays and award winners. If you’re looking for recommendations of more literary books, her channel is something you have to check out.
She recently did a very current video talking about refugees in literature and I can’t wait to read some of the books she’s talking about.
Genres and topics: Literary theory, literary fiction, weird fiction
Bookchemist is an Italian getting his PhD in literature in the UK. His videos are more on the literary side. He has a few guides on reading Pynchon and that’s a good indicator for the rest of his channel. He loves Nabokov, Michael Chabon, David Foster Wallace and other literary giants. Most of these are on every reader’s bucket list but they are so intimidating it’s never easy to pick them up.
This booktuber will make you passionate about these kinds of books again. You will learn a lot from his channel and he does have a taste for weird books that speaks to me on a whole other level.
Genres and topics: Literary fiction, contemporary, sf, comic books and graphic novels
This Canadian booktuber has a way of speaking I could listen to all day. He gives you his opinion in a succinct, eloquent, almost literary critic kind of way without giving away anything of the plot (if you haven’t realized by now, I am afraid of spoilers more than giant spiders).
He is a combination of all of the aforementioned booktubers and doesn’t post as often. But his reviews are very fun and educational to watch. In the video below he made a mashup of Stranger Things and book recommendations where he talks about bikes a lot but it works.
What are your favourite booktubers? Leave your recommendations in the comments, I’d love to check them out!