Is Booktok making reading cool?

What is Booktok? 

Booktok is the name given to those who use TIKTOK to talk about books, follow authors, share book reviews, essentially for anything bookish. The way to fall into Booktok is to 'like' or comment on book related content when it appears on Tiktok. When you start interacting with content related to books on Tiktok you'll start to see more and more of it. At which point you'd say you were in 'Booktok'. It isn't a different app and there is no specific part of Tiktok you need to access. Booktok is just the pet name given to the large amount of people who use Tiktok to connect with others who enjoy books. 

Is Booktok making reading cool again? 

I've loved books all my life, fiction and non-fiction. I've not always had the time to read, there have been times in my life where I haven't read a book for a month due to being busy with other things but I've always been drawn to books. When I was a teenager others my age would call me and anyone else who regularly read books 'book nerds' and it wouldn't be considered a cute or cool thing like it is now. It was used in a negative way, to be unkind about the hobby I enjoyed. Not that I cared what other people thought. 

Since the dawn of Booktok it seems that reading and the ownership of books has become much more 'cool' and socially acceptable for teenagers and young adults. It is no longer something people hide or keep quiet about. Being a 'book nerd' is no longer seen as a negative to the majority of teenagers and young adults. The term book nerd is now one that people give themselves, it can often be found on merchandise like T-shirts and mugs. It seems to be just another hobby that is accepted and enjoyed by people of all ages. There is a lot more confidence in those who enjoy reading, they are happy to share their love of reading with the friends and publicly on social media. They discuss books, recommend books and review them. 

How is a social media app making books cool? 

Books being openly discussed, reviewed and recommended on social media, like Booktok, is making the hobby more and more popular. Celebrities and social media influencers are also getting involved, they are certainly having an impact on the book market. When an influencer recommends a book it instantly becomes a hit, just like anything else they might promote; make up, food, drink, clothes. People, especially young people, are heavily influenced by social media marketing, influencers and celebrities. They want to be seen as following the trends and keeping up with what is popular. 

Does Booktok support indie bookshops? 

As a bookseller I've noticed a lot more teens and young adults coming into the shop confidently talking to be about books, asking for specific books, ordering books and buying books. I've got a few things with 'Booktok' around the store so they know that we are a shop are on there and I try to watch for what is 'trending' so I can make sure the books they are likely to see advertised and recommended on there are available in the shop. Booktok has certainly helped to make books popular but not necessarily make indie bookshops the place to get them, unfortunately. 

A lot of those on Booktok are promoting the cheapest places to get books, which usually ends up being chain stores because they have more buying power. Its a sad fact of the book market, one which is very frustrating for bookshop owners like myself. There is a relatively new site called which has been set up to support indie bookshops which benefits from having books at great prices, ones that can rival chain stores, but that still supports indie bookshops. 

There are those on Booktok who promote indie bookshops, which is a really positive thing and I love coming across those who do bookshop crawls or talk about the importance of supporting indie bookshops. After all, if you don't support small indie bookshops in high streets they won't be able to afford to stay open. 

Am I too old for Booktok? 

No, you are not. Not matter how old you are you are not too old for Booktok. It is fair to say that a large portion of Booktok is young adults sharing their love of new releases and well know classics but there are older people on there too. It doesn't matter about your age, you don't even have to show yourself on there to get involved. You could simply set up an account to watch other Tiktok users showcase books, you don't have to make Tiktoks yourself. If you want to make Tiktoks you could make them without showing yourself too. 

Find & follow us on Booktok as 'Bettysbooksseaton' 

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