I was about time I actually started to full on waffle on this blog. And what better way to do it than by posting a rant about something truly dear to me: booktube.
Teeny declaimer : If YOU want to start a booktube channel you go accomplish those dreams Glen Coco and don’t let any hater-y legume stop you. And if you already have one THAT’S GREAT look at us being nerds and gushing about books on all of the platforms. Truly beautiful indeed let us be different and be happy. Find what is best for you.
Now, let us being with a little backstory for context. There are a lot of reasons why I personally choose to be a bookBLOGGER and not a bookTUBER. I am very awkward, I hate cameras pointed at me with a burning passion and I cringe easily at the things I do ERGO I am not fit to be any kind of youtuber. (Also this way I can continue to hide behind my laptop screen like lizard people which pleases me greatly)
So now that you learned of my lurker nature you can just naturally assume that of course I stumbled over booktube in my numerous procrastination sessions. It lured me in with pretty book thumbnails and fun tags and that was enough for me -down the rabbit hole I went.
Booktube is great: it got me into reading more than ever before (rabbithole effect), it has fun #tags that are the best thing since ice cream cake and just generally makes reading not boring because look we have fairy lights and pretty colours so how can you say it’s boring ?!
But the more I watch…the more problems I see…
AND I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THEM HERE BECAUSE MAYBE YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY AND WE CAN HAVE A DISCUSSION…or something…i don’t know.
(yes what a brilliant idea I deserve a pat on the head and a cookie because who better to talk about these things than a 14 year old who obviously knows *EVERYTHING*…ahem)
Not-so-SMOL LIST OF PROBLEMS
The lack of cristisim
Not pointing any fingers but. Look I may be slightly picky (….HAHAHAHAHA ok a lot more picky but for the shake of this post let’s use our imaginations) when it comes to favorites but it seems that every book a booktuber reads they *absolutely* love and praise to the heavens. Ummmm…no ??? You can’t possibly read THAT many books and rate them 4-5 stars. I don’t think that is even mathematically plausible –sorry mate the triangles hate to disagree but your angle doesn’t seem right (get it?? Triangle puns?? MAN I AM HILARIOUS!) Unless you have found the secret to avoiding the snooze inducing books in which case TEACH ME YOUR SECRET WAYS. This leads perfectly into my second point (did not plan this at all nope)
The lack of honesty
This is what I find really frustrating: Checking out a YA book on goodreads only to find a row of 4 star reviews (even though in the reviews it says that they had some problems with the book but gave it a high rating because “it had potential”…what does that even mean?! What are said “problems” ?? please specify ??).
I have now become a cynical Grinch at heart and doubt any review I see and even read some negative reviews to know what I am getting myself into. I do not want to feel like a betrayed weasel …and yet I do. Who can I even trust anymore ?? Should I just buy this book and hope and pray to all the Gods and sacrifice a piece of cake for it to be good??
Not discussing the issues of a book
This is truly not beneficial in any way. I 100% agree that “positivity is good” and it really is (I mean who doesn’t want to celebrate with cake and sprinkles and good reviews and excitement because of a good book?? A souless monster???) but we have all heard the good’ol saying that too much of a good thing can be harmful (and that is why we CAN’T always have cake and sprinkles- sugar is bad for you kids).
Right now the all- sunshine-and-rainbows superficial reviews are affecting the publishing industry. The quality of the published books is decreasing and that is DEFINITELY not a good thing (and you can argue that the quality of a thing is objective but I am talking about the very formula that makes a book quality- you can definitely enjoy a bad book and hate a good one (I am guilty of this because we are all rebels and you can’t tell us what to think) but weather the book is good or bad is a fact –Francina Simone has made a really awesome video explaining this and I highly reccomand watching IT .
I love ~~poSitIve vIBesss~~ and getting all excited about reading because heck I love reading too (ya noticed?) but when did our way of expressing our love for books become literal ads for the publishing companies?
I actually like watching bookhauls when I am in the mood. They are fun and honestly how can I resist pretty books. But hauling 20 books every month and saying that you are excited about ALL OF THEM?? can you please stop? Especially since on a channel you can see 2 hauls of stacks on stacks of books a month but they somehow never read and review them.
I don’t get sent 50 books from publishers –I actually have to SPEND MONEY on said books. And being a broke teenager I have to ask my parents TO BUY me them. Believe me when I say that they are not willing to spend a small fortune on expensive hardcovers just because they are *pretty*. When I do get to buy books
I have to make sure that they are worth getting the physical copy. SORRY but buying all 20 books a month because they “are soooo good” is not happening.
Lack of diversity
Or lack of promotion of diverse books. In the book blogging community diverse and ownvoices books are incredibly popular and promoted. But on booktube?…sadly not so much. I wouldn’t have know that so many diverse books even existed if i haven’t found all these reviews on blogs. Meanwhile the most popular and hyped books on booktube are still lacking diverse characters and are sometimes even problematic.
I am certainly not saying that all booktubers ever are doing these things. I also don’t believe that sponsored videos are so much to blame for this as most people seem to absolutely hate those. These are just some things that have gradually driven me away from booktube.
Aaaand to finish up this long rambly post here are some other great videos and articles made by beautiful humans discussing this way better than I can (thx for inspiring this post better humans you are all great!!) :
Sorry for the rambly negative post but this is a discussion I really want to have, so leave all your thoughts and opinions in the comments. Do you agree with my points? Do you disagree?? Or maybe you have different problems from me? LET US CHAT FRIENDS.