Growing up, I had an intense love of reading.
I devoured every series I could get my hands on, and my best days were spent nestled in a cozy corner of my local library, spending hours between the shelves. My love of books is a big part of my identity, but as I got older, my reading plateaued. I no longer had the time or, unfortunately, the motivation to dedicate to reading books. Instead of one every few days, I was sitting at one book every few months, if I was lucky.
It also didn’t help that none of my friends were readers. I would find myself enthralled in a new book, but no one to gush about my feelings to. If you’ve ever gone to the gym by yourself versus going to the gym with your friend, you know just how much having a buddy in it with you can help with motivation. Reading was never a chore, but it didn’t hold the same excitement for me after years of being the only one at the party.
Then I discovered BookTube, a YouTube community of book lovers who make videos reviewing, discussing and generally just fangirling over the books they read. It was a revelation — there were people like me out there who had as much (and so much more) passion for reading. I was hooked immediately.
If you’re lacking book buddies, or you’re just looking for more people who share your passion for literature, here’s a list of my recommended BookTubers based on genres you prefer.
1. Young Adult
When I first started watching BookTube videos, I was right out of high school and YA literature made up the majority of what I read. These YouTubers were among the first ones that I watched and really helped to hook me on the idea of BookTube.
This is probably cheating because these are actually three separate BookTubers, but they are the three most popular, so I felt it only necessary to start here. Christina from PolandBananaBooks, Kat from Katytastic and Jesse from Jessethereader are all equally entertaining to watch and share a love of young adult books. I particularly enjoy Jesse and his intense love for Ranson Riggs and the Miss Peregrine books.
Together they host the Booksplosion Book Club every month, and they’re always getting together, going to conventions or events and taking adorable pictures together.
Sasha from ABookUtopia is one of my favorites. She does a good job of posting different, entertaining videos that stand apart from the usual to-be-read/monthly-wrap-up formula that most vloggers adhere to. She’s also a published author, which is an incredible accomplishment in its own right, but even more so because she is only 19-years-old. With her co-author, Lindsey Cummings (who is also a BookTuber!), they wrote “Zenith: The Androma Saga,” a young adult novel about an all-female starship crew.
She also has an obsession with Scotland and an adorable new dog, which is more than enough reason to subscribe to her.
2. Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Reagan from PeruseProject is my all-time favorite BookTuber. She’s incredibly smart, and I find her discussion videos to be the most thoughtful and succinct. Her reading tastes are diverse, but her favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction. She’s a history major in college, so she has the background knowledge to discuss the historical novels in a way that goes deeper than just the narrative itself.
Plus, she has the cutest pug named Matilda. I mean, c’mon.
The amount of books that Lindsey reads is almost inhuman. Her monthly wrap-ups feature a minimum of 15 books every time, and it’ll kick your butt into reading gear. She primarily reads sci-fi and fantasy novels, and she has a love for all things geeky — something I can appreciate.
I credit Lindsey with convincing me to read the “Parasol Protectorate” series, and I’m forever grateful for that because those books are amazing. There’s a bonus book recommendation just for you.
3. Literary Fiction/Nonfiction
The great thing about BookTube is that, not only did it help to increase the amount I was reading, but it also helped to expand my taste in books. I find myself navigating to titles I would have never thought were of interest to me. These next two BookTubers are great if you’re a lover of literary fiction or nonfiction, but also if you’re looking to branch out of your comfort zone and aren’t sure where to start.
Whitney from AlltheShelves is relatively new to the community, but she’s already becoming one of my favorite people to watch. She offers a different voice and perspective than I’m used to seeing. She’s a high school English teacher, and her book reviews are the most comprehensive, intelligent ones in all of BookTube, I’m certain. She reads a lot of nonfiction, a genre I had never considered to be “pleasure reading” before her.
I’m really going to let my nerd show here, but she did a series on American literature broken up by time periods that I highly recommend. She studied American Lit extensively in college, and you can tell she’s well-versed in the subject. I ate those videos up.
Jen Campbell is incredibly accomplished, not just on YouTube, but in her career as an author, bookseller and all of the other wonderful bookish things she’s a part of. If you’re going to watch anyone, I would recommend Campbell. She reads a diverse selection, but her main recommendations are for nonfiction, literary fiction and poetry (which Campbell also writes). All these genres are underrepresented on BookTube, and she offers wonderful recommendations for branching out your reading tastes.
Plus, she’s got a charming British accent and a warm personality that will make you smile.
You’ve probably grown to associate classics with term papers and searching for obscure symbolism thanks to your high school English class, but Katie from BooksandThings will make you change your mind.
She talks a lot about the way that people read classic literature, and why readers feel the need to constantly be analyzing instead of enjoying the experience like they would a contemporary novel. She focuses mainly on Victorian literature, and her favorite author is Charles Dickens. She convinced me to read “Great Expectations,” and I’m very happy she did.
I’ve been watching BookTubers for a few years now, and they’ve had a significant impact on my reading habits. I even attempted to make my own videos once upon a time, but for your sake and mine, I’ll spare you those links.
College still puts a strain on the amount of time I have for pleasure reading, but listening to my favorite vloggers discuss their current reads with such passion has reignited that love in me. I have someone to express my thoughts and feelings with now. It’s like being a part of the world’s largest book club, and we’re all invited.