If you could have told me five years ago that starting a blog would lead to my face being splashed on the front page of The Times, I wouldn’t have believed you. I was a shy and anxious twelve year old who had been devastated by the loss of her grandfather only a few months before. Books were my refuge, and so talking about books online felt like something that had been made for me. It was an escape and a place to express myself, and I never thought anything would come of it. I never expected to get any views on my posts, never expected to make the friends I have through blogging. Back then, blogging was a relatively new thing: there were no expectations whatsoever. It was simply a hobby.
Skip forward to now and things have taken a turn for the crazy. When I was contacted by The Times to feature in an article on booktube (the part of the YouTube community that talks about books, if you didn’t know), I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase our corner of the Internet, which most definitely isn’t as well-known as other areas of YouTube. There are so many passionate and creative people making videos on booktube, and so it was great to get a space where booktube was celebrated for the amazing platform it is.
Last Monday, a photographer (Gareth Iwan Jones) and makeup artist (Neusa Neves) came to my house to take photos for the article – it was such a surreal experience! I don’t think I’ve ever had my hair brushed so much in my life, and my eyeliner is never going to look that good again, but it was so worth it. It was strange to have to pose, and I don’t think I’ve ever changed outfits so much, but I was so happy with the results and glad that I looked like myself.
The article also features Jen, Simon and Sanne, who it was an honour to be featured with. I’ve watched Jen and Simon’s videos since they first started making them, and Sanne has been my favourite booktuber for a very long time so I felt very humbled to be on the same page as them.
Would I have written some of the things about me if I was writing the article myself? Maybe not. I was scared about letting someone else write about me because I know how I perceive myself, but this might not line up with how other people perceive me; it’s difficult handing over control to somebody else because I’m so used to having full control — I write my own blog posts, I edit my own videos, I do all of my social media. It was scary, but I was pleased that James Marriott did such a good job.
I would like to thank everyone for being so supportive. Your messages and love across social media have meant the world, and I’ve tried my hardest to respond to them all but I’m sorry if I’ve missed any! Friday was such an overwhelming day and I’m still trying to catch up with everything.
Whether you watch my videos or not, it’s absolutely amazing to have booktube featured in a national newspaper and get the recognition it deserves.
It really was an incredible experience!
You can read the full article here — you need to sign up to read it, but after that it is completely free to do so.