Updated: Dec 10, 2021
By Harivallabhi Ganapathy (‘24)
BookTok is a part of TikTok and a community where book lovers thrive and show their passion for reading. BookTokers are people from all over the world who post comedy posts, book reviews, and other book-related content on Tiktok. The commenters share their love for the books talked about in the videos.
Sophomore Jordyn Weintraub said, “The space is a happy place that I enjoy scrolling through.”
The books in the videos shown are a mixture of popular Young Adult and other books genres like fantasy, romance, and contemporary have all dominated BookTok.
The 15-30 second videos mostly start with reviews and recommending books to the public, showcasing books like The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which Selene (@moongirlreads), first introduced to the BookTok community.
Since then, the sales for the book, which was published in 2014, have shot up and people all over the world have expressed their love for the book. The Song of Achilles is known for being emotional and captivating but these types of books are extremely popular on TikTok. “If the book makes you cry, it’s a good book!”
BookTok is also widely known for the admiration of characters in books that the whole book community shares. A series called Shatter Me, a dystopian romance, has a huge fanbase. The fans share their love for the characters, Aaron Warner, and the hated character, Adam.
Author Tahereh Mafi has acknowledged the rise in popularity of her books and loved it!
In a Booktok panel with Selene and other popular authors on Tiktok, Mafi commented “I was just laughing---there was this line from Shatter Me: Book Three that everyone was excited about!.”
These two books are extremely popular in the BookTok community and just like The Song of Achilles, they are emotional and also deal with real-world issues. Even though Ugly Love was released in 2014 and It Ends With Us was released in 2016, the sales of these books have also skyrocketed, thanks to BookTok. It Ends With Us is currently on the New York Times bestseller list, number three in Combined Print and E-book Fiction, and number one in Paperback Trade Fiction. Colleen Hoover, on TikTok, has expressed her gratitude for the love and support for her books.
BookTok has not only boosted books published back in the 2010s but also debut authors, most of whom are people of color. Chole Gong, the author of These Violent Delights, published in 2020, and Our Violent Ends, soon to be published in November 2021, had her debut book, These Violent Delights, blew up on TikTok mostly because of the tropes in the book.
Tropes are, in literary terms, plot occurrences of character traits and attributes that occur commonly in books. Gong’s book has many popular tropes like enemies to lovers, second chance romance, and a bunch of action. Book creators expressed their love for the book because of these tropes and as a result, Gong’s book also landed itself on The New York Times Bestseller List.
Overall, the sales for most of these books and other loved books on BookTok have skyrocketed very quickly. Despite this, a few people have different opinions on BookTok.
Sophomore Aairah Koujalgi said, “It’s honestly just about romance books. No other books are really recognized, which sucks.”
This is true for a lot of content on BookTok since the romance community is very big on BookTok and usually doesn’t let the other fiction genres shine. TikTokers, hope to see a change in that very soon!
“The idea of technology doing something good, promoting reading, is amazing!” said SBHS librarian Ms.Lisa Manganello.
The bookish community is growing, in the best way possible, and is making more people enjoy reading!