What is #BookTok - Composition with books on the table - Getty Images

What is #BookTok?

Culture /

The viral trend dominating the internet’s literary corners

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more

You may have heard of book swaps, book clubs, and book festivals, but do you know about #BookTok? The app where all viral trends seem to stem from, TikTok, is back again to take up your screen time (and bookshelf).

Can You Really Find Good Art on TikTok?

What is #BookTok?

Literature lovers across the globe listen up, this one’s for you. As many of us know, nothing can beat a good book. Whether it’s pining after the love interest in a classic romance novel, investigating the latest case in a crime thriller, or pouring over the illustrated panels of a comic book, there’s something for everyone when it comes to reading.

But some people have begun to take their passion for the written word to the internet. Cue TikTok, the short-form video app known for starting trends, creating stars and building communities. #BookTok, one the most popular pillars of content on the app, continues to make waves amongst bookworms all over the world – with the hashtag alone racking up a whopping 16.6 billion views and counting.

#BookTok is the book club that anyone anywhere can get on board with, but it can take a while to learn the ropes. Here’s what you need to know about the TikTok phenomenon.

Recommendations and Reviews

@thebookwhispererThese will destroy you🖤 #booktok #books #fyp #foryoupage #bookish #bookrecommendations #book #bookrecs #reading #booklovers #sad #beautiful #fy♬ Hey Jesus loves you so much repent and turn to him – Gabriel Storm

Where would #BookTok be without people falling over themselves to tell you about their favourite book? Those perusing the app can expect to find some great reading lists for all occasions – from classics and spicy romances to the stories that left a long-lasting impact on their readers. Just be warned, you’ll probably exit the app with 30 new books in your online shopping basket.

@lauryns_libraryand the hotel room only has one bed!!!!!! ##books ##booktok ##enemiestolovers ##onebedtrope ##storytime♬ original sound – Lauryn✨🦋📖

One of the quirkier ways people have shared their favourite books is through the ‘storytime’ trend, a hashtag usually reserved for those wanting to share real-life dramatic stories or secrets. Content creators will tell the story from their perspective, only to reveal that their personal dilemma is in fact the plot of the book they are recommending. It’s a creative way to draw an audience into a story – if not slightly jarring at first.

A Space for Aspiring Authors

@ameliewenzhaoI was asked about my publishing journey! ##authorsoftiktok ##author ##writer ##writersoftiktok ##publishing ##aspiringauthor♬ Feel This Moment (Riddler & Reid Stefan Club Mix) – Pitbull

TikTok is a great space for authors to find advice, share their ideas and build a fan following. You can often find established authors using their platform to share tricks and tips on the writing process and the steps they’ve taken to get their work published, offering some much needed guidance in what can seem a closed-off industry.

Fans can also connect with their favourite authors, tuning in to watch their progress and chat with them in the comments about characters, settings, and plot lines. For new writers especially, #BookTok is ideal for introducing readers to the worlds they’ve created. Think behind the scenes content, Q&A’s and in-depth explorations of the books we’ll soon fall in love with.

Where to Curl Up with a Book

@mariaandreaz97📍Admont Library, Austria. #austria #österreicher #library #travel #traveller #travelling #secretplace #travelguru #travelguide #latina #view♬ Be Our Guest (From “Beauty and the Beast”) – Chocolate Ice Cream

Perhaps the best – if not the prettiest – part of #BookTok is the ability to see the best places in the world for reading. Ornate libraries, cosy nooks and quiet coffee shops are just a click away from exploration: all you need is a good internet connection.

This side of #BookTok will no doubt see book lovers adding an extra hundred or so destinations to their travel bucket list, if they weren’t on there already.

The Books TikTok Can’t Get Enough Of

Photo 1 of
Books To Read Before They Hit The Screens, Where The Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Settled on the edge of polite society, Kya Clark lives as an outcast in the marshes of Barkley Cove. The local villagers are already wary of Kya – who they deem the ‘Marsh Girl – but when popular Chase Andrews is found dead in 1969, it ignites a new wave of suspicion and hostility that forces Kya to open her world to others.

Corsair, £5, amazon.co.uk

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Red Scare, Last Night at the Telegraph Club follows the blossoming relationship between Lily Hu and Kathleen Miller. The two meet at a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club, but 1950s American is a dangerous time to be in a same-sex relationship – especially for Lily and her family, who run the risk of deportation despite holding American citizenship. Will Lily and Kath’s love beat the odds?

Hodder Paperbacks, £7.99, amazon.co.uk

What is #BookTok - We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cadence Sinclair has spent every summer since she was a child at Beechwood, her family’s private island. She and her friends, a group nicknamed the Liars, remain close until one summer when Cadence ends up in a serious accident. As Cadence pieces together the circumstances of her accident, she begins to discover the truth about herself and her family.

Hot Key Books, £6.55, amazon.co.uk

What is #BookTok - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Ageing and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. She chooses flagging reporter Monique Grant to write her biography, a decision no one was expecting. What follows is a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love – and a surprise intersection of both women’s lives.

Washington Square Press, £7.70, amazon.co.uk

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This retelling of Homer’s Iliad stays to true its original queer storyline as it follows the relationship between Patroclus and the Ancient Greek hero Achilles. The boys are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes out that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Achilles joins the cause and Patroclus follows, but the decision to go to war costs more than they could have ever imagined.

Bloomsbury Paperbacks, £8.19, amazon.co.uk

They Both Die At The End

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Two lonely souls come together in their final hours through the app Last Friend. They’re total strangers, but they’re both set on the goal to share their last great adventure together.

Simon & Schuster Children’s UK, £5.99, amazon.co.uk

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Addie LaRue spends the next 300 years trying to make an impression on the world, without much success. It’s only when she stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore who remembers her name that things start to change.

Titan Books (UK), £12.48, amazon.co.uk

Featured image: Getty Images

Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once / Audiobooks To Keep The Kids Quiet