Chapter 13: Ariel Bissett on brag-worthy book hauls, brainwashing beasts, and building BookTube


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Do you remember the first person who introduced you to the love of reading?

Was it a teacher? A parent? A friend? For me, it was my third-grade teacher. I remember on the first day of class we all gathered on this old, dusty green carpet and Mrs. Dorsman asked us all where we went that summer.

“I went to Japan,” she began, with her eyes bugged open, “… and to Australia … and the waterfalls of South America … and to the Moon… and to Mars!”

And then she looked around the room and dropped the final bomb.

Through … books!!!”

Mrs. Dorsman lit a fire inside me that day.

But what if you don’t have an incredibly soulful teacher who loves books? Who flicks the lighter to ignite that burning passion within you, within any of us?

Well, these days, we have BookTube.

According to The New York Times the BookTube community has gotten over 200 million views and engagement is up 40 percent versus last year.

And one of the most popular BookTubers in the world is Ariel Bissett.

With hundreds of thousands of subscribers, Ariel feels BookTube kindles a passion and love for books.

So, I traveled to Ottawa to sit down with Ariel, and we discussed BookTubing, how to grow your Youtube channel, why you need a book ‘medicine cabinet,’ how to reinvent yourself, and how to navigate loss.

I hope you’re as excited about this Chapter as I am. Let’s begin.


  • What is a BookTuber?

  • How does BookTube work?

  • How did Ariel grow her channel to hundreds of thousands of subscribers?

  • Why should you start a “book medicine cabinet” and what goes in?

  • Why (scientifically) should you reread books?

  • Why should you never read 1-star reviews?

  • How do we create trust online in an era where trust is at an all-time low?

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