Book Tube – YouTube’s Community of Book Reviewers
Book Tube and BookTubers have been part of YouTube for many years now. I used to follow a ton of book review channels several years ago and then took a long break. Near the end of 2020, I suddenly found myself back into the thick of watching wonderful, creative, book reviewers on YouTube.
In 2020 I focused largely on reading history and natural history. Starting in 2021, I found myself needing a bit more fiction, particularly, fantasy. Thus, my new focus on fantasy led me to seek out book reviews and I “discovered” many BookTubers. Here are some of my favorites.
I’ll start with my favorite Book Tube book reviewer. Mike’s Book Reviews has over forty-one thousand subscribers and produces several videos a week. Each video is produced with high quality and Mike provides a great mix of spoiler free and spoiler-filled reviews.
The focus of Mike’s Book Reviews is a variety of fantasy, science fiction and horror. Mike is also one of the biggest fans of Stephen King. Thus, he is reviewing all of King’s works, diving deep into the Multiverse of these books.
Mike’s Book Reviews has inspired me to tackle many fantasy series. This year I’ve started the series Malazan Book of Fallen. This ten book monster written by Steven Erikson already has me hooked and as of now I’m only on book number three.
I’ve also started the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. This one has been a bit harder to get into, but I plan on finishing it over the next couple of years.
My TBR (to be read) list has grown a lot because of Mike’s Book Reviews. I’ve even read a couple of Stephen King books because of his channel. This is the only channel on this list that I’m ranking and that rank is number one.
Daniel Greene has one of the largest Book Tube channels with over 273 thousand subscribers.
Probably the most popular fantasy reviewer on BookTube, Daniel provides book reviews and also fantasy-related news. His production quality is high, if a bit silly at times. Overall, he is worth subscribing, but not a channel I seek out to see all the videos.
Captured in Words has almost forty thousand subscribers.
Another purely fantasy-based channel, Captured in Words is entertaining and intelligent. Jay is well spoken and provides extremely detailed info about the books he reviews. Jay is also well known for his analysis on Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. He has several videos on the first two volumes of the trilogy and provides a lot of ideas about the mysteries throughout the books.
Whenever book three comes out, Captured in Words is sure to be the place to go before and after reading it.
Brian Lee Durfee‘s channel is growing fast and will no doubt be over 3,000 subscribers in a short time.
The published author of The Five Warrior Angels series, Durfee has a robust channel with a wide range of book reviews. While still having a fantasy bent, the reviews cover a larger array of titles, including many that current fantasy fans may not have heard of.
An obvious well read, voracious reader, Brian provides a great deal of enthusiasm for books and reviews in a straightforward way. Beware that following his channel will surely bloat your TBR list. Make sure you check out his video on reading 1 star reviews of his own book. It is hilarious and gracious at the same time.
Also, Durfee is also a superb wildlife and fantasy artist.
A quick note about watching a lot of these channels, especially the fantasy-focused ones. A lot of the same books and series are discussed, often with a lot of repetition of ideas.
The Brothers Gwynne has less than 1,000 subscribers.
While not hugely popular (yet), The Brothers Gwynne is a channel to get on board now while it gains attention. These brothers are the sons of author John Gwynne. They provide a tag team style of book reviews, mostly on fantasy.
The channel covers other topics besides books, including music and reenactment. Definitely worth a subscribe!
The Library of Allenxandria is approaching 4,000 subscribers.
A fun, energetic channel of book reviews, Allen provides a lot of variety. His videos are sometimes a bit long, but the information about books is worth watching. This channel is growing steadily, so look for it to evolve over time.
Philip Chase has over 6,000 subscribers.
Mr. Chase is another fantasy book guru but has a more literary focus. His reviews are detailed and extremely knowledgeable. He is one of the biggest Malazan experts and is well read in a lot of fantasy series.
This is a channel I want to explore more because Philip has a professorial vibe without the boredom.
There are many more Book Tube channels out there and this list is not the slightest attempt to cover all of them. It is more a way for people new to this idea to find some great book reviews and help you find your next read.
Parting Note: It is amazing to me that many great BookTubers do not have websites. They put so much effort in producing high quality, well edited videos, yet have not made a non YouTube home on the internet.
Websites are super easy to create and maintain. It would really help garner more attention to their already well made videos. Of course, this is something I would gladly help any new or established Book Tube book reviewer get started with and make a great success.