Media Monday: Finding reading buddies on BookTube

A lot of us are in a mad rush right now to make sure we have some meaningful gifts for the kids in our lives, or we’re picking out a few items to offer to charities who are collecting gifts for those in our community who have much less than we do. Either way, books are often wonderful options for kids of all ages.

One fun way to find out what young people are reading and enjoying this year is by taking a look at BookTube, which is an enormous community of book enthusiasts on YouTube. BookTubers put out reviews and recommendations of all sorts in the form of vlogs, but YA books are perennial favorites because of the youth of most of the folks doing the vlogging. At this time of year, members of the community are putting together their “Best of 2017” lists, rating everything from science fiction and fantasy to romance to mysteries to how-to and self-help nonfiction books. If you’re looking for recommendations for a particular young person, go to YouTube and try a search of “best books of 2017” or “2017 favorites” and the genre, setting, or types of characters they enjoy. Then watch several of the BookTubers run through their favorites. Right now, BookTubers are voting on their top Young Adult reads of 2017 in a variety of categories via the YA BookTube Awards, so check out those finalists here and follow #YABookTubeAwards on Twitter.

BookTube also includes web series based on books—most famous is the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. BookTubers frequently host read-a-thons in which they challenge themselves and each other to read as many books in a day, weekend, or month as possible. They cheer about their latest book hauls, and they discuss their most anticipated upcoming releases. In general, it’s an enthusiastic group of fans of reading who encourage and support each other.

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