“It has fundamentally shaped me in the best of ways”: a reader’s ode to BookTube

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I first discovered ‘BookTube’ in 2018, I had just got back into reading after months of an academic stress-induced slump. In a moment of inspiration, I decided to search for book recommendations on YouTube. Little did I know, this one search would open the door to a corner of the internet that is now one of the first places I turn to for bookish content, or merely a needed dose of comfort. For years before I came to university, I didn’t have any friends with whom I shared a love of reading, or anyone who could understand what it was like to live and breathe books in the same way I did (and still do). I’m not exaggerating when I say that to stumble upon an entire community of readers making videos about books on the internet was genuinely life-changing for me, and it has fundamentally shaped me as a reader in all the best ways.

Little did I know this one search would open the door to a corner of the internet that is now one of the first places I turn to

BookTube is an incredibly diverse, creative and inspiring space, one of the very best places to find new book recommendations and over the last few years its content has become increasingly varied and innovative (not to mention long-form — it’s probably one of the only places on the internet where people religiously watch 40-minute reading vlogs and still demand longer ones). If you are yet to dive into the world of BookTube, or are looking for some new channel recommendations to refresh your sub box, here is a list of four of my current favourite BookTubers who all read super diversely and never fail to produce fantastic content. 

Jack Edwards / Jack in the Books

It would be criminal to write a piece on BookTube and not mention Durham English Literature alumnus, Jack Edwards. Formerly known more as a StudyTuber, Jack has only recently entered into the BookTube realm but in my opinion is already producing some of the most creative bookish content out there, carving out a particular niche for himself in the way that he marries a love of reading with pop culture, reviewing books recommended by different celebrities or fictional characters, ranging from Kendall Jenner to Lisa Simpson to Olivia Rodrigo. Jack is always thoroughly entertaining to watch, reads a fascinating variety of literature (in which he has exquisite taste) and delivers insightful reviews. The Durham humanities student to book influencer pipeline is perhaps the biggest flex of all. 

GK Reads

Grace from GK Reads is one of my go-to BookTubers for keeping up to date with the literary world as she reads and reviews a ton of new releases, as well as loads of backlist titles. Her videos have so much positive energy and I particularly love her vlogs in which she reads themed TBRs, a recent favourite being ‘Wordle chooses what I read for a weekend’. She’s a great one for literary or general fiction recommendations, as well as crime and non-fiction — I’ve discovered a lot of hidden gems through her channel. 

Do be aware that she has a frankly dangerous ability to describe books in a way that compels you to instantly go and buy them

Noelle Gallagher

Noelle is the perfect BookTuber to turn to when you’re in need of a laugh, as she is absolutely hilarious and makes simple but highly entertaining videos. She recommends books from a ton of different genres, from romance to classics to literary fiction, and is a particularly good one to watch if you’re into Greek mythology retellings. Do be aware that she has a frankly dangerous ability to describe books in a way that compels you to instantly go and buy them (RIP the student loan). 

Leena Norms

Although she’s not strictly a BookTuber, Leena’s bookish videos are some of my favourites to watch. She has the vibe of a slightly insane but highly intelligent aunt giving you life advice and book recommendations, always delivered with stunning editing. She reads a great variety of new releases and backlist gems and I particularly recommend her if you want to find more non-fiction and poetry to read. Leena also makes videos about the environment, surviving your 20s, fashion and the publishing industry (among other things) so whether you love reading or not she is generally a very worthwhile addition to your sub box. 

Image: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

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