Why BookTok Is My Favorite Corner of TikTok — And How to Get on It

published Oct 27, 2022
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Credit: Submitted by Dean Sameshima

When I first downloaded TikTok in February of 2020, I, like many users, had no idea that the app would have such an impact on my life. TikTok has become my go-to destination for everything from recipes to movie reviews to fashion and home decor inspiration. It’s also an incredible resource for book recommendations. This niche of the app has appropriately been dubbed “BookTok”, and it’s filled with content creators offering reviews, recommendations, insight into authors’ writing processes, and how the publishing industry works.

So how do you navigate BookTok if you’re unfamiliar with the concept, or if book content only occasionally pops up on your For You Page? First of all, you’ll want to think about your reading goals. Are you an avid reader currently in a slump or are you recently reading more and want to learn about different genres? Are you confident in your taste in books and want nuanced takes on topics in the literary world? Depending on who you follow, you’ll be able to cater the content to your interests. Below are some of my favorite BookTok accounts to follow for different reasons.

After becoming immersed in BookTok for the last year, and even dipping my toes in creating book-related content on the app myself, I’ve discovered several BookTokers who never fail to recommend excellent titles and also dive into interesting topics within the literary world and publishing industry. To start, you can’t go wrong with a recommendation from Mackenzie, @mackinstyle. She’s the founder of Bad Bitch Book Club, a virtual community that brings people together over a shared love of reading. Her literary tastes are impressively varied, so whether you’re a fan of romance novels that you can devour in a day or a work of literary fiction that plays with form, you can find it on per page. Plus, she also offers tips on how to incorporate reading into your lifestyle, such as opting for audiobooks while you’re walking or cleaning and using your lunch hour to read, which is great advice if you’re looking to get out of a slump. 

I’m also a fan of Zoe of @zoes_reads, for her informative book reviews and monthly reading roundups that always make me add a title or two to my to be read (TBR) pile. And if I’m curious about publishing industry drama, the political and social implications of a book, or the story behind the cover art of this season’s hottest release, I’m heading over to Stacey’s account, @literaryfling.

Once you’ve found your favorite book influencers, you can dive deeper into BookTok trends (and by doing so you’ll likely also find some more BookTokers to follow). For example, there’s one popular format in which a creator reveals one of their all-time favorite books while a voiceover narrates, “I’m really starting to think that I was put on this earth to convince people to read this book.” Similarly, there’s another trend about “green flag books” where the creator shares books they see as a good sign if someone they know has also read and enjoyed them. 

And if you’re ready to dive even further into the world of TikTok book recommendations, there’s nothing left to do except run to the comments. On many posts related to books, you’ll find spirited debates about a certain book’s ending, which characters readers wanted to get together, and even more recommendations.

Whether you’re a booklover with a 52-book yearly Goodreads goal or an aspirational reader looking to incorporate literature into your life in a manageable way, BookTok is an excellent resource. This niche of the app isn’t judgmental, for the most part; rather, it’s a welcoming online community where passionate people talk about authors and books they love. Although who could blame passionate fans for occasionally fiercely defending their favorite authors and titles? BookTok certainly isn’t low on passion, that’s for sure. And that’s what I love about it.