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Trending now: Booktubers

How Youtube is changing the way people read books

If you like reading and want to read in French but are really not sure which book to choose, worry not. Help is at hand. Simply turn to Youtube and watch videos made by one of the 500 or so Booktubers, or Booktubeuses in French, who are keen to spread their passion for the written word.

The phenomenon began in Anglophone and Spanish-speaking countries but is now thriving in France.

Most are young women in their twenties and four of them, with between 20,000 and 57,000 followers each, have become good friends and appear regularly at book fairs, where publishers have recognised their role in encouraging the public, and especially young people to read.

Le Salon du Livre et de la Presse held every spring in Geneva is the second largest French-language book fair in the world.

Organiser Laetitia Abdoolraman says booktubers are becoming increasingly important in the literary world: “We invite them so that they can interview authors who they will then talk about in their videos and spread the word about these writers. They now have a real role to play and though this isn’t talked about openly they can touch audiences which traditional media cannot.”

The four booktubers at Geneva this year call themselves Nine, Margaud Liseuse, Moody Take a Book, and Bulledop.

Bulledop is the youtube name for 25-year-old Emilie Coissard who comes from Annecy, Haute Savoie. She did not start reading until she was in her first year at Lycée but became such a big fan that she studied literature at University and then worked in a book shop until her Youtube site - youtube.com/user/bulledop - became so popular that, a year ago, she started earning her living solely through being a Booktuber.

As well as making her videos she visits schools, bookshops and literary festivals all over France, Switzerland and she has even been to Canada.

“It was my French teacher who introduced me to the world of books”, Emilie told Connexion. “As my friends weren’t interested in my new passion I wanted to share it with other people and so started a blog and quickly moved on to making videos.”

She said she did not expect her videos to do so well: “I was really surprised when I began to get such a big following. I have been doing it for five years now and my aim is to introduce people to reading and show them the pleasure you can get from a book.”

She makes regular videos in which she talks about the books she has enjoyed that month, what to take on holiday, her top five classics or her favourite characters for example: “I don’t want to be a literary critic, I don’t think there’s really a name for what I do but I think it is more like describing a book and trying to make people want to read it.

“I like all types of books, though crime fiction is my least favourite. I have followers of all ages though many are young. I think young people read a lot, possibly more than older people. Series are a big favourite, so you can get totally immersed in a new world.”

She is from the Harry Potter era and when she goes into schools she asks pupils if they have read the books: “Often they say they’ve only watched the films and I tell them that if they go on to read the books they’ll get so much more out of the experience because the whole story can’t be told in a film.

“I love living from my passion. The only problem is that now I am so busy I have less time to read – but I make sure I read in bed at night.”

Publishers are also keen to send her books to review: “I ask them to send me the catalogue so that I can see what I might be interested in because one of my greatest pleasures is going to book shops and talking to the staff so I prefer to buy my own.”

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