What are the main stereotypes of books

Read and dare: to become a book tuber

Hundreds of young people are waiting in the tent. Everyone has their cell phone ready. You've seen them on screen many times, but never live before. It looks like they're coming. Yes. The moderator confirms: "We warmly welcome you ...", the crowd begins to scream, "... the book tuber!" There are six. Young. They wave and smile. They are not rock legends, but thousands or hundreds of thousands follow them on YouTube, leave a "like" and write comments.

“Sometimes you go to a book fair and they come up to you and say: I love your videos, can I take a picture with you? I have a subscriber named Germán who is from Nicaragua. He confessed to me that he had never read before, nothing at all, and that he only started reading thanks to my videos. Occasionally he sent me books and even made intros for my videos, "says book tuber Juan Carlos Álvarez, who is known as Malik when he recommends books ...

For Abril G. Karera, who has a video blog called Essays in April, the best part of being part of the community is sharing your reading experience with others. It also creates the opportunity to get to know new titles and literary genres. "We get the opportunity to exchange ideas intensively about a book," says Gaby Alvirde, another book tuber who likes to chat with her subscribers on Twitter.

It's very simple: you talk about a book in front of a camera. And yet it is a phenomenon that is attracting the attention of the media and also that of children's book specialists, publishers and mediators. It is young people who address other young people and not well-meaning professors who consider certain novels to be good because of their content or reading promoters who confirm that reading is the highest expression of evolution or posters that say that the daily, quick reading of twenty minutes, as good as honey for a cough. No. It's just young people who like to read a lot and tell others how good or bad they think the books are.

“BookTube is made by readers for readers. There is no rule for who can be a book tuber, but you have to love books and not be afraid to share your opinion, because in the end it is your opinion and it will be respected, "say Nath and Gaby, two book tuber, with ten thousand Subscribers on her channel "De Pasta Dura" (hard cheese).

Luis Altamirano is a communication student, 20 years old and confirms that it takes courage to be a book tuber. “Read and dare. I think that's the only thing you need on BookTube. To love the art of words and to have the courage and dedication to constantly upload videos, "says Luis. The reward is the feeling of belonging, the dialogue and the construction of a community.

“I had no one to talk to about books, and at home I was the only person buying literature. When I discovered the page on YouTube that talked about books, I said to myself: this is my world. Then I started recording, "explains Malik. The community is never complete, new book tubers are always welcome, Abril adds." You only need two things: a love of reading and a camera. Every book tuber has its own style and although many are above Speaking the same books, the experiences are different. Everyone draws attention to a different topic that has not yet been touched on in the community and that is the great thing about it! So if one of you feels like it, but for some reason doesn't dare: Just The BookTube community is warm, loving and honest. We, the members, can confirm that you not only find someone to talk to about a book, but that you also find true friends here, "says Abril.

BookTuber: the myth

Superficial and bought by the publishers, these are the two main prejudices. Whether or not they go into depth in their comments, whether or not their text choices are justified, whether they work for a publisher that sends them books or not ... in most of the cases these allegations seem to be nothing more than unjust generalizations.

If you ask a book tuber, he would say that it is a question of myths. Of course, there are some reviews that are designed to provoke a laugh rather than to produce in-depth literary analysis, but this is a community of readers who enjoy reading rather than scientific critics. Most of those who watch a video want to have fun, read a new book, or are just fascinated by the presenter.

Many BookTubers agree that less than 30 percent of those who watch a video then read the recommended book. Antonio Miranda, who calls herself Tonny Beth on BookTube, rather means that the majority of users want to hear an opinion about something they have already read. “Almost nobody looks for recommendations,” she says. Luis describes his subscribers like this: “They are young people between 16 and 25 who like youth literature and like to spend their free time on the Internet. They are in high school and most of them love TV series and can no longer live without social networks. "

Are there any agreements with publishers? Some of them receive books from publishers, but they affirm that they have no obligation to review them. It's more that they like looking for books: they go to old bookstores, at book fairs, they order books on the Internet or read what other members of the community recommend. "" The relationship with the publishers is very organic. They come up to us from time to time to offer us certain copies that we might like, and then it's up to us whether or not we want to share our opinion on this book, "say the editors of the De Pasta Dura channel.

But there are also some alliances. Tonny Beth and others participate in a program in Porrúa in which readers are rewarded. “Some of us take part in the project in Porrúa. We recommend a book and prizes are awarded in the libraries in Porrúa and our pages are occasionally mentioned. The books we recommend are selling well. "

Malik has almost 5,500 subscribers and says the relationship with the publishers is positive and makes it even easier to find new titles. “My relationship with the publishers is excellent. At first I could hardly believe that they were watching my channel, but now they are providing me with books that I might like thematically and that makes the review work a lot easier. "

Nobody denies the power of BookTubers. Some achieve close to 200,000 visualizations with a single video. The publishers are aware of this and therefore invite them to present books. They send them catalogs for them to choose the books they want to read and even offer interviews with the authors before someone else gets that chance. But it would be naive to believe that there is no obligation whatsoever. “Some publishers ask if you don't like a title that you send them a comment explaining why you don't want to talk about the book. But all the people we spoke to confirmed that they can talk about a title in the videos even if they don't like a title, "said Tonny.

Some do it simply, others very briskly: "The worst books of the year", "This book is terrible", "Please don't read it", "If you read it, don't say I didn't warn you how bad it was is, "or they write," I didn't like it, but I know others loved it. "Abril, who also uploads videos on other topics, such as" Five tips for improving your handwriting, "holds up I'd rather go back. "I'm not tied to any publisher, although I had the opportunity. I like to have my own rhythm and not feel any pressure when reading," she admits.

More than just the Hunger Games.

Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Madame Bovary, Jane Eyre, The Stranger, The unbearable lightness of being, The Destiny, Chronicles of the Underworld, One like Alsaka. Among them are currently successful books for young people, but also classics. “I choose my books instinctively. I read what I feel like. I mostly know the books thanks to BookTube, from websites or through my teachers at school who recommended them to me. I have no connection with publishers at the moment, "says Luis, who has almost 100,000 videos on his channel and more than 8,700 subscribers.

For Malik it's a bit more esoteric: "My books come to me because they want them," he says and laughs. I always go to bookstores, be it new or used books, I lose myself for hours between the shelves. I look for topics and Actions that grab my attention. If I'm captivated while reading the first few pages, I buy it. I also look for offers at book fairs or book markets that interest me because I get information from Sinopsis de Lectorati or Goodreads beforehand, "says he.

Abril has created a "book list" since university. “There are more than 1,100 books on it that I want to read and because I know how difficult it is to read them all in a short time, I have made the following breakdown: books that I want to read immediately; Books that I can only get in libraries; Books I have at home; Books in PDF or electronic format; Books I want to buy and books suggested to me by my subscribers. In this way I go from one category to another and give the same meaning to all of them. This makes my reading experience complex and interesting. "

There are more and more bookubers in Mexico joining the global community that shares their passion for reading. “You have to look at what the BookTubers are doing. There is definitely something we literary educators can learn from them. The BookTubers share a point of view, speak the same language as their subscribers and thus move the masses ", says Sergio Andricaín, writer and founder of the foundation Cuatrogatos. Diego Lebro, Colombian professor and literary educator, agrees with Andricaín. “It's a valuable phenomenon in that it reaches and engages readers. The key is that they are like-minded people, young people who are much closer to their readers, who are on their terms without an authoritarian voice or sermon to associate an adult with. "

You're a reading group in a certain way. For example, it is no coincidence that Abril, Malik, and Tonny lead reading groups in the Vasconcelos library in Mexico City. "The BookTuber community generates changes in the lives of many people, starting with ourselves, our families, the people around us and of course, our subscribers."

After the event, hundreds of young people take photos of the book tubers hugging. Then they go and ask for autographs and take pictures with them. Everyone has their cell phone with them, but also their books. The books suggested to them by the book tubers; those who changed their lives.
Adolfo Cordova
Journalist, writer and reading promoter, born in Veracruz and raised in Mexico City
May 2015

Reading worldwide

The portal provides information on successful projects to promote reading from around the world. They are presented as idea modules for participation and imitation and supplemented by reports, contributions from research and interviews.

LifelongReaders

European platform on the subject of reading promotion with numerous articles on reading promotion activities, training and evaluation programs. [Funded under the EU program "Lifelong Learning"

Reading in Germany

Reading in Germany collects and documents information available online on the topic of reading promotion, prepares it in a target group-oriented manner and offers suggestions and support for parents, grandparents, teachers, educators, librarians and experts as well as those interested in voluntary work.