#BookTok made me read it

Forget Book Tube, the people really influencing what we read are over on TikTok. Here's what to read, and who's reading it.


For a solo activity, the art of reading and recommending books does incredibly well on social media. Over the years, YouTube has spawned a huge number of so-called Book Tubers – including singer Amerie and Naya Reads and Smiles – who have added to our TBR piles and opened our literature up to new stories and authors. Twitter, too, is a buzzing platform for reading recs, with authors themselves regularly finding themselves at the heart of the conversations. Now, though, TikTok has come along and is changing the face of book buying.

The rise of #BookTok

Look at Book Tok and you’ll find a thriving community who are devoted to reading. With more than 9.6bn views and counting, it’s been touted as a safe and wholesome place, brimming with joy. What’s more, it’s full of great women TikTokers who are  posting video clips on their thoughts on their literature loves. And they naturally find themselves promoting the work of women authors. There’s aaliyahreads and aymansbooks – influencers with sizeable followings from all corners of the globe.


What are they reading?

According to recent research by The Knowledge Academy, the top ten most talked-about books in 2021 were mainly young adult and fantasy, and featured an all-women author line up.

“With a whopping 707.5 million hashtag views, the fantasy novel Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is the most popular book on TikTok! The author’s popularity has seen another of their books (Shadow and Bone) turned into a Netflix series.”

The Knowledge Academy team continues: “In second place, Throne of Glass, written by Sarah J. Maas, has accumulated 439.1 million TikTok hashtag views.”


From BookTok to our book shelves

While mainly for the Gen Z crowd, there are also some Millennials knocking about Book Tok – and the audience is growing. Popular authors on the site have seen sales skyrocket, some of whom were completely ignorant of the source of their success. Others have joined in the community of Book Tokers who are sharing their tips on writing, publishing and the creative process. Book Tok is passionate, and profitable for the publishers. The publisher Bloomsbury, behind the Harry Potter series, reported record sales and a 220% rise in profits this year, which they have credited partly to the “absolute phenomenon” of Book Tok.

Book Tok’s top ten

1. Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows (Orion Children's Books) - 707 million TikTok hashtag views
2. Sarah J Maas' Throne of Glass (Bloomsbury) - 439m
3. Holly Black's The Cruel Prince (Hot Key Books) - 280m
4. Kiera Cass' The Selection (HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks) - 165m
5. Colleen Hoover's It Ends With US (Simon & Schuster UK) - 148m
6. Sarah J Maas' A Court of Mist and Fury (Bloomsbury) - 143m
7. Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me (Electric Monkey) - 137m
8. Penelope Douglas' Punk 57 (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) - 125m
9. Jennifer L. Armentrout's From Blood and Ash (Blue Box Press) - 111m
10. Colleen Hoover's Confess (Simon & Schuster) - 98m

❤ Picked for you ❤

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