Emmah Bouchari

It’s December 2020. I just finished my last WebEx class for the day, and I have found myself in my room, again, just like I have for the past four months. While the world was amid a stressful pandemic, teens around the world found themselves feeling unmotivated, unproductive, and completely distanced from the rest of the world. They threw themselves into social media and specifically TikTok. It was a way for teens to decompress, and still feel connected with their friends and the rest of the world in a fun way.

Many found themselves in a corner of TikTok called #BookTok, which is a movement within the app where people share their book recommendations, book reactions, all-time favorite books, or even their least-favorite books. This movement intrigued teens as a new way for them to cope with the stresses of COVID, and the very unpredictable school year they’re going through. Big book corporations, like Barnes & Noble, found themselves very surprised by the newfound surge in book classics like, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Some stores have even chosen to make designated tables and sections of the store for the books that are currently trending.

This new trend of teens having a sudden love for literature is seen to have changed the course of some of their lives. Sophomore Alexa Ramos, when asked what #BookTok has done for her, says, “During the whole pandemic I was always really bored, so I decided to start reading again. I was going through TikTok to find book recommendations and stumbled upon #Booktok. Ever since I found #BookTok around June, I’ve read over twenty books.” I was searching for a new hobby or something that could take my mind off the world and the toxicity of social media. So, finding something like #BookTok, helped me through that. I grew up reading, but throughout middle school, I stopped reading as much. Seeing it as a trend and noticing that other teens loved books helped me dive back into the hobby I once loved having.

If there is one takeaway, I can give teens that are feeling the same way I did about a year ago it would be to simply look up “BookTok” on TikTok. While to some it may be seen as a trend that will pass and be forgotten, to many others it’s been seen as completely life-changing.

Check out one of my favorite #BookTok videos & creators here: BookTok Favorite