Booktok: bop or flop?

Lakxshanna (Lexi), Managing Editor

Over the last two years, thousands of avid readers have come together on a side of TikTok known as ‘BookTok’ to share reviews, recommendations, and plot theories related to their favorite books. 

With billions of overall views, #BookTok on the TikTok explore page has become influential in many students’ lives. During quarantine, BookTok helped to revitalize interest in reading. As content creators shared their favorite books and as the TikTok algorithm created personalized recommendations using genre-based hashtags, many users rediscovered their interest in various types of literature. 

“During the lockdown, [BookTok] was really helpful for finding books to read when there wasn’t much else to do. I started reading again for the first time in a few years because there were such big conversations surrounding certain books, and it really interested me,” said sophomore Anna R.

While BookTok has recommendations for every genre and subcategory of literature, many have enjoyed the titles that have been recommended to them, especially since content creators provide recommendations that are tailored to their followers. 

“I discovered Madeline Miller and Chloe Gong through BookTok, for which I’m pretty grateful for because their writing styles are really nice. I also found out about ‘Interior Chinatown’ by Charles Yu through BookTok, and it’s my favorite book now. In general, BookTok is a convenient place to find recommendations, especially if you don’t have friends who are avid readers,” said senior Melody L.

One of BookTok’s specialties is spreading awareness about books that are written by authors of color and LGBTQ+ authors, which may be otherwise hard to find. 

“Booktok has been really helpful with finding books that are relatable to my own experiences. It’s much easier to find books that have characters from diverse backgrounds, and it’s one of the aspects of [BookTok] that made me start reading again,” said senior Erica H. 

BookTok definitely has its favorites, with “They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera and “The Song of Achilles” by Madeleine Miller being popularly recommended novels. 

“I used ‘Song of Achilles’ for my Extended Essay after it was recommended to me by BookTok. I walked into the book without knowing that it touched upon the topic of the LGBTQ+ community and thought it was really beautiful. It more than likely wouldn’t have been on my radar if not for BookTok,” said Melody L.

BookTok has had a major impact, introducing many students to new literature, contributing to increased book sales, and providing an open forum for discussion about users’ favorite characters and plotlines. 🔳