Community Spotlight: BookTubers in Latin America
May 26, 2021 – minute read
BookTubers are a group of creators who celebrate and discuss books on YouTube. Just like other YouTube communities (for example, beauty and gaming communities), BookTubers share some clearly identifiable traits, including similar content, rules, vocabulary, and interests in literary genres.
Typical BookTuber content includes book reviews, reading challenges, and animated book summaries. BookTube videos use identifiable visual elements, such as bookshelves, book-related posters, and thumbnails where creators hold up books.
Most BookTubers review books from similar genres to attract a specific audience to their videos. Young adult fiction, fantasy, and science fiction are some of the most popular genres. Rubén Caballero and Capa Invisible are among the most prominent creators in Mexico, as they focus on the literary and movie world of Harry Potter.
Here are 5 trends that define the community:
Although the big YouTube creators have been popularizing this format since 2018, BookTubers have adapted the trend for their own literary content and called it “Reading for 24 hours Straight.” The concept involves BookTube creators -- like Colombia's El Estante Literario and Argentina's Lamaleluna -- taking viewers through their non-stop reading marathons of their favorite titles. The variations are endless, from finishing a whole book in a day to trying to read as many of one author's titles as possible, and even challenging their audiences to do the same thing with as many of their favorite books as they can.
BookTubers test their book collections with a simple challenge: identifying how many titles from different categories they have in their libraries. This fun challenge not only gives them the chance to show off their enviable collections, but it also lets them show how special those titles are to them. Why has this trend become so popular? Creators like Clau reads books, MyOwnLittleBookshelf, and Juliana Zapata show us their literary mastery, while viewers can relate to the emotion and nostalgia behind the titles selected, and even take on the same challenge with their own books.
Minimalism and tidiness shot to popularity after the Marie Kondo trend, and BookTubers were on board. This got them thinking: What if I could only have a certain number of books? In this challenge, creators choose 30 books with sentimental value to them, based on Kondo's principles. The result: BookTubers throughout Latin America, such as Ricardo Carrión and Estado Lector, embraced the concept.
This format sees book lovers gauging the quality of their book collections and judging whether they have the must-have titles. Spanish creator Raquel Bookish was one of the first Spanish-speaking creators to use the format a couple of years ago. It has since been taken up by other channels like Valentina's Books, El Librero de Valentina, Lunática Literaria, and Kyoko SWords. This concept often tests the creators' general knowledge and their vast book collections, showing off their English and Spanish literature classics.
BookTubers usually have incredible book collections, with a seemingly infinite number of titles. Since creators often use their bookshelves as the backdrop to videos, they adapted the house tour format to show off their bookshelves in more detail. Their videos often focus on how they sort their collections — alphabetically, or by genre, author, language, or even color — and the titles they own, also working as an overview of the creators' favorite and most unusual books. Make sure you watch the tours by Maxi Pizzicotti, Bright Brenda, and Almendrada.
Whether you're looking to dive into the world of literature or share your passion for books with others, the BookTuber community is waiting for you to join its book club!