Not scripting videos, online bookish friends, and 100% honesty: a Q&A with booktuber chboskyy

Recently we got the chance to put a few questions to booktuber Vanessa (of chboskyy) and find out ALL the answers to what life is like on YouTube, how she got started, and why she thinks her “classics book tag” is so helpful.

What first attracted you to booktube and made you begin posting your own videos?  I’ve always been an avid reader, and did my undergraduate degree in English Literature and English Language (something I knew I would do from a very young age). What attracted me to booktube was that it was a space on the internet where I could spend hours listening to people talk about books in a passionate way, something that I didn’t really get from my real-life friends who weren’t as bookish as me! I decided to start my channel after making a career change that allowed me to have a bigger social media presence, and also because I was inspired by various other YouTubers at the time.

How long have you been an active member of the community? I’ve been an active member of the community for a little under 3 years, since 5 July 2013. And no, I haven’t deleted any of my videos ever, so the original unedited lo-fi webcam videos are still there in all their glory!

What equipment do you use to film your videos? I use a Canon EOS 600D to film my videos, which is actually my boyfriend’s camera. However, there is no rule saying you need to have a proper camera, fancy lighting, editing equipments, etc. to do YouTube. I started out with my bog-standard laptop webcam and a USB microphone I bought for under £10 off Amazon, and I was perfectly happy using that setup. For editing, I use Windows Movie Maker, which isn’t the best, but it does the job. And lighting? Natural all the way!

For anyone unfamiliar, can you describe your channel and content in only one sentence? I talk about books, movies, and other discussion topics on books and other bookish-related things!

Booktube has become a massive online influencer in its own right, growing and growing each day. What sets your channel apart from the mass? I’ve never really thought of my channel standing out from the crowd in any particular way, as I don’t really have a gimmick or necessarily things that other people don’t in terms of areas of expertise. However, I would say that you won’t find any beating around the bush on my channel – I pride myself on being 100% honest in my videos, even if my opinion goes against the grain. I try to be as tactful as possible though!

‘The Classics Book Tag’ is one of your most popular videos. Can you tell us what went into making it and what it’s reception from your viewers was like? I’m not really sure why my Classics Book Tag is my most popular video, but I think tags are something that a lot of people on booktube really enjoy as they are easy to engage with. I always find myself answering along in my head when I watch tag videos by other people! I think also there are a lot of people out there who are nervous to begin reading classics or aren’t sure where to start, so a video like that with books being applied to specific questions or categories can be really helpful in bridging that gap. I don’t tend to script or pre-prepare my videos all that often, but this one definitely required me to stare at my shelves trying to work out what my answers would be for a good long while!

Thanks so much to Vanessa for chatting to us! If you’re interested in her videos you can watch them here, or tweet your own questions to her @chboskyy.

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