Friday, September 4, 2015

The Issues That I Have With Booktube

I discovered the Booktube community over on Youtube several months back now and I have been watching videos on there ever since, of course having my favorite channels that I have subscribed to. Booktube is basically vloggers, rather then blog they vlog. I really enjoy getting a glimpse into other peoples reading lives, and I must say that to a book lover such as myself these videos can be really addicting! But I do have issues with some of the things that go on over in the Booktube world.
The lack of reading. A lot of these booktubers are frequently posting videos of book hauls, and discussing soon to be released books as well as really popular books, but it would appear that they don't actually read very many books themselves. 0 to 4 Books a month seems about where their reading hovers. Life happens, people become busy, I get it, but if you are a book reviewer and you have a entire channel dedicated to books and reading, and you're reading zero books a month or maybe possibly four books ... what's with that?

The book related games. As I just mentioned previously, a lot of booktubers don't actually seem to read very much, so what do you make videos of if you aren't reading any books? You make videos of book related games and challenges. I'm not interested in watching that, skipping those videos altogether. Are they just using the booktube community because they know that there is a audience out there, not actually being very big readers themselves?

The massive book collections. Okay, okay, I own a lot of books. But I am actually very selective about what books I do own. I buy books that I have already read and rated a 4.25 or higher star rating because these are the books that I desire to own and will eventually return to and reread, I buy newly released books from favorite authors of mine or newly released books to a series that I already own, and I also will purchase books that I really desire to read but I usually first try to get it through my library as these are the books that I typically later will unhaul because I didn't like them enough to keep. Some of these booktubers however have never seemed to have heard of this thing called a library. They will literally buy any and all books that they have the slightest inkling to read rather then seek them out through the library first. Its like a contest of who can haul the most books, and who owns the most books. I have no issue with people owning large quantities of books except for when those books are for the most part going unread. I have to ask, what is even the point then? I think that I was most bothered by one booktuber giving us a tour of their bookshelves, stating that they own well over nine hundred books and that they have read less then 25% of the books that they own. They said that they love owning a large amount of unread books because they like the feeling of unlimited possibilities ... yes, okay, I like having some unread books on my shelves as well because I like the feeling of being able to browse my own shelves for my next reading venture, but what I don't like is owning books that I am never going to actually get around to reading or books that I didn't love. There are libraries out there.

The book hoarding. Booktubers don't seem to really part with their books despite if they didn't really enjoy them or not. They will talk about not really caring for a certain book but that book stays on their bookshelves  despite that fact ... Okay ... I can't stand to have unloved books sitting on my shelves. A book has to rate at least a four star in order for me to keep it. I know that I have my weird rules and everything, but I just get the impression that its once again all about how many books you own.

The ARC's (advanced reader copies). Some of the most popular booktubers basically have free books thrown at them left and right. ARC's and finished copies. Now I know that you won't always be inclined to read a book that you didn't request when it isn't normally a book that you would read anyway, but some of these books were requested and still aren't read. The smaller scale booktubers usually put in much more of a effort to read and review ARC's.

Booktuber popularity. This one only bothers me over in the Goodreads community where these booktubers also reside. Do you know who the top reviewers are over at Goodreads? The booktubers. Generally their reviews consist of "OMG this book is so good!" or "SoooooOooooo GooooOooood!" which then promptly receives hundreds of likes from their followers which instantly boosts their review ratings up. They don't write out well executed book reviews on Goodreads, but theirs usually receive far more attention then the well thought out and well written reviews.

The sameness. It seems as if all booktubers just read young adult and graphic novels. I have recently stumbled across a few however that read a lot more adult fantasy and science fiction.

The unreliability. So many booktubers are being sponsored for their videos, which makes it really difficult to take them at their word. After all, if they are being paid to promote a certain book can you really trust them when they rave about it? So many books that booktubers seem to go cocoa for cocoa puffs over I actually find myself hating ... so does the sponsoring affect their true opinions? I'm guessing that it does. Be honest in your book reviews, readers will respect your honestly and trust your judgement and thoughts.

This by no means refers to all booktubers! It's just a cycle that is getting tiring.

Now that I got all of that off my chest I am off to watch some booktube videos!


  1. OMG I agree with everything in this post!! People never really seem to talk about these problems so thank you. The unreliability is what really annoys me because how can they posibbly enjoy and rate all the books 4+ stars?? (Also is it ok if I link your post in my discussion on this topic? Because I find it very interesting.)