As I was browsing booktube, I stumbled across a video called “Is Booktube making us shallow?” and I found it pretty interesting so I gave it a watch. I’ll link it down below so you guys can watch it before you read my thoughts and comments to the topics Awake and Reading discussed.
TL;DW – Essentially Awake and Reading brought up points that a lot of booktubers seem to be care more about how a book looks rather than the content. And a lot of booktubers buy their books rather then to look into other means like used books or libraries.
I do agree with her points. They were well formed and had some evidence for it. If you ever search through booktube and look into new aspiring booktubers, they always have these enormous book hauls. Not only that, they tend to sheepishly joke around how they have a book buying problem. I have no idea how their wallet can support their spending habits, but I’m not judging. It’s great that they can indulge in their hobbies. I just noticed that very little booktubers talk about other resources to get books such as borrowing them from a friend, libraries, or buying them used. Why is that the case?
Why don’t we talk about other amazing resources like the library to get free books for our enjoyment? If the reason is “we want them on our bookshelves because they look nice” well that’s technically what Awake and Reading was talking about. That’s a superficial way of looking at books. And frankly, it sets a bad example for others out there. For people who want to get into reading or enter the world of booktube or book blogging. They have this understanding that new books with great pretty covers will attract more attention instead of what they have to say about a book. Imagine a teenager or a young child wanting to get into reading and all they saw on booktube was people buying massive amounts of books. What would they learn from that? Their first instinct would be that new books have a better appeal then used or borrowed books, therefore, they should just buy their novels instead of looking into other means.
I’ve seen this on instagram too. I would find someone who has amazing book photos and I’ll visit their goodreads profile only to see that they have not read any of the books they have taken photos of. No rating, and the books are still on the To Be Read list. It’s absolutely disappointing. I want to find more people that have read the books I’ve read so that I can get a good discussion going.
Yes, I buy books, but I also find other means to get my novels. My main resource for books is the library. It’s free and it’s a great place to discover new novels. If I really enjoy a book, I’ll go out and buy it for my bookshelf and if I didn’t enjoy the book, well I can safely say that I won’t be wasting money buying it. If I bought all the books I read because of booktube and goodreads, I would have spent enough money to cover a few courses in uni. The sad part is many of the books I read weren’t that great. I didn’t love them, so I wouldn’t want them on my shelf. I’m an extremely picky reader and will only love or really like things if I deem them to be great.
Moving a bit off topic here, but if you watch many book videos from different booktubers back to back, you start to realize that they all react the same way to new books. Reactions to the cover, the genre, etc. This is very clear for book subscription unboxing. Many reactions to unboxing owlcrates, uppercase, and so forth are based on awe. Squeals, and shouts of amazement when they pull out something pretty interesting from those boxes. I love watching unboxing videos for different reactions, but when many Tubers I see react the same way, it gets a bit boring, unfortunately.
Despite booktube being pretty entertaining to watch, I realized that it’s not the healthiest way to explore my love for books. I spend too much time watching people do bookshelf tours, book subscription unboxing, and book tags instead of actually doing what I love, which is reading.
What are your thoughts about this post? Do you agree with what Awake and Reading said? Do you agree with my point of view? Do you disagree? I would love to hear what you guys think, so feel free leave a comment down below.
And if not, at least I was able to ramble all my thoughts on booktube. :D