Top Tips: The #Booktok Phenomenon Explained
#Booktok. It’s the Tiktok phenomenon that’s taking booklovers by storm. But if your nose has been too stuck in a book to take note of the latest social media reading trends, fear not, we’re here to explain.
While the Tiktok app used to be for short videos of dancing or pranks. Those days are long gone. Now, no matter what your obsession, there’s a place for it on the popular social media app.
#Booktok is the sub-community for those who want to talk about books and literature. Videos in the sub-community vary from people reviewing and recommending, to filming themself reading, to recreating their favorite scenes in a book.
The tag which has 85 billion views, has content from all genres, but predominantly centers around Young Adult fiction, fantasy and romance. It’s been credited with making reading ‘cool’ again among the younger generation and being a great way to encourage teens to pick up a book and read at all.
But for those already on the reading bandwagon it also offers readers a wider scope of book recommendations than the bestsellers list. With recommendation lists on every topic under the sun - whether it’s “books for success” or “books I sobbed at”, the sub-community not only tackles the genre you want to read but the emotion.
Booktok also doesn’t just focus on the new releases, but recommends good books regardless of publication date. It’s because of this phenomenon that romance novel It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, which was first published in 2016, Sarah J Maas’ 2015 fantasy series A Court of Thorns and Roses and the 2017 historical novel The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid have made a revival.
The newfound popularity of these titles and several other books published in years prior have led to major retailers restocking books that were no longer in circulation - which was no small feat during Covid times. Publishers and retailers have also started leveraging the tag in the books they promote and having influencers associated with their brand.
And of course no book community would be complete without a few staunch groups advocating for fan favorites. So if you’re a Harry Potter or a Twilight fan you can breathe a sigh of relief, because here the cult classics get some love too. After all it seems no book is off limits to booktokkers. So when you’re next looking for a reading recommendation, have confidence that you can be one of the ‘cool kids’ and find it with #Booktok.
- Words by Crystal Cleary