Bookstagram Versus BookTube

Bookstagram and Booktube are incredibly popular amongst booklovers!

Bookstagram and Booktube are incredibly popular amongst booklovers! Booktube is where booklovers create book-related videos on YouTube, and Bookstagram is where people post book-related photos. Both communities create book reviews and share their thoughts and feelings on their chosen fandoms. The most successful of these booklovers can be chosen for all kinds of promotional bookish things, such as being sent advanced reader copies of books yet to be released, all the way up to being asked to interview famous authors at large-scale book conventions.

I teamed up with a few Aussie bookstagrammers across the Instagram platform to help solve the puzzling mystery of what it means to be a bookstagrammer and what the difference is between Booktube and Bookstagram!

@erins.errands: In a bibliophile apocalypse against the non-readers, who would lead the charge? Booktube or Bookstagram, and why? 

@thebooknut101: Both sets have the dystopian novel knowledge to take on the task for sure! I think it would be a close one – we’d have booktubers avidly vlogging and bookstagrammers looking for the perfect lighting. But maybe booktubers in this case since they’d want to capture the action as it goes down. Together both groups would certainly be a formidable literary force to go up against!

@faeriefiction_: As an avid bookstagrammer with a slight fear of Booktube, I want to say Bookstagram would lead the charge with sheer numbers, but the enthusiasm of Booktube is a force to be reckoned with! But Bookstagram did help me rediscover my childhood love of reading, and I know countless others who have said the same thing. It’s a creative outlet that’s given me the confidence to be more vocal about my love of books, and coerce friends into reading things they would never have otherwise touched, every new bibliophile we get is a win for team Bookstagram!

Does the algorithm play a part in Bookstagram and Booktube? Is it the same?

@libraryoflexi: I’m not sure about Booktube as I don’t have one, but from what I understand of Bookstagram, it does. Back when I was posting every day, I tried to learn a bit more about it but essentially there’s not much I could do about it so I just posted without much thought to it. When I was posting every day, I was averaging about 200-250 likes per post out of over 2500 followers. Since I stopped posting everyday, it’s below 100 so it definitely affects people who don’t post very often. The thing that bothers me the most is when a post from 4 or more days ago is at the top of my feed. I don’t understand how it’s more relevant later rather than sooner.

When it comes to book reviews, which platform are people more honest on?

@gabbyreadswithtea: I feel like on both Bookstagram and Booktube everyone is very sweet and hesitant to post extremely negative reviews. I find that Goodreads as a platform is a lot harsher and emotionally-driven. Not to say that the former two aren’t as honest, but very rarely would I find an extremely negative review on either Bookstagram or Booktube. Everyone is so supportive on both of these platforms.

In Tasmania, my home-state, ABC News released an article in 2012 showing that 49% of Tasmanian’s were under the literacy standard. Meaning that half of the population is either illiterate or unable read and write at the national standard. Moving toward a digital age, could online reading communities solve problems like this?

@l_reads: I definitely think that an online reading community would resolve this dilemma. Barriers towards learning to read or write could include the amount of time an individual has as well as accessibility. I believe that an online reading community would allow learning to be more readily accessible which caters to the convenience of the learner. Also, due to the flexibility of the Internet, the online community can provide assistance towards reading and writing of different difficulties.

@bluefairytales_: It is upsetting to hear those stats come from a country that I’m from but I also think that the responsibility isn’t solely on the government. It would be great if there was more funding for the schools and our education system in general. In saying that, in a book community we also talk about books as often as we can, but also, we should plug books that are amazing and among our favourites. Being in a digital age, hopefully some of our love for reading is seen and encourages others to read as well. It won’t be a permanent solution but hopefully aids to better educate others around us and encourage them to be more involved in literacy.

@l_reads: The Tasmanian government should intervene with this problem through the use of online materials. By having more learning materials that could be accessed online, learners would be able to have 24/7 access. Learners would also be able to access from their electronic devices, rather than a traditional classroom.

@erins.errands: We have to remember that the fault is not with the parent. Rolling the dice for what kind of parent you will have should not determine your academic future. Some children don’t have parents and the foster care system in Tasmania is equally as flawed. Most parents and carers are not educated, especially in Tasmania and rural Australia. Parents shouldn’t have to pick up the slack of the schools. So, the government must do something. It’s their job; the reason why we send our children to school. So that everyone can have an equitable future. In saying that, I hope moving into a digital age that places like Bookstagram and Booktube can nurture a love of reading for others as it has done for me.

What do you think is Australia’s role in Booktube and Bookstagram?

@les_livres: I’m afraid I don’t know much about Australia’s role in Booktube, although I imagine the benefits are similar to Bookstagram. As for Bookstagram, I think any medium or social platform that promotes and inspires people to read widely is a great thing. As for Australian bookstagrammers’ roles, I like to promote Australian authors and Australian publishers. It’s a wonderful contribution to a nation’s identity and growth to see itself reflected in literature. Sometimes that reflection is fun or reassuring, and sometimes it’s not very flattering. If we want to become more tolerant of difference and inclusive as a society, it can be informative to read books about who we are and what we might change. Literature is a great way to communicate many different voices and promotes empathy and understanding.

@thegingerpageturner: I think Australia’s role in Booktube and Bookstagram is that it provides a platform for Australians to share their love of books to both other Australian and international booktubers and bookstagrammers. I also think it plays a big role in supporting Aussie authors, especially indie authors in particular as it is a good platform for them to spread the word about their books. Lastly, I feel it shows that there is a presence of booktubers and bookstagrammers in Australia that want to engage and be heard in the international community of booktubers and bookstagrammers.

Do you think these online bookish communities create readers? Or only nurture existing readers?

@lizzreads: I think if someone were to stumble on to a Booktube video or a Bookstagram page, but didn’t want to start reading, and were unsure of what they would like, then yes, I believe so. But I also think they both nurture existing readers. An example is myself, I used to stick to one genre but since starting Bookstagram and watching Booktube videos I find myself picking up books from different authors and different genres I wouldn’t have tried before. Overall, I think it’s a really wonderful thing to have and be a part of.

Other than YouTube and Instagram, are there any other online platforms that you go to?

@straightofftheshelf: I love using Goodreads and that’s usually where I go to log my read books and currently reading. I also tend to use it as a bit of a google search for books when I’m checking out new books or searching for something I’ve seen in shops. The only other book site that I tend to use other than Booktube or Bookstagram is Book Depository or World of Books.

Have you considered starting a Booktube? If so, if it became more popular would you leave Instagram?

@bibliophilealley: Yes, I definitely have considered it! No, I wouldn’t leave, I would always stay active on Instagram as I enjoy taking photos.

@bookbookowl: I’ve never considered starting a Booktube because I actually hate talking on camera! My Australian accent sounds so strong and I get flustered and forget how to use words. So, even if by some miracle I did start a Booktube, I don’t think I’d ever leave Instagram for it. Taking photos is one of my favourite hobbies!

How often do you interact with Booktube compared to Bookstagram?

@thebookcasebandit: In terms of creating content, I find myself interacting with Bookstagram more, for the time being. I’ve been on Bookstagram for about two years now and I feel more familiar with the community than with Booktube (which I’ve only been a part of for about two months). It’s also easier to post a picture and a quick update to my Instagram page than to edit an entire video and upload it. But in terms of consuming content, lately I’ve found myself turning to Booktube whenever I’m doing things where I can have something on in the background. I love to watch bookish vlogs and see what other people are doing with their channels. And then there’s the whole scheduling thing. I usually aim to post daily to my Bookstagram, whereas I aim to upload weekly to my Booktube. It’s all about balance, and with starting a second job, I’m still trying to work out a new schedule for myself! But to summarise, I’d say I’m more active on Bookstagram because I’ve been in this community longer

@bookishbiologist: I’m always on Bookstagram, sometimes multiple times a day, but I barely watch Booktube at all.

Do you think Booktube is the future? Do you think people will gravitate away from photos and captions?

@midford_thelogophile: I think photos and captions will always be popular in the book community. There’s a simplicity and accessibility in photos and captions that videos just don’t have, and this makes them perfect for people who are camera shy or who don’t have a lot of free time but still want to get involved. There are many people gravitating toward videos right now, but Instagram’s introduction of IGTV is doing a great job of keeping most of these people on Instagram.

Do you think Booktube and Bookstagram could be taken over by something else?

@danielle_the_tassie_bookworm: I would love to say no, they both are a fantastic way to meet people with the same love for books from all over the world. I’ve definitely found a place where I feel welcomed and can be myself, so I’d be devastated if it was taken over, which is always a possibility in our forever evolving society.

So, Bookstagram or Booktube? Tell us in the comments below!

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