A lot has changed since Book Riot’s first post about “bookish TikTok” in 2019. Since then, BookTok has become an integral part of the Bookternet. Publishers are getting in on the game, both directly and through influencers. It’s not unusual to see BookTokers with 10k or even 100k followers — or even a lot more than that. YA sales were up almost 50% in the first half of 2021, and that was widely attributed to BookTok.
Like TikTok more generally, there’s something for everyone on BookTok. Yes, there’s lip synching and dancing, which is how the app’s popularity began. There are memes in video form — people repurposing sounds and videos from pop culture to make their own point or illustrate their own life. There are book hauls, where people show off their recent buys and borrows. There are, yes, the people crying, though it’s fair to say that trend may have come and gone. There are accounts with beautiful aesthetics that wouldn’t look out of place on Bookstagram. There are also thoughtful takes on books, from recommendations to deconstructions of tropes to theories about characters.
So where should you start if you want to join BookTok — or if you just want to increase and improve the bookish content on your TikTok feed?
I’m glad you asked.
One “genre” of BookTok is the storytelling videos. Since TikTok is a place where people tell outrageous and sometimes surprising stories about their lives, BookTok has its own take on this: readers tell a story that will instantly get the attention of the person watching. Then, they reveal that in fact the story didn’t happen to them, but to a a character in a book. Abby does a great job of this kind of video.
BookTok is known for hyping certain genres more than others — fantasy, romance, and all things YA among them. But if your thing is horror, follow Brandon for recs and reviews.
Sanjana makes a great follow if you want to think a little more deeply, critically, and sometimes academically about all things romance. Yes, including lots of Bridgerton content.
A “therapist by day, Booktoker by night”, Lee is currently reading across Africa — a book from every independent country on the continent in 2022. Following her is a great way to broaden your reading and learn about other countries.
Chels is another really thoughtful BookToker — and their niche is vintage romance, which makes for a particularly interesting follow and a counterpoint to the accusation that BookTok always hypes the same five books. Also, if you’re into Bridgerton, this account is a must-follow.
Aubrei has great vibes — she’s friendly and fun, and talks thoughtfully about her favourite books. Her feed is another great place to discover under-hyped books. And as a bonus, there’s a little cat content.
Kendra makes me laugh and think and also has some great takes on my favourite literary characters.
Another account guaranteed to make you smile — as well as rush to the bookstore — is Payten’s. Romance, spice, and diversity are her things — so yes, this is another one for the Bridgerton fans!
Marquis is that rare jewel: not only a man who BookToks, but a man who BookToks about romance! And he does it adorably.
Nonfiction doesn’t get a lot of love on BookTok, so it’s great to find an excellent account that gives it its due! Nathan will expand your TBR with some underrated memoir, history, essays, and more.
If you love vintage fashion almost as much as you love books, check out Carmen’s account! Her account is also a great place to get Latine book recs.
If your thing is literary fiction and you enjoy a good cry at a sad book or spending time with an unlikeable character with issues, you’re going to want to follow Zoe for some great takes and recs!
Want to go deeper into BookTok? Try An Introduction to Romance BookTok and BookTok vs BookTube: Which Account Should You Start?