What I’m Watching: BookTube and the Art of Book Covers

Over the last few days I’ve been watching a few more book-centric YouTube channels, partly from the couple of channels I actively subscribe to, and because more have been showing up in my suggestion screen.

One person I follow is Sanne on Books and Quills. Her channel is really interesting, since she actually works at Penguin Random House in the UK. Recently she’s put up a couple of videos I found highly, nerdily fascinating: book covers. Specifically, how the art is designed so that you specifically will pick it up, and what the different kinds of finishes on a book cover are called.

This first video, How Do Book Covers Work, gave me the sense that it’s OK when I pick up a book mainly because I enjoy the way the cover looks. (I did that recently, actually.) Publishers want their covers to appeal to the people who would probably want to read the book, after all. So, if the cover grabs me, perhaps the book will, too.

So. I love touching books. Not just the paper, or the weight and shape, but the feeling of a matte cover beneath my hands, embossed letters and designs bumping up beneath my fingers… This is one of the few downfalls of working in a library, that most of the books come to me pre-wrapped in the protective library covers, so I can’t always feel the texture of the cover. (Though sometimes I can stick my fingers under the plastic and touch the cover underneath, which, yup, oh boy, that sounds dirty.) Some of the terms, like “super matte” and “debossed” I’d never heard before, so maybe now I’ll sound like I know a little bit more like I know what I’m talking about when I talk about books.

These videos have gotten me thinking about what I like in my book covers, so maybe I’ll write a post about some of my favorite book covers that I own. And also I watch a lot of YouTube, probably more than I read blogs, so I will feature some more of my favorite videos soon.

What are you watching? And do you love book covers as much as I do? (probably not.) Let me know!

Recent Inspirations: Young Lady YouTubers

Ever since I figured out the YouTube app on our Playstation and my phone, I’ve been watching a lot of videos not just at my desk, but now on the couch while I eat lunch and even some of my breaks at work. So, my list of subscribed channels I watch has been steadily growing. While a lot of these channels are run by older men (I love you, John Green) I’ve stumbled upon a couple by younger (by which I mean, younger than me) ladies who I not only find interesting and funny, but inspiring as well.


A twenty-something ex-English major who talks about books and other nerdy things, her videos remind me of myself just out of college with the weird wide open world before her, except she seems to have a much better (and healthier) grasp on herself than I did at the time. I’m not too far off from where she is, so occasional talks about the uncertainty of Life After College and how that’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of resonate quite loudly to me.

Nerdy and Quirky

This channel is run by a high school kid named Sabrina. She showcases a big personality I wish I’d had the guts to show in high school, displaying her unabashed nerdy weirdness. I haven’t skimmed as many of her videos as Margaret’s, but again there’s some fun focus on what she loves, and her reactions to the world around her. Also some videos that are simply fun, as above.

Books and Quills

I just started looking at her page, so I’ve only gone through a few videos. But I would regret not mentioning her here, since I know this page has already inspired a couple of planned posts. This is mainly a book reviewing blog by a young woman named Sanne, but she also talks about books in general, what she’s bought, as well as things outside of that scope. Right now, she’s reminded me of how much I want to go back to writing quick reviews of at least the graphic novels I’ve been reading, with her own graphic novel review videos.

I don’t vlog, but I blog, which is the same thing except I hide behind a mask of text rather than embarrass myself by trying to talk to people, and seeing how they handle the content on their pages has started to inspire what I want to try to do here. Firstly, to be a little more varied in the way that I talk about books with things like the list I showcased from JustMargaret’s channel (though I need to be better at writing reviews, in general). Also, to not 100% focus my posts on books and/or writing. Though that’s the alleged purpose of this thing here, I start to run out of unique or even mildly interesting things to say. Occasionally writing on other passions or interests (like YouTube videos) or things I take note of doesn’t stray so far from the simultaneously specific and overly vague point of this blog, and may even generate the kind of conversations I keep hoping will start here, but which rarely ever do.

Anyway — go to their channels, watch their videos. They’re very much worth it.

What’s been inspiring you lately? Do you have any YouTube channels you enjoy? Ever made your own video blog? Share below!