Much like Beauty Guru and Sneakerhead culture on YouTube, the BookTube community has its own vernacular. Here are six kinds of video content unique to BookTubers to help you get familiarized with their lit-centric lingo.
Similar to apartment or room tours, BookTuber tours are also about showcasing a space: bookshelves. Fans usually request these of their favorite BookTubers, who often film themselves in front of their personal libraries, wanting to know exactly what books line their shelves.
Bookshelf Tour Videos on YouTube: 2,877
Bookshelf Tour Video Views on YouTube: 6,592,064
BookTubers are also fans of the TAG (or Challenge) videos popular with other vloggers. These are always book-specific, like this “7 Deadly Sins TAG” that features questions pertaining to the seven deadly sins and the books a user might associate with the topic.
Book TAG Videos on YouTube: 4,569
Book TAG Video Views on YouTube: 4,742,670
BookTubers also have their own version of the ever-popular haul video where they share their recent book purchases.
Book Haul/Unboxing Videos on YouTube: 20,795
Book Haul/Unboxing Video Views on YouTube: 19,421,033
In a creative twist on the traditional haul concept, BookTubers also talk about the books they are going to sell or donate.
Unhaul Videos on YouTube: 144
Unhaul Video Views on YouTube: 165,779
TBR/To Be Read
TBR, or To Be Read videos, involve BookTubers discussing the piles of books they’ve yet to crack open. In some cases they make a project out of it and even have a TBR jar that they pull a title from each month.
TBR/To Be Read Videos on YouTube: 8,273
TBR/To Be Read Video Views on YouTube: 4,862,786
Some overactive BookTubers even feel the need to scale back by putting themselves on a book-buying ban if they feel they have purchased too many books other BookTubers have recommended. They don’t have enough time to read them all and end up back-logged with too many future reads. Book-buying bans have an almost confessional tone as BookTubers look to each other for support during their struggle to stop hoarding tomes.
Book-Buying Ban Videos on YouTube: 271
Book-Buying Ban Video Views on YouTube: 247,024
While BookTube is mostly made up of individual vloggers, there are some channels, like Epic Reads, which are run by groups, or in this case publisher HarperCollins. Epic Reads even has their own unique type of BookTube video, “Tea Time,” where the hosts talk about new releases, and any thing book-related.