[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Alyssa Shotwell (The Mary Sue) writes about booktubers of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, including two from the Caribbean: Trinidadian-Guyanese Tiara Jade of Bookworm Babe (mentioned in our earlier post Caribbean bookstagrammers, booktubers, and bookbloggers) and Trinidadian Saajid Hosein whose YouTube channel is called Books Are My Social Life (see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJWQahxmBl81gKs-OBls2Bw, https://www.instagram.com/musaho_books, and https://www.instagram.com/saajidhosein).
In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (in the U.S.) and Asian Heritage Month (in Canada), I wanted to share some of my favorite people on BookTube of this cultural background, outside of Asia. For those who aren’t in the know, BookTube is a small but mighty corner within YouTube where creators and viewers talk about books and publishing. Books include traditional novels, novellas, comics, graphic novels, manga, and more, regardless of whether it’s physical or digital. We just love to read.
BookTok (same concept, but on TikTok) may be grabbing headlines as a powerful force in publishing and bookselling, but BookTube’s longer form offers nuance and more in-depth analysis. I’m not saying everyone uses it that way, but logistically, nuance can be harder to capture in TikTok’s three minutes versus 10+. In addition to sharing fun and influential creators within the U.S. and Canada, I’ll also be dropping a few in from Europe and South America/the Caribbean. These two continents also are home to many people in the Asian diaspora. [. . .]
If this list were ranked, I’d put Saajid of Books are my Social Life at the top with Cindy. I watch everyone on this list, but you won’t catch me missing any of his videos. He is an Indo-Caribbean, Trinidadian BookTuber and grad student. He recently explained why there are Caribbean and Latin American countries with large South Asian populations in his video called EXPLAINING MY ETHNICITY… and recommending books of course. Saajid reads mostly contemporary literature but focuses on underrepresented perspectives, especially the Caribbean and Muslim people. In between all of this, he also talks about social ills online and off (specifically publishing) and Global North bias in media. [. . .]
Toronto-based reviewer Tiara Jade of Bookworm Babe (mostly) creates videos that discuss Indo-Caribbean stories. You will also see an occasional vlog, editing, or writing video as she is a self-published author. In addition to BookTube, Tiara serves as the editor-in-chief of Brown Girl Diary and published her book Two Times Removed: An Anthology of Indo-Caribbean Fiction. Though she is equally Trinidadian and Guyanese, Tiara discusses Caribbean literature and historical fiction more broadly.
For full article, see https://www.themarysue.com/asian-and-pacific-islander-heritage-booktube-youtube