Before we talk about my first book pick, I first have to address my slow descent into YouTube madness. It started harmlessly enough: a few viral videos, (if you haven’t seen Jennifer is a Party Pooper, you haven’t lived) some things friends had sent me, no big deal. After watching a few videos, I began to casually browse the related suggestions, or take a look at the creator’s other uploads. Mostly I was just killing time during breaks at work. But it quickly became more than that; soon I was subscribing to channels, anxiously awaiting new videos from my favorites (because I had favorites now!) and expanding my knowledge of YouTube culture, with some help from my 15 year old nephew.
Then I was following the YouTube stars on Twitter.
And then, reading their books.
Because YouTubers write books now, and it turns out, they are amazing.
Tyler Oakley’s Binge is no exception. First of all, Tyler is hilarious. Some of the essays in this collection made me not only laugh out loud, but also read passages aloud to my family, something I have never done in my life. I can honestly say I didn’t relate much to his awkward situations or embarrassing quirks, but I was nodding and laughing like I knew exactly what he was talking about. Sometimes I was cringing, scared to turn the page, dying of vicarious embarrassment.
But Binge is not all laughs. Some of the chapters are so heartbreaking that I wanted give Tyler a hug and tell him he’s going to be okay (but I can’t because I don’t actually know him and that would be creepy.) I was up and down, wiping away tears of both laughter and sadness. To say it’s a rollercoaster is cliché, but accurate. This book is exactly like Tyler in his videos on YouTube: funny, charming, naughty, and, most of all, genuine.
While my initial YouTube fever has since subsided, I still love keeping up with the stars outside of their primary platform. If you ever need a little break from the Real World, give Binge a read. You won’t regret it.
(Just watch out for falling down the YouTube wormhole…productivity does not live down there.)