BookTok is a sub-community of TikTok that caters to book enthusiasts. Here, they can share their book reviews, recommendations, and other book-related content.

What is BookTok?

BookTok is a term used to describe a section of TikTok that focuses on books. It allows users to create and share short videos where they can share their opinions, recommendations, reviews, and even comedic content with other book lovers. The app's features allow for the creation of engaging video content that can be commented on, reposted, and shared within the BookTok community, helping to build a larger community of book enthusiasts (Jerasa & Boffone, 2021). 

According to Kaye, Zeng, and Wikström (2022), as it operates on algorithmic mechanisms, the videos shown on each user's TikTok account's "For You" page follow a predominant Gesellschaft-style (general), wherein only the most influential content is promoted. However, once a user selects a particular shared interest, the community shifts to a smaller, more specific one, such as BookTok, which is based on the Gemeinschaft-style (particular) of communities centered around certain shared interests.

Current debates on BookTok

BookTok, a dedicated book community on TikTok, has recently ignited discussions about its impact on the world of reading. Unlike conventional literary critiques by experts, BookTok is primarily steered by young creators who present personal, casual videos shot in their own spaces, offering a refreshing take on discussing books.

The hashtag #BookTok has amassed over 23.6 billion views on social media. This surge hasn't just favored content creators by expanding their follower base or users finding a community to share their interests, but i. It has also significantly boosted book sales for authors and booksellers. Remarkably, in 2021 alone, BookTok was responsible for the sale of 20 million books (Harris, 2022).

BookTokers infuse their content with a unique touch, delving beyond mere book reviews. They intertwine their personal stories, emotions, and amusing anecdotes, transforming book discussions into more relatable and captivating experiences. BookTok has democratized book conversations, serving as a platform for readers to deeply explore books, connecting them with diverse cultural experiences and personal sentiments. It's reshaping how we engage with and perceive books, fostering inclusivity and diversity in literary discussions.

However, conversations revolving around the democratization of reviews prompt contemplation on how online reviewing might reshape the art of critique. BookTokers often adopt a personal tone in their reviews, focusing more on self-improvement (referred to as 'meviewing') rather than the traditional improvement of literature (reviewing) (Jaakkola, 2019).


Harris, E. (2022). “How TikTok Became a Best-Seller Machine”. In The New York Times.

Jaakkola, M. (2019). “From re-viewers to me-viewers: The #Bookstagram review sphere on Instagram and the uses of the perceived platform and genre affordances”. In Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, 4 (1,2).

Jerasa, S. & Boffone, T. (2021). “BookTok 101: TikTok, Digital Literacies, and Out-of-School Reading Practices”. In Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Literature, 65(3), 219–226. 

Kaye, D.B., Zeng, J. & Wikström, P. (2022). TikTok: Creativity and Culture in Short Video, Cambridge, UK: Polity, 251.