What is up BookTube community? How y’all doing out there?

I hope this video is finding you well.

My name is Andrew J. Stillman, and I have been tagged to create a “reading taste” video tag from Liz over at Galactic Reads.

If you haven’t checked out her videos or her channel, you totally should. She’s awesome, and I just love her Australian accent.

I have not been tagged in a video before, I have not yet made one of these tag videos. I actually had this BookTube newbie tag question planned for December after I get through NaNo.

Since I have my first tag, I wanted to go ahead and respond to it.

I didn’t want to do a tag without doing the newbie tag first, I thought I’d double dip.

So, without any further ramblings, let’s just get Write On In.

Up first — the newbie questions, for obvious reasons.

#1: Why did you start this channel/blog?

This site is obviously more for writers. I would be better suited to answer why I wanted to include BookTube as part of that.

And honestly, just because Liz really has changed my life over here.

I didn’t even know that BookTube was a thing until she commented on one of the book reviews I did.

As of this recording, I’ve got four book reviews up. I have one more coming. None of them have even really been tagged in “BooktTube” at all, just because they were all specifically chosen for a writing project that I’m doing on this channel.

But I say a lot around here that I think that reading is really important for writers to do. That’s why, when I discovered this whole “BookTube” thing, I was like, “Oh, my gosh!”

I kind of almost just feel like I’ve hit a jackpot in some ways, because I’ve seen so many book blogs and reviews and all that like in written word all throughout the interwebs.

But I had no idea that BookTube was really even a thing.

And now that I have discovered the BookTubers, I’m, as a writer, just very excited to actually hear the voices of the readers.

And to go into their bookcases!

I thought that there was no readers out there.

That has actually deterred me a lot as a writer, so finding the BookTubers has just felt really great.

That’s why I wanted to start including that in this space. I think that books are such an important aspect of writing.

And even though right now the writing on here is about books, I am going to eventually explore poetry writing and screenwriting and all different types of writing. Every type of writing, though, comes with books that could be recommended for it.

So, I love you, BookTubers.

#2: What are some fun and unique things you can bring to BookTube?

Liz said something about this even in her BookTube newbie tag video, that… She said she’s an aspiring writer, and that’s part of what she wanted to bring into the BookTube community, as well. She’s studying to be an editor and work at a publishing house.

I am a writer, and, like I just said, I feel so blessed to have just found the BookTube community. So, I’m hoping to actually just bring a listening ear. I’m really interested in hearing the things that people like and don’t like in the reading world when they’re not writers.

I read a lot, but I read as a writer. If you have seen anything I’ve done here, or if you bounce around after this, I think that’ll make a lot more sense.

Now I’ve found BookTube, I feel like I don’t remember what it’s like to read as a reader and not as a writer.

So, I’m really excited about that. I’m also hoping that, through my listening ear, I am, in the future, able to produce stories that you’ll all love.

And t’s totally different connecting there than it is when it’s on, like, a blog or anything.

Even though there’s this blog, too, there is the video and audio aspect that goes into YouTube that I’m excited about as far as furthering my own community.

#3: What are you most excited about for this new channel/bloh?

The community! I know I just said that, but I have this fear of being new into a community. I have a hard time introducing myself and being like, “Hey, can we be friends?”

Why? I grew up in Yosemite. The first move that I ever made was to Monterey, when I came to college. And I — I feel like I — I don’t really know how to introduce myself to new social circles.

Even doing something like this video/post makes me really anxious. Even as of yesterday, I just started introducing myself to people on Twitter. I don’t know, like, I’m — I love connecting with people, but I hate introducing myself.

So, I guess I’m excited about potentially being able to meet people without having to introduce myself later on. But, obviously, I have to do stuff like this first, so people know who I am.

#4: Why do you love reading?

I love reading because I’m a writer, but that’s not really — that’s not really the full case.

Reading and writing has always been part of my life. I think it asked when I started on one of these questions, so I’ll wait for that. I love reading because — it’s a general answer, but it’s the same as what a lot of people say. It helps me escape.

The real world kind of sucks, especially these days. I think that, for me, reading has always been a way, like everyone else, to escape from all of that.

And that’s another reason I think I gravitate toward fantasy, which is another question I’ll answer in a minute. I just love reading because I like to see the way that writers develop their relationship with words.

So, if you have watched my videos, I feel like “Teacher Andrew” just came, out but — “just develop your relationship with those words, you writers.”

#5: What questions would you ask your favorite BookTubers?

Um, is it okay if I join? Can I sit with you? I guess I — like, that sounds so lame, but I guess that’s also what I just said. I’m really socially awkward when it comes to introducing myself, so I just — I just want to be friends with all the BookTubers. You guys are great.

But I also, I don’t know, I would just ask… I don’t know what I would ask my favorite BookTubers.

Could be friends? That’s all.

I don’t know what else I would ask that I wouldn’t already ask in their comments.

#6: When did you start reading?

Here that question is.

Okay, so, I started reading when I was three. My sister is two years older than me. She was in kindergarten, and, according to my mom, anyway, she would come home and she would practice what she was learning when she was reading.

At that time, she and I were sharing a room, and I learned how to read by reading her lips. I don’t remember this because I was too young, but I have been reading my entire life.

When I got into kindergarten, I was already on chapter books. I was past the picture books thing, and even the same thing on the writing front. Like, I was already kind of, like, typing out little ideas on a typewriter, but in kindergarten, I learned what the letters were called.

And I feel like that was, like a — that was the first gamechanger for me, you know what I mean? I was like, “Oh, that’s an ‘a’ and a ‘b,'” like I felt so, like… like, now I know what I’m talking about when I’m five?

But I’ve definitely been reading my whole life, so, same with writing.

#7: Where do you read?

Anywhere? I mean, right now I’m in my room, and I read a lot in my room. Sometimes I go downstairs.

I don’t necessarily like to read in public, unless I’m at an airport or something like that. Where it’s kind of like, “I want to be left alone.”

If I’m in a cafe or something, I’m usually trying to do more writing than I am reading. I get really distracted.

Everything in the world is shut down right now, anyway, because COVID is COVID. So I don’t know.

But I read anywhere. I am getting into audiobooks now, which I’m actually going to talk about in the reading taste tag a little bit more. Now I feel like that answer of “where do I read” is just going to be “anywhere.”

Okay, so, the last one of the BookTube newbie tag and the first one of the reading taste tag are kind of the same. I’m just gonna answer them combined as I transition onto the new tag.

So, the last one of BookTube newbie is, “#8: What kind of books do you like?” and the first one of the reading taste tag is, “#1: What is your favorite genre?”

I like fantasy books. I like reading fantasy books. However, again, I’m gonna agree with something that Liz said over on her channel. I also want to branch out. I read a lot of fantasy but I, I like reading other stuff.

It’s just that, I guess sometimes I feel similarly to the way I feel when people ask me what kind of music I like.

If I say I like rock music, you could put on a rock song that I don’t like, and then you would be like, “I thought you said you liked rock music?”

It could be the same thing with a fantasy book. I can be like, “Oh, I love fantasy,” but then you could recommend a series to me that I’m just not into. So I feel very similarly to how I feel about music, in that, if it is executed well, I like it.

Normally, I think things executed well are done so by authors who take the time to develop their relationship with their voice.

The more unique the voice of the author, and the more time that author has spent developing said voice, the more likely I am to enjoy the book.

When I go into the bookstore, I’m starting in the fantasy section. Just how it is.

#2: What is the most difficult genre for you to read?

Romance. I don’t know why.

#3: What is your preferred age range?

I don’t really have one. I don’t dislike YA books, I just feel like my reading tastes change as I grow, which I don’t think is a bad thing, either. Nowadays, I do like books aimed more toward people in their thirties and above.

Because that’s where I’m at. I’m not in my twenties anymore. I got lots of grays coming out, and it’s fine, it is what it is, I’m… it’s fine.

But, I don’t know. I think that that answer also kind of goes back to what I just said: If it’s executed well, I enjoy it.

I’m not likely to gravitate toward a YA book unless it is recommended to me. And, just in case there’s someone reading this that doesn’t know what “YA” means, that’s just “Young Adult.”

#4: Are you a character-driven or a plot-driven reader?

Character. That’s super easy. Especially, I know I’ve said it a couple of times, but if you bounce around my writing stuff here… I’m a character-driven writer, I’m a character-driven reader.

If the characters are not good, I’m not there.

I feel the same way in movies. I have a hard time, especially these days, with movies and TV shows, because I feel like it is too focused on plot these days, and I don’t like that.

So, character all the way.

#5: Do you have a preferred perspective?

Two years ago, I would have said third. Nowadays, I actually feel like I’m starting to gravitate more toward first-person work. But I still feel the same, is that if it’s executed well, then I like it.

I would say that executing first-person is more difficult than third-person. I’m less likely to enjoy a book like that, but if it’s done well, it’s done well.

#6: Do you have a preferred tense?

I kind of like present tense. I didn’t used to, but nowadays I think that I like it. In July of this year, during the second lockdown, I started writing this random book that I haven’t really discussed. But this whole entire channel/blog was created because of that book.

And in that book, I practiced with some first-person present tense writing. It was just great. If I read a book that’s executed well in a first-person present tense, I really enjoy that.

If it’s gonna be present tense, I enjoy it in first-person over third, though, for sure. But I don’t know, they say — if it’s executed well, then it’s executed well.

I feel like that… it’s a stupid answer, but it’s how I feel.

#7: Do you like series or standalones best?

I also feel bad for quoting Liz again, but I agree with a lot of the things that she says. In her video of this same tag that she tagged me in, she discussed how sometimes you can go and find a book that sounds interesting, only to find that it’s like, book three or four and then you’re like, “Well, I’m already behind.”

And you might not be able to get ahold of all the rest of the books.

I feel that especially when I go to the library, and I’m like, “Cool, so, out of a seven-book series, you have book two, three, five, and six. That’s awesome, so I am missing at least the key number one.”

That’s, I think, my biggest problem with book series. I have a really hard time finding the first book.

Especially if I’m in some sort of library sense like that, or if someone’s letting me borrow omething, because for me especially, as well…I have a few series of mine where I have let people borrow the first book and never got that back.

Joe Abercrombie, First Law trilogy, the Sword of Truth series, I’ve had to buy that first book three different times, so I don’t know.

It is kind of annoying, I guess, for that purpose.

Or, you also run into something like with Game of Thrones, or like with The Name of the Wind, the Kingkiller Chronicles from Patrick Rothfuss.

I’m not saying anything bad against those authors, because writing books is a pain in the ass. It’s just how it is, but as a reader, it does suck to get involved in a series that may or may not ever finish.

And we got lucky with Wheel of Time, I think. I haven’t read it, but from what I hear, Brandon Sanderson did a great job finishing that out.

Those were very special circumstances, though. I do think that, especially in the fantasy world, I would agree with Liz. Maybe we should have some more standalone fantasy books.

Because, I mean, there’s a couple out there that I really like, especially from Brandon Sanderson, so I don’t know.

#8: Which would you rather, long or short books?

This is the last one that I’m gonna agree with Liz on vocally like this. I’m sorry, she’s got great opinions.

If I’m gonna be spending money on it, then in the monetary sense, I would definitely prefer longer books.

I also do enjoy bundling up with a book, getting really involved with a book, and really enjoying a story.

However, you know, — sometimes I want a quick read. Sometimes I want something that I can finish in a breeze. Sometimes I’m behind on my reading challenge on Goodreads, so I’ve just got to bust something out so I can not be behind anymore, you know? It all just depends. Not every short book should be short, and being short makes it not as good as it could be.

And I say that in my book review for Monster Whisperer. On the flip side, not every long book needs to be long. So, I don’t know… If it’s executed well, then I like it. Oh, my gosh why is that my only answer to all of these questions?

Just… just do good! Just write good books and then I’ll like it, what is that?

That’s reading like a writer, I guess.

#9: Which format do you like best?

Okay, so, here’s the thing.

I have recently gotten into audiobooks, thanks again to Liz. She’s — she’s my, my buddy right now, I feel, on YouTube.

She was the first person to comment on one of my book reviews, she introduced me to BookTube, she’s been pretty active with my videos so far, I’ve been pretty active with hers, I really, I really do enjoy her opinion, but, so, she — she changed my mind on audiobooks.

I used to think that audiobooks didn’t really count as reading. She talked about the same thing, and I gave them a go.

Which is funny, because since we’re in October, I had wanted to listen to some HP Lovecraft. I’ve never really gotten into him.

I was like, “I hear he’s really scary. Maybe I’ll try out an audiobook and have the story told to me.”

I went on to my Audible, because I had given audiobooks a try a few years back. On my Audible, I had the complete works already of HP Lovecraft that I had downloaded years ago.

So, I’m almost done with those, now, and it’s only been a few days and I found that.

I had the Phantom of the Opera on there, as well, which was also really awesome. I bought the Phantom of the Opera at the Opera House in Paris when I was 16. The book is obviously in French, because the original book was, but the audiobook is the English translation. I’ve already finished that, as well, and it was freaking awesome. I want to go back through and listen to it while I read the French version, so that’s going to be really fun to do.

So now, I’m really starting to enjoy audiobooks.

When it comes to physically reading, I definitely prefer a hard copy over all ebooks.

So now I would say that I would do hard copies up top, audiobooks in the middle, ebooks on the bottom.

I would much rather listen to an audiobook than read an ebook.

Something about reading it on the screen makes me feel very disconnected. I don’t feel that way, at least on this current experience that I’m having, with audiobooks.

I’m feeling very differently toward audiobooks and the way that the story is being told to me and how you do have to use kind of a different part of your brain to make it all make sense.

I will also say that I did not know before that you could change the speed. So, now that I can have them speak just a little bit quicker to keep up with however quickly I want the story to be told to me, that’s pretty awesome.

Sorry, that was a rambling answer, but there it is.

#10: What are you currently reading?

Okay, well I guess part of me almost just answered that a little bit with the audiobook.

I’m getting through the complete works of HP Lovecraft on audiobook. I just finished the Phantom of the Opera. I am reading “Pilgrim” by Harmon Cooper, which is the last of the five-book series that is part of the project that I’m writing for on this channel.

And then those five book reviews that I will have will be done. I haven’t even tagged any of those in BookTube or anything because they aren’t… they really weren’t related to BookTube, in that sense.

They, I mean, they’re book reviews, obviously, but they were for specific projects, so I don’t know.

So that’ll be the last of all of those book reviews.

I’m also reading “In the Woods” by Tana French, and “Am I Blue,” which is just a collection of short stories of people coming out.

I think that’s all I’ve got right now, and I think that’s all of those questions.

So, thank you so much for listening to me. Thank you so much for maybe accepting me into the BookTube community. Especially before I’ve even done an AuthorTube tag video, which is coming next week.

I thought that the newbie tag videos you also had to be tagged in. I didn’t realize that the newbie tag ones you just did yourself.

So, here I am, smiles and awkwardness and all, so… happy to have you.

Stick around, if you’d like. Feel free to subscribe and join along on a writing journey with me. Or give me some book recommendations you’d like for me to discuss.

I’m excited about all of you. I literally stream BookTubers on my TV from my computer while I’m writing or editing or doing stuff. Like, literally just watch you guys on my TV, so if you get comments from me, you’re probably sitting on a 60-inch in HD.

So, I’m watching.

That sounds so weird, but I am.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble, thanks Liz from Galactic Reads for tagging me in this video.

I don’t really know who to tag the only other BookTuber that I’ve been like, kind of, I guess “involved” with would be The Nerdy Narrative.

This is my first interaction with this. If anyone else wants to do it, feel free to use this tag and tag me back.

Besides all that, my regular content will continue tomorrow, as I put out a little video for some dialogue tips.

See you then!

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