Several years back, my family decided to cancel our cable subscription. It didn’t make sense to spend upwards of $200 per month for eleventy gazillion channels when all we ever really watched was ESPN and HGTV, and even those sparingly. Do I miss NFL pregame and House Hunters? I really do, but not enough to justify the cost of cable.
I bother to tell you all this because if we had not cancelled our cable, I may never have discovered BookTube, the little corner of YouTube devoted to books and reading. The vast majority of my kick-back-and-relax screen viewing is spent on BookTube. I cannot explain to you exactly why watching reading vlogs is so relaxing. I suspect it’s the sense of camaraderie that comes from witnessing other avid readers attempting to balance reading with other important parts of their lives.
For reasons (you'll find out more below, sort of), I'm feeling inspired to publicly thank creators who have brought me joy, made me think, made me laugh, and generally brightened my day by sharing their lives and experiences. Thank you, pals!
Tori is the first BookTuber I discovered back in 2016. I was looking for a very specific video about Charles Dickens, and one of her videos, in which she reviewed Dickens’ The Chimes, came up. In addition to charming me with her warmth, wit, and thoughtful discussion of books, she introduced me to the wider community of people who love to read and talk about books. Watching her over the years, I’ve also discovered that we tend to go through similar reading phases, and our book taste is uncannily aligned. It's a very good day when Tori's face pops up in my subscription feed.
You also don't want to miss Tori's beautiful and soothing Instagram feed.
Bree is another BookTuber who I discovered early on, and she is a force. Air Force veteran, mom, wife, blogger, BookTuber, columnist, student—her productivity, energy, and capacity for reinvention humble and inspire me. Even when the books she discusses are not on my TBR, I feel enriched by her smart and thoughtful approach to them. I also want to mention that a discussion she and I had about a book-controversy-that-shall-not-be-named inspired this post. It reminded me to be more active and public with my values and to take the time to call out positive creators.
I equally enjoy Bree's lovely Insagram feed.
Ashleigh’s channel is a recent discovery, and it is an aesthetic treat. Her reading vlogs are my favorite, but really I enjoy all of her videos. I also have Ashleigh to thank for introducing me to Samantha Shannon’s books. Ashleigh also loves ancient Greek mythology and is working on a dissertation about reception of mythology, so you can imagine the joy that following her journey brings me.
Equally charming is her Instagram feed.
I laugh out loud often watching Cindy’s quirky videos with their hilarious editing. She curses a lot, which can make my inner stuffy-old-PhD squirm, but how can I complain when her videos bring much needed levity to this dark, dark world (which has always been so). Though her videos are not just about the laughs. She is also deeply self-reflective and forthright. She can be a brutal critic, but the person she is hardest on is probably herself.
She is an artist, so she has a visually stunning Instagram feed.
There are reasons this woman has more than a quarter of a million subscribers. One of them is that she has been on BookTube for years and years. But mostly it’s that she’s enthusiastic, fun, and funny. She reads fantasy primarily, and as you know if you’ve been around for a while, I am in a heavy fantasy moment. I have to thank Regan for introducing me to several 2019 favorites: N. K. Jemisin’s Fifth Season trilogy, S. A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad series, and Christelle Dabos’ Mirror Visitor series, translated by Hildegarde Serle.
Also lovely is her Instagram feed.