Does #BookTok Increase Reading Time?

If you’re like me and have found yourself using your few free moments of consciousness on TikTok, you probably already know of #BookTok. But, if you have stayed away from these compilations of book quotes set to melancholy music, then you might need a refresher.

#BookTok is one of the many tags/sides of TikTok that one can find themselves on after being carried away by the algorithm. It’s full of book quotes from many different people’s favorite books, encouraging you to read them. All videos have the same tag, #BookTok, a tag that has 35.2 billion views and counting.

BookTok usually creates short trailers with images flashing by, set to fitting music, creating the vibe and showing the aesthetic of the book. These TikToks are meant to try and persuade you to buy/read a certain book, or several. These TikTok videos get millions of views and said book’s sales usually shoot up if the video goes viral.

An example: The novel “They Both Die at the End” written in 2017 by Adam Silvera is one of many books whose sales have skyrocketed because of BookTok. With copies flying off of shelves, it’s estimated that 4,000 copies were sold a week in just March alone. Since many people saw those TikToks and decided they also needed to cry, sales for that book went way up. The TikToks consisted of people filming themselves as they start the book and then filming themselves as they reach the finishing line, usually sobbing. Probably because they both died at the end. Just hearing about this is probably giving you the urge to read that book right now, isn’t it? Don’t lie.

Another example of TikToks that helped book sales is “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover. It received a huge uptick in sales, as well as getting to the top of the New York Best Seller List in late June 2021 because of TikTok. This happened despite the book being released four years prior. More examples: “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, “These Violent Delights” by Chloe Gong, “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller, and “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood. These are all examples of books that have gotten awards or have been on the New York Times Best Seller list all because of BookTok and readers who desperately love these books.

So, after a page-long spiel, there is a conclusion. Yes, #BookTok does in fact increase reading time by convincing viewers to pick up a book and give it a try.