The Rise Of #BookTok: How TikTok Revolutionized The Way We Read

Yes, it will definitely help you finish that book.

Bibliophiles, rejoice! There’s a new community to help you satisfy your book-loving desires.

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Are you one of those people engaging in tsundoku, a Japanese term that aptly refers to people who hoard books, but not actually read it? Are you currently lost or worse, drowning in a sea of titles and are now far down the rabbit hole? Or do you just want to keep updated of the latest YA novel character you can cosplay? #BookTok may just be the perfect place for you.

Described by TikTok as “the go-to hashtag for books, reading, writing and everything in between,” #BookTok is a thriving community that has now garnered a total of 70.7 billion views on the platform as of this writing. The videos range from passionate readers reacting to recent titles to a 20-second video of Will Smith promoting his book to the tune of Circle Of Life from The Lion King.


It was early last year when the #BookTok phenomenon began to take off. Several publishers noticed that the books, which showed up on the platform suddenly took up the best-selling spots in the market. Much to the surprise of publishers, writers, and readers, TikTok has evolved into the best and ideal platform to sell books. 

According to NPD BookScan, a company that tracks sales of publications in the United States, #BookTok became a key player in the sale of 20 million printed books in 2021 and the 50 percent growth of the sales this year so far. Furthermore, NPD Books has said that no other platforms have achieved this kind of success in the industry.

@angeenoelm yes, we cry when we read lmao. #booktok #booktokph #booktokphilippines #books #reads #bookish #fyp #foryoupage #foryou ♬ Material Girl is Bleeding Love – Ben Vertz (Mash Art)

Unlike traditional book reviews made by publishers and authors, #BookTok is dominated by young adults, mostly female creators who make videos highlighting their emotional journey with the books they read, most of the time screaming, sobbing, even throwing the book across their room out of frustration.


Milena Brown, marketing director of the publishing company Doubleday, has told The New York Times that the reason why book sales explode through #BookTok is because of the “grassroot explosion of people creating the videos,” and the growth that ensues organically because of the boost by word of mouth.

@bryanhoardsbooks Prepare to be sick of me this Pride! Here are some books with Sapphic/wlw rep to diversify your shelves! ❤️🧡🤍💜 #booktok #booktokph #queerbooktok #sapphicbooks video inspired by @dreareads ♬ Sapphic Books – Drea🇵🇷| Queer Books & Fandom

#BookTok became so successful that TikTok signed a partnership deal with Barnes & Noble and even launched #BookTokChallenge to “help people expand their minds through reading,” and inspire others to do the same. Just a week ago, the video-sharing app also collaborated with the Penguin Random house in releasing a new feature which allows users to tag their favorite books in their videos.

@bryanhoardsbooks SEND HELP! #Booktok #BooktokPH #Bookworm #YAbooktok #BookRecommendations #AGoodGirlsGuideToMurder #Books #FYP #Booktoker #AGGGTM ♬ Amityville Horror – Scary Halloween Sound Effects – Halloween Sound Effects

If you need book recos or even writing tips, here are some of the Filipino #BookTok reviewers that you can check out:

ANGEE  📖 (@angeenoelm)

KLAI 🏹 (@mypatrochilles)

ALEX 📖 (@__alex.reads)

BRYAN 🍂 (@bryanhoardsbooks)


A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is being adapted into a TV show! We’re finally going to see Pip and Ravi in action and I’m so excited! 🥺 #booktok #booktokph #agggtm #agoodgirlsguidtomrder #bryanhoardsbooks

♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] – Elliot Van Coup

ANDREA 🍰 (@girlbossinred)

GABS 🤓 (@readsbybgc)

NICOLE DACUYA 🤗 (@thebookishnics)

May you find the best title that you’ll ACTUALLY read. Enjoy! 

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