#booktok: Twitter talks books

Books and social media don’t usually mix. However, on Tik Tok, an app where you can share, create, and watch short videos, they have come together to form #booktok, a hashtag that has racked up nearly 40 billion views, making it one of the most popular communities on Tik Tok. Readers from all over the world make and share videos about their favorite books.

Booktok started growing in April 2020 during Covid lockdown. In this tough time many teens came together and bonded over their love for books by posting recommendations, reviews, and comedy videos of themselves or a pictures of fan art in the background surrounding the characters from these books. 

People from all over the world are involved with booktok, including some peers at Dana Hall. Lea Liebisch ‘24 said, “Booktok is great. It got me back into reading again!” Like Lea, booktok reintroduced reading to many teens and helped them find their love of books. Lea has been on booktok since summer 2020, but she doesn’t make videos. Only a small part of the community actually makes videos. Many people just watch the videos and comment on them. 

With the time limit on Tiktok, these videos could be anywhere from 15 seconds to 3 minutes long. This doesn’t give people much time to talk, so booktok creators have had to get creative. The videos made on booktok are all different, some creators are known for their recommendations, and some are known for acting out scenes of their favorite characters. The videos could be anything from an inside joke from a book, to a video saying which character you would be in a book based on your zodiac sign. 

People from the ages of 14 and up are the target audience, but anyone is welcome to join #booktok. However, it can be a little difficult to understand in the beginning because there are so many inside jokes. There are some books that are almost like a rite of passage for every new booktoker to read. A lot of the jokes in the videos are based around the books Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E Schwab, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, and more. A lot more of the videos make more sense after you’ve read some of the more popular booktok books

While booktok talks about a wide variety of different books of all genres, it does center around some specific authors including Colleen Hoover, Tahereh Mafi, Mariana Zapata, V.E. Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, and Victoria Aveyard. Most of these authors write young-adult fantasy/dystopian novels. As these authors’ books might suggest, booktok is mostly centered around these genres of contemporary romance, fantasy, psychological thriller, and mystery. 

I really like booktok because it introduced me to my favorite author Colleen Hoover. She writes mostly new-adult contemporary romance, but some of her books like Verity fall into the psychological thriller genre. For me, these videos have been a great escape ever since Covid started, and will hopefully continue to be a safe place for readers to talk about their love of books. 

Comments are closed.