Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Break From Booktube?

This post is going to be about something I've been contemplating for a while, and that something is, maybe it's time for me to stop booktubing for a while.
I've been uploading videos since January of 2010 when I was sixteen years old, and three and a half years later, I'm still doing it. My videos are shorter now, and with fewer spoilers while giving more insight (in my opinion, at least), but the problem is, I don't get the joy out of doing it that I used to.

Now this decision isn't due to any one thing. It was a culmination of different things that I've noticed.
In 2010, when I began making videos, booktube was still fairly new. It wasn't even called booktube at the time. There were just a handful of people making videos.
Along the way, many people stopped, a few made other channels, but a lot of the channels I watched in the beginning don't exist anymore.
This isn't supposed to be a post about nostalgia, but I'm using that as a point that I saw the evolution of booktube. I've always been a bit on the fringes of the community, which perhaps hurt me in the long run as far as channel growth and making friends goes, but it also allowed me to be a sort of outsider watching things change.
Booktube has become a large community now, and I love that. I love that there was a booktube panel at Vidcon, and I love that so many people are sharing their love of reading. However, as with all things, the massive positives that come with growth are accompanied by some negatives. It's a fact of life.
There have been cliques formed within the community, and it's sort of become like other Youtube sects, that you have to be friends with the big guys on campus to feel like you matter.
I am in no way trying to villainize anyone or claim that people don't deserve their subscribers. I would just like to point out that, as nice as book lovers are, it's not as equal a playing field as some would like to make it seem.
That alone, wouldn't bother me. I began noticing that shift over a year ago, and I have very clearly kept making videos. And this isn't supposed to a "rant" about booktube either, so I'll move on.

Another negative to a growing community is the amount of new attention that comes in. A.K.A. the 'haters' or 'trolls'. They're all over the place, and I won't say they weren't around before, because they were. There was a period around six months after I began making videos when many people quit due to hateful comments. However, I've noticed there have formed fan bases, and like many fan bases, there will be those who will belittle or insult anyone who isn't their favorite. This has absolutely nothing to do with the booktubers that these people enjoy watching. I know they would never condone such things, and the hate comments aren't a problem normally. You can always brush it off as someone who happened to find booktube and is just trolling for some fun. What bothers me is when clear fans of reading make fun of or insult other book lovers. That just creates drama and tension that don't need to exist and furthers the separation between the "popular" content creators and the "less popular" ones.

The last reason is probably the most relevant, I don't have time to prioritize something I don't enjoy doing anymore. I'm nineteen, to sound like every commencement speaker: I'm on the cusp of life. There are things to be learned, and plans to be made that will end up taking over a lot of my time. Between potentially moving soon and working on my writing so I can eventually (hopefully) be a published author. I love reading, I prioritize reading, but making and editing videos has begun to feel like a chore. And to piggyback off the last paragraph, I've begun to feel like "why should I have to put up with hate and continue to put time into doing something that I'm not enjoying?".

I don't know how long of a break I'm taking yet. It could be a week, a month. I may never post another booktube video, or I may begin a new channel like some others have been doing recently, or I might cave and film a video this Friday. I just know I need to be away from creating for a while. I still love reading, I still love booktube, and I'll continue to keep watching, and I'll be keeping up with this blog, but I won't be posting videos. For a little while, at least.

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