“TikTok on iPhone” (Public Domain) by Nordskov Media
As we know, TikTok has been growing in popularity since quarantine a few years ago. Since then, multiple “sides” of TikTok have become a thing. On TikTok, people usually pick one word or a short phrase that describes a certain kind of fandom or popular activity. BookTok has become one of the fastest growing sides of TikTok. Booktok consisted of many readers coming together to create a safe space on TikTok to talk about, recommend and critique different genres of books. The power of TikTok creating these different sides has even influenced bookstores to create small sections on their shelves dedicated to the top books talked about on #BookTok. Even the Barnes & Nobles in Exton has a section for BookTok, with over a dozen books they recommend. The app has even helped many amateur authors grow overnight and gain popularity just because they were mentioned in a 60 second video. After visiting Barnes & Nobles, one of the authors I constantly find flying off the shelves is Colleen Hoover. This woman has taken over BookTok with the numerous books she has put out. She not only has books that stand by themselves but also multiple series that are recommended by BookTok users. Looking at TikTok, I can even tell how split reviewers are when recommending her books. Recently, Hoover came out with a sequel to one of her previous books: “It Ends With Us” which has been receiving some hard critiques over BookTok from well known creators. Hoover’s books are known for their intensity and graphic scenes on TikTok. This helped spread news on her books, making them viral. Hoover even has a TikTok herself where she jokingly responds to some videos critiquing her books. A popular autobiography that has been a topic on the app was written by a star we all know and love. The Nickelodeon star, Jennette McCurdy, came out with her memoir this past August. “I’m Glad My Mom Died” is her heartbreaking and hilarious book that talks about McCurdy’s struggles with her abusive mother causing her eating disorder, addictions and many other types of self harm. This book has been described as a raw way to express her experience in Hollywood and how she was treated from such a young age to her adulthood. This book is a number one New York Times Bestseller and a number one International Bestseller. Jennette McCurdy even reads her audiobook that gives it an even more thrilling feel when she tells her tales about her mother and the abuse she endured. I would definitely give a trigger warning if any of these topics upset you, because from listening to the audiobook myself I know that she goes into great depth over her eating disorder and her abuse. One of the well known #BookTok creators is @abbys_library3 on TikTok. Many creators on TikTok will read excerpts of their favorite book as if they were telling a story to get users to be interested and then reveal that they are from a book and not their insane lives. Abby does just that. With almost 100,000 followers, Abby is giving her reviews on the daily. Other users are @kevintnorman, who uses trends on TikTok to his advantage by making dramatic and funny videos describing the books he is recommending. He has a wide variety of books that he recommends, from LGBTQ+, to suspenseful literature, to even audiobooks he is listening to currently. Even looking at his impressive bookshelf will make you want to read from his collection. The #BookTok hashtag has over 84.1 billion views to celebrate National Book Month and to share everyone’s recommendations, reviews and hacks for reading. If you have been looking to find new recommendations I highly suggest taking a look at the hashtag to find books that can make you cry, laugh, get mad and maybe even write your own review on the hashtag. Many TikTok users have even created the challenge to read multiple books per month, kind of as a goal for the year. BookTok has been thriving because of this and National Book Month being October, making now the best time to find your new read for if you are just hanging out in the Quad or to pass time between classes in the library.
Lauren Flynn-Miller is a second-year interdisciplinary studies major with minors in American Sign Language and journalism. LF954013@wcupa.edu