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A&E >  Books

Water Cooler: BookTube

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 26, 2020

Ben Alderson's BookTube channel is dedicated to “amazing books and weirdness.” (Twitter)
Ben Alderson's BookTube channel is dedicated to “amazing books and weirdness.” (Twitter)

Book clubs, author events and the like have all gone virtual, but there’s one part of the literary community that always has been, lovingly nicknamed “BookTube.” This subset of YouTubers that discuss all things literature, from informative videos on classic literature to fresh reviews of the newest releases. Here are a few channels to get started with if you want to dive into the literary community from far and wide on YouTube.

CrashCourse – This YouTube channel has information on a wide variety of topics, but the channel has an extensive selection of videos dedicated to the study and history of literature with over 50 videos to choose from. It kicks off with discussion on why we read at all and how literature is a unique form of communication. The series covers Shakespeare, Gatsby, Greek mythology, genres, social themes and specific books like “Lord of the Flies,” “100 Years of Solitude,” “Invisible Man,” “1984,” “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

LEFT ON READ – Host Jourdan discusses all things entertainment with focus on the works of minorities, especially that of Black women. Her recent reviews feature “When No One is Watching” by Alyssa Cole, “Transcendent Kingdom,” by Yaa Gyasi, “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson and “Salvage the Bones,” by Jesmyn Ward.

The Readables – Covering everything from young adult to classic literature, this channel offers literary discussion with polished visual presentation. Viewers have the opportunity to get to know host, Priscilla, through her vlogs in addition to hearing her perspective on literature through her “Top 5” videos. In that series she explores a little bit of everything, such as her top five classics, villains, unread authors, male protagonists, siblings, fictional technology, genres, sequels, magical items and more. Stay up on the latest releases by sifting through her numerous book reviews, discover new reads through her bookshelf tours and get a new perspective on classics that Priscilla revists and discusses.

Elizziebooks – This channel primarily focuses on contemporary young adult and middle grade reads so it’s a great place for young readers to learn about the literary scene and find new books and authors. Host Liz also vlogs her visits to conventions, offering great insight into the young literary community at large.

Little Book Owl – Host Catriona (Caz for short) started her channel to share her passion and love for reading with the BookTube community. Her latest video covers every book she has read so far in 2020 with mentions of “The King of Crows” by Libba Bray, “Heartstopper: Volume Three” by Alice Oseman, “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson, “In the Vanishers’ Palace” by Aliette de Bodard, “White Rage” by Carol Anderson and “With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Booksandquills – Sanne has been making videos for over 10 years discussing not only literature, but language, the publishing industry, her travels from the Netherlands to London, and general life advice. Her latest videos feature all the books she has purchased during the lockdown, retellings of classics, book to film adaptations that can’t be missed this year, and all the books she snagged from the library before they closed during the pandemic. With a master’s degree in English literature, Sanne has a wealth of knowledge to offer on everything from sci-fi, to classics, to young adult.

Ben Alderson – With a channel dedicated to “amazing books and weirdness,” Alderson brings endless enthusiasm to discussion of literature. Alderson talks about writing gay young adult fiction, shares massive book hauls and recommendations and posts a monthly wrap-up video of recent reads.

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