What is BookTok on TikTok is a question that occupies the minds of many users. As social media continues to grow, TikTok has emerged as one of the most popular platforms, with its unique approach to short-form videos. BookTok is the latest craze on TikTok, the popular video-sharing app.
It’s a subculture of book lovers who share their favorite reads, book reviews, and literary musings through short videos. But it’s more than that. BookTok is an aesthetic, a lifestyle, and a way of self-expression that’s taken over the app’s literary corner. It has brought about a new era of readers, redefining the way people consume and perceive literature. This article explores what is BookTok on TikTok, how it has taken over TikTok, and its impact on the reading culture.
What is BookTok on TikTok?
BookTok is a book-related subculture on TikTok that has exploded in popularity over the past year. It involves creators sharing their favorite books, recommending titles to their followers, and creating videos that celebrate reading. The videos on BookTok are generally short, usually no more than a minute, and feature book reviews, book hauls, bookish DIY projects, and much more. The hashtag #BookTok has over 132.8 billion views and counting, making it a highly competitive space that has caught the attention of publishers and authors alike.
The aesthetic of BookTok
BookTok is more than just a platform for book lovers to share their favorite reads; it has also become a space for the creation of aesthetics. The most popular literary aesthetic on BookTok is that of the “disaffected cool, sad girl“, achieved by reading authors such as Ottessa Moshfegh and Sylvia Plath. Other BookTok aesthetics include the “dark academia reader“, the “smut enthusiast“, and the stans of specific authors such as Emily Henry, Colleen Hoover, and Taylor Jenkins Reid.
These aesthetics allow BookTok users to quickly pass judgment on others’ reading choices, whether that be the books they post about or those they read in public. The gaze of BookTok doesn’t limit its judgment to the choice of book, but also how well that reader performs the archetype their choice assigns to them.
The impact of BookTok
BookTok has revitalized the book industry, with publishers and authors taking notice of the platform’s influence on book sales. However, the impact of BookTok goes beyond just book sales. It has created a culture that encourages the consumption of items in the pursuit of aesthetics, leading to the commodification of reading.
Moreover, the aesthetic approach to reading has infiltrated physical bookstores hoping to appeal to its audience with internet-oriented displays. Barnes and Noble displays featuring all the cool/sad girl reads have gained traction on Twitter and Instagram, making it clear that BookTok has had a significant impact on the literary world. This aesthetic approach makes some users question what is BookTok on TikTok and confuse them about the nature of the trend.
The BookTok surveillance state
While BookTok has had a significant impact on the book industry, it has also created a surveillance state where readers are judged based on the books they read and the way they present themselves. BookTok users have created archetypes that limit the way readers can express themselves, and any deviation from these archetypes can result in criticism and judgment.
Reading is a personal and subjective experience, and BookTok’s focus on aesthetics can limit the reader’s experience. Readers may feel pressured to read books that fit into the established archetypes, leading to the commodification of reading and limiting the diversity of experiences.
How to join BookTok
Becoming a follower of BookTok, the online community for book lovers, is an easy process that provides a range of benefits. The steps are straightforward:
- Download the TikTok app from the App Store or Google Play store and install it on your mobile device.
- Create your account using your email or directly join with your Google or Facebook account.
- Follow relevant content creators based on your interests. You can check out the BookTok tag on TikTok right now.
The process is quick and will take only a few minutes to complete. Once you become a follower, you can enjoy the advantages of being a part of the BookTok community, which include:
- Access to creative content related to your passion for reading.
- Watching short videos with book recommendations.
- Access to book reviews presented in a unique and exciting way.
- Having fun while learning new things about the books you are passionate about.
BookTok has created a unique and thriving community of book lovers, but it has also created a culture that focuses on aesthetics over the value of reading itself. While BookTok has had a significant impact on the book industry, its focus on archetypes and aesthetics can limit the diversity of experiences and the reader’s ability to express themselves freely.
As the BookTok community continues to grow and evolve, it is essential to remember that reading is a personal and subjective experience that should not be limited by archetypes or aesthetics. The answer to the question of what is BookTok on TikTok is up to readers to create a culture that celebrates the diversity of experiences and encourages readers to read for the joy of reading rather than to fit into established archetypes.
If you want to start checking out some examples of BookTok right away, take a look at the 20 best BookTok romance books.