Book Tok Takes Over


During quarantine, people had to pick up new hobbies to keep themselves occupied and many were inspired by the thousands of fanbases, communities, and groups represented on TikTok.

BookTok is a large group of avid readers and lovers of literature on TikTok. BookTok is one of many different subgroups and subcultures present on the popular app, TikTok. The group’s hashtag has over twenty-four billion views. TikTok uses an algorithm that feeds its users with unique content that they’ll be interested in.

TikTok users that interact with videos that relate to reading or literature, are tagged with “#Booktok”, or use a popular sound, will continue to see similar content until they notify the app that they are disinterested. That is how Booktok and other subcultures or subgroups form.

BookTok acts like a virtual book club with millions of members. It has given many students at AHS a new perspective on reading and creative thinking. “I like to read because it’s like an escape from reality. It feels way deeper than a show or movie because you get to know what the characters are thinking in their head and you get to imagine everything.” sophomore Bridget Murray said.

For some students, Booktok has encouraged them to make their return to habitual reading. “I’ve liked to read ever since I was a child but I recently fell back into reading because of Booktok.” sophomore Anaya Thompson said.

BookTok has provided students with book recommendations, new ways to analyze what they’re reading, and a place for them to talk about what they’ve read while receiving feedback from others. “Mutuals” are friends that you meet online.

“I have made so many mutual [friends] through Booktok and it’s always fun to see their videos.” sophomore Madison Mum said. “I like that people can share recommendations and their thoughts on how the book was. I also like how it’s a safe space and people can connect with their hobby.”

“I have multiple group chats full of people from all over the world just to talk about our favorite books,” said Thompson.

BookTok is a place where students can find people who share the same ideas and interests as them that can help them when they’re looking for a new book. “I liked that I could see short, basic reviews and what people liked,” Murray said. “whereas on Goodreads, for example, the reviews are super extensive and people have such varying opinions that you never really know what you’ll like.”

This group has re-popularized reading among teens and introduced students to an alternative way to pass time besides using their phones. “I like reading because it feels like a healthy form of entertainment, it’s still fun and interesting but it’s not as toxic as social media and feels more engaging than watching stuff.”

These days, digital sources and media, like Tiktok, help form the taste and opinions that students have on literature, Booktok is now one of those sources.