Note: Keep reading for a new feature idea at the end of this post!
If you’ve been around the blogosphere or booktube for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of the arguments that surround booktubing vs. book blogging. Recently, that discussion blew up into an argument because of a few tweets. And now those tweeters are getting hate mail. I think the saddest thing about this is that it completely tears down the feeling of freedom of speech. A couple of bloggers (I know one of them and she is so sweet) were discussing their opinions and then were suddenly being torn down for doing so. Opinions are okay, but directing hate at a specific person because of their opinions is not okay. Their blogs and the other mediums connected to their blogs are supposed to be a safe place where they can express their opinons as book lovers, and now it’s no longer a safe place.
I don’t know what these bloggers said exactly, but what I do know is that sometimes, when people express their opinion and say they don’t like something, it does not mean that they are trying to tear down the people that do like that something. And that’s when expressing an opinion can turn nasty. It’s also what this whole post is about.
In a nutshell, I prefer book blogging over booktubing, but that doesn’t mean that I think book bloggers are better than booktubers. I admire booktubers because they are able to put their faces out there and basically talk into space (which must be kind of awkward if someone walks in while filming is under way) so that they can upload a video to Youtube and share their love of books with others. I love the energy they bring to books, and they definitely make books seem so exciting. That said, I don’t think I could ever be a booktuber, because there are things about it that do not appeal to me. That’s it. A personal preference. Booktubing is great for some people, and I’m happy for them because they’ve found a way to express themselves. Maybe blogging isn’t for them. And guess what? Once again, that’s a personal preference. It’s pretty simple.
In my point of view, the discussion has turned to the difference between the two communities. As much as we all love books, book blogging and booktubing are two very different things. Is one better than the other? No. Let’s look at it this way since we’re talking about books anyway. If I say that I love historical fiction books better than contemporary books, does that mean I think contemporary authors are bad authors? No. It’s just my personal preference that I enjoy historical fiction more than contemporary. The same thing goes for book blogging vs. booktubing. Just like you can’t deny that there are differences between contemporary and historical fiction, you can’t deny there are differences between book blogging and booktubing.
For me, there are two main differences between book blogging and booktubing. However, differences don’t make one better than the other.
First, the obvious one. Booktubers communicate through talking and facial expressions and book bloggers communicate through words. Both mediums are very different, both in the way one consumes them and in the way one creates them. However, both have the power to express feelings, and neither is better than the other. Personally, I feel more comfortable expressing myself through words, and I don’t think I would be able to talk about books as well via video. Booktubers and book bloggers do what’s best for them, but neither is harder or easier than the the other.
Second, the audience of book blogging is different from the audience of booktubing. Let’s face it. Youtube is a much more popular platform than WordPress or Blogger or Weebly. It’s probably more popular than all of those combined. Therefore, it has a larger audience, which makes for a very different audience and community. This changes so much of the interaction between creators and content and consumers. For example, booktubers often get more comments from nonbooktubers because just about everyone is on Youtube while bloggers get very litte comments from nonbloggers. I’ve also noticed that a lot of times, blogger comments are longer than Youtube comments(although Youtube tends to get more comments in general. Of course, there are exceptions but that’s what I’ve noticed most often. There is a very different culture surrounding each medium even though we are all book lovers. Personally, I prefer the dynamics of the blogosphere. I somehow feel more invested in blogposts and I’d rather read and comment on blogposts than watch and comment on videos. That does not mean that I am saying that one is lesser the the other. Once again, this is all about personal preference. That’s it.
So obviously, there are differences just like there are differences between the types of readers. Can you assume tht someone hates contemporary readers and authors because that person says they don’t like contemporary and like historical fiction better? No. Are historical fiction readers better thn contemporary readers? No.We all have different preferences and that’s okay. That’s what makes us unique and sets us apart. In the end, though, we all love books, and that binds us together when the rest of the world doesn’t seem to understand why books are so awesome. Let’s enjoy each others’ content while retaining our individuality, and not tearing down others for their opinions.
And now for a feature I’m starting. Or hopefully starting depending on the feedback I get. My idea is called the Open Letter-A-Thon. I’ve had this idea for a while now, but the announcement post has always been stuck in my drafts. Basically, what it involves is book lovers writing positive words of encouragement in open letters to people in the book world such as authors, bloggers, publicists/publishing companies, aspiring witters, agents, and book tubers. I’m not sure if it would be a one week thing like read-a-thons, or a regular monthly feature with certain themes each month. Be sure to let me know what you think!
What’s your favorite thing about the bookish community? Feel like giving any shoutouts to favorite booktubers or book bloggers of yours? What do you think of my feature idea?