Mixa: “The more BookTubers in Catalan we are, the higher the diversity we will have”
We talked to Anna, aka Mixa, a blogger and BookTuber devoted to recommending books.
Who is Mixa? Tell us about yourself.
I have always been an avid reader; I always explain that I was already a reader before I was born, since I was already being read to, when I was in my mother’s womb. I have been participating in some reading forums, such as Què Llegeixes, which was supported by the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes, and I have always enjoyed sharing my readings or recommending books. I started a blog, called Palabra de Mixa (Word of Mixa), and then I decided to open a YouTube channel, where I would broadcast the things I was talking about on the blog. And that is what I am trying to do. I consider myself a freelance cultural journalist, even though I am not trained in this sense, but I like to post interviews, feature articles, participate in all events I can: presentations, trade shows … I try to be a book influencer, cultural facilitator, I also like to organise events. Last year, for example, we organised the First Young Readers’ Day, which was held at the Can Fabra library in Sant Andreu, Barcelona. A day that was a great success: about fifty young people attended to enjoy round tables, writers, translators … I am passionate about music and languages: I am an English teacher and, apart from the blog and the channel, I love to spread the word on all audiovisual media. I recently started collaborating on TV3’s Tot es Mou show with a literature section. In short: I like everything about reading, and if it is in Catalan, even more so.
And how did you make the leap to becoming a BookTuber? Who are your references?
There are few Catalan-speaking BookTubers, but when I go to high schools, whenever they ask me “why did you decide to do it in Catalan” I tell them not to worry about the fans they will have. That they should make videos in the language they are most comfortable with. When I talked about books I always did so in Catalan, and I wrote the blog in Catalan, so posting video recommendations in Catalan occurred spontaneously. I followed the channel by Marta Botet, Recomanacions de Llibres, or that by Bernat, Perduts entre Llibres, who were the only existing BookTubers in Catalan. And seeing so few of them, I was even more determined to promote YouTube channels to recommend books in Catalan. We are more and more, now we are a small group: Marta from La Prestatgeria, Jan from Entre Lletres, Lluc from Lluctuber el Booktuber, África from Cuinant Literatura, Marta from La Mar de Llibres or Ignasi from Books & Foxes. And I am leaving out some others. Internationally, I follow Jesse the Reader, because I like BookTubers who also have a sense of humour. This is something I claim. In this community we have built, there is a very good feeling.
Do you deal with a particular type of literature?
I consider myself a highly eclectic reader and try to make videos of all kinds of books and for all ages. Especially for young people. I read anything.
And what is your relationship with the Catalan publishing world?
Each BookTuber decides if they want to collaborate, but in general publishers are very interested in reaching young people, and they do so through us BookTubers. There are publishers that organise meetings with online literary influencers, such as Bookstagrammers, bloggers, BookTubers …, including us. It is a pleasure for me to try to get as many books as possible to the general public, so that they can see that there is a great offer in Catalan.
You were talking about the BookTuber community. Are you organised in any way? You told me that you visit high schools, is this a joint initiative?
I do the latter on my own. They contact me directly, and I go and give talks. We have a group called “Els lectors catalans family”, which was founded by a blogger called Etna Miró, since we wanted to establish a community among all those people who created content about books. In this group, there are Bookstagrammers, bloggers, BookTubers … Some of their channels are in Spanish, but all I have told you are part of it. We recommend books and videos, meet to go to presentations, organise events …
What do you miss in the field of content creation related to books in Catalan?
Right now there is quite a lot of everything, but what more people are missing who dare to try and post reviews in Catalan. The more people dare to try, the more variety there will be. A couple of years ago, it was just me, Marta and Bernat, and both of them were already less active. And now there are more and more BookTubers, and you get to see different personalities, as each one expresses themselves and reviews books in their own way. The more we are, the more diversity we will have.