The impact of BookTok

If you walk into any bookstore or library you will probably notice a section titled “Popular on TikTok” and for good reason. At the time of writing this blog #BookTok has 168.2 Billion views with #booksontiktok following with 986.5 million views. If you are in the business of books, your audience (at least in some capacity) is on TikTok.

But it’s not just about books. Over the past 2 years “BookTok” has changed the perception of readers. Bookish labels can be found all over social media. It’s become an aesthetic.

Picture the reader; sitting in their chair, wrapped in a blanket, rain hitting the window, candles all around and bookcases piled high…Thousands of people now refer to themselves as being a “cosy reader”. So now, there are thousands of playlists on YouTube that market to these readers. Lo-Fi music has grown in popularity due to it’s calming and ambient style of music. Perfect for the reader to cosy up with while reading their favourite novel.

You will also find that “academia style” is now a staple for interior decor while “dark academia” is also a fashion trend for interiors and clothing. These new terms are no longer exclusive to TikTok but they were certainly founded there. I don’t recall anyone using the term “Bookish” before TikTok.

Another example is the “TBR pile” (to be read…) I’m sure many readers have always saved up books they would like to read in the future but would never have said in conversation “I know I shouldn’t buy any more books, my TBR pile is already getting out if hand”. But it’s common terminology amongst readers now.

So how does this impact libraries?

Well, it’s simple. This generation of readers are digital first. That’s exactly why TBR has become such a popular acronym. Book lovers aren’t speaking out loud having these conversations in the library. They are sitting at home or on their morning commute, scrolling TikTok, messaging one another, sharing their favourite reads through their social media channels.

Readers can now see a book they like on TikTok, download it onto their Kindle or phone and leave a review in a matter of hours.

Much in the same way people expect to be able to relax and watch their latest shows on Netflix, the modern reader wants the same experience of instant entertainment.

The demand for a mobile first library has already arrived.

TikTok has been around for 2 years now and it’s platform is still going strong. There will always be new social media products on the horizon but there’s no doubt that these will also put the digital user experience first.

That’s why at Solus we have a range of products to meet the needs of the digital generation of library users. From our new library discovery platform to our #1 Library App. Our library solutions give modern book lovers access to all that the library has to offer, wherever they are.

We know that readers love the smell of an old book and flicking through the pages and we want to encourage them to read in whatever format they prefer. The key is to provide a digital first approach.

Let’s make it easy for readers to see a book they like on TikTok, search for it on their library catalogue through an app or website, then be able to pick it up later that day… 


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