On reading and Goodreads and YouTube

So I’ve been thinking lately about reading and the way it is transformed by the Goodreads and YouTube communities…

When I first discovered GR I was happy that I had found a more interesting way of keeping track of my reading, as well as discover new authors and books that I could enjoy. And it lasted a while…my enthusiasm that is; until I realized that GR is a place for people to turn their love of reading into a sport.

Reading is not a thing you can just turn into a sport. Even if you are a professional reader, and it is essentially your job to read, this doesn’t turn the act of reading into a sport. You’ve gotten that job because you love to read and review, edit or whatever it is that you do, but you don’t read in order to brag about quantities. And here where my problem is. I feel like GR is generating a certain group of reading people that read just so that they can show off. Don’t get me wrong, reading a book is never a bad thing, but are the reasons of this case the right reasons? It’s good that more people get excited about reading because of GR, but in all honesty flying through books just so that you can say you’ve read 400 books in 365 days…Meh. Seriously, how can anyone read that many books for real? How can you take 200 or 300 or 400 stories and storm through them; how do you remember what you’ve read, how do you even remember what these books were?

This is where YouTube comes in. The BookTube community on YouTube is an awesome thing. I have several favorite booktubers that I thoroughly enjoy watching; I have a lot of fun watching their videos because most of the time we share the same opinions about books and authors. It’s nice that there is an alternative way for people to express their feelings and opinions about books because not all of us can put their thoughts into written words. So all of that is perfectly fine with me. But! I think that the BookTube community creates another very specific generation of readers–the ones that buy books only so that they can show them on BookTube without being able to talk about the book itself. Don’t get me wrong; I love buying books. Books are what I can spend more than a month’s worth of pay at a time. But is buying books worth it when it is triggered by watching YouTube videos and when the books you buy you aren’t excited to read? I don’t think it is, and even if it makes you feel somewhat good to buy these books and arrange them on your shelves so that they can talk and cuddle, I don’t think that this actually satisfies your reader’s need of buying books. Because buying books compulsively, without paying the needed attention to whether or not you’ll like all of the titles, would only make your finances suffer.

So, yeah, that’s what I’ve been thinking lately. If anything else comes to mind, I’ll probably blog about it.

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2 thoughts on “On reading and Goodreads and YouTube

  1. There are always going to be people doing things for the wrong reasons, but I like to think that most people really do use these things to share their genuine love of reading.

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