‘Booktok’ breeds newfound readers

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By Aubree Gearhart

#BookTok// Bookstores such as Barnes and Noble are creating sections in their stores such as the one pictured above dedicated solely to books that have gained popularity on Tik Tok. Barnes and Noble have several ‘booktok’ sections in their stores. (Photo by Aubree Gearhart)

The popular and constantly growing social media platform, ‘TikTok’ has a new platform especially for readers and those alike. The new side of social media dubbed ‘BookTok’ began in March of 2020 when the rise of COVID-19 began.

‘BookTok’ started during quarantine in 2020. With most people staying home and not having much to do, everyone began to pull out their books and start reading again. Some even made  ‘TikTok’ accounts just for books. The vast amount of users that have made ‘booktok’ accounts caused certain books to go viral on ‘TikTok,’ causing these books to grow fandoms. Some have even been made into movie adaptations or TV series with how popular they have become. Shadow and Bone  by Leigh Bardugo was a popular series that was recently made into a netflix series.  

“I’m really glad that booktok has made a rise,” junior Stella Garner said. “It has definitely helped people our age get more into reading and allowed lots of people to find books that they really love.” 

‘Booktok’ has caused so many books to go viral that stores such as Barnes and Noble have sections in their stores solely with books that have gone viral on ‘TikTok’. Some well-known titles such as It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and several more titles. 

“I have been trapped in booktok for at least a couple of months now, and I think it was one of the main things that sparked my interest back into reading,” junior Saaya Parikh said. “Getting millions of people’s opinions on good books that they recommend is definitely helpful in choosing a book to occupy my mind. Another thing is how booktok is a very niche area of people, so it’s almost like you have one big group of internet friends. Altogether, it’s genuinely one of my favorite sides of tiktok.”

With how popular titles like these have gotten, readers are inspired to pick up different titles by these authors. This gives them a bigger name and causes their stories to have more of a reading given that most, if not all of the newly popular books have been written a few years ago. For example, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover was published in 2016 and did not become popular until Nov. of 2021. 

“I think that booktok is a great way to find people with similar taste in books as you and get recommendations on new books or books you may have just not heard of before,” junior Heidi Hillen said. “It has definitely made reading more popular recently with authors like Colleen Hoover being everywhere nowadays. It definitely has helped me read more and find some of my favorite books.” 

Booktok has also become a platform for new up-and-coming authors to promote books that they are in the process of writing or books that they have published online to places like ‘Wattpad,’ a popular website for writers to share their work publicly. Some ‘booktokers’ will make videos explaining the idea of their book in a very broad sense in order to grasp viewers’ attention. Then, at the end of the video or in the caption, they will say something along the line of “buy my book” or “if you liked this, read my book”. Social media platforms such as TikTok are a great way for new authors to promote their works. 

Booktok has captivated many newfound readers. Booktok has grown immensely over the past two years; it continues to grow and get more and more people interested in or back into reading and has even influenced some to write their own stories. 

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Aubree Gearhart is a Junior, attending her second year on The Roar staff. Her favorite sections to write are arts and entertainment and news. She one day hopes to pursue a career in either Journalism/Broadcasting or Criminology. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, reading and writing, and swimming. Her favorite shows are Friends and Criminal Minds and her favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.