I threw myself into the unknowable vortex of YouTube to research Vegas ahead of my anniversary trip last July, then discovered, buried under inexplicable algorithmic recommendations for videos about “near death experiences” and anything having to do with Joe Rogan, that there were actually things of value being done on YouTube… go figure. It didn’t take long for me to find “booktube,” which is what people who talk about books on YouTube call themselves (and why not?), and over the past few months it’s become a bit of an obsession of mine, wandering through the backlogs of video, and adding book after book after book to my Amazon wish list in the process. If you’re reading this, I assume you love books, so if you haven’t seen these folks yet, here are some of my favorite channels…

Outlaw Bookseller

This channel is about Books (especially Science Fiction which the channel presenter has been reading for 50 years, but other genres as well), Music, Film, Collecting, & Travel to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, South Wales and the South West of England.

Outlaw Bookseller is Stephen E Andrews, a sometimes professional writer (his first book, 100 Must Read Science Fiction Novels, reached #1 on 2 Amazon bestseller charts in 2007), life sentence bookseller, collector, former University guest lecturer, and occasional national/local radio and television guest.

Through a recounting of opinions, critical and historical insights, anecdotes and stories from almost forty years of bookselling, book collecting and writing, Steve looks back/forward at his literary and related cultural obsessions in music & film. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the opinions of his current or former employers.

Being nearly exactly the same age as me, and sharing some other qualities, I find Mr. Andrews most sympatico of them all. He’s my English mirror in many ways, though we do disagree about a few things, especially Dune and most of the fantasy genre, but if I wanted to see a YouTube video of exactly me, I would make my own YouTube video, wouldn’t I.

Book Blather

Hi! We’re Dave and Olive! Welcome to Book Blather, where a maltipoo and her dad blather about books and comics of all types. We read a fair bit of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, including YA and graphic novels, but we like to mix it up with plenty of other fiction and non-fiction as well. Watch at your own risk!

I love Dave’s positivity almost as much as I love his dog, Olive!

Bold Books and Bones

Books—sometimes ancient, sometimes recent—about events or people who found something that changed the world in profound ways…

A Belgian psychologist’s beautifully produced and thoughtful dives into (mostly) non-fiction books across a wide range of subjects. This is easily the most professionally produced of the lot, if that’s something you’re looking for. Super smart, immaculately presented.


A new find for me, described as “bookish thoughts from a Franco-American musician/academic and lover of words based in New York,” she’s got smart, interesting things to say about a range of books. This is where I leave science fiction/fantasy again for a wider view of things.

Media Death Cult

Moid is by far the “snarkiest” of them, but he’s hilarious. I have no idea how (because he’s from the UK) and why (probably an unanswerable question) he appears to be armed in most of his videos, but…

Anyway, he has fun things to say about science fiction books.

The Shades of Orange

Another smart reader/collector of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, etc. with lots of interesting things to say. I will leave a warning… She talks fast. And I mean very, very, very, quite extremely fast, accelerating in speed as her videos progress. If you’re able to follow people who talk fast, which is to say really rather extremely fast, you’ll find smart, interesting things about books within.


Everybody loves Matt’s famous Sci-fireplace and his chatty, honest, thoughtful, and enthusiastic journey as a sort of science fiction “newbie,” though I’m not at all sure that moniker still applies.

And last but not least…

Jules Burt

The uber-collector of, apparently, everything, also makes spectacularly long and detailed videos about his clearly obsessive book collecting. Jules goes way beyond anything most collectors strive for, and to my mind has left the appellation “collector” behind and moved solidly into the category of archivist, which are people human culture always needs. Watch his long videos where he goes through and laboriously cleans his collection of everything ever published by mostly UK presses including Penguin.

Penguin, I said.

Everything published by Penguin.


From Penguin.

Already subscribed to these folks? Have other recommendations? Comment! Share!

—Philip Athans

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Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, (https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/) is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
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  1. Pingback: MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL BE MORE LIKE ROBERT SILVERBERG | Fantasy Author's Handbook

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