Photo contributed by Ayman Chaudhary

In moments of boredom, many TikTok users find themselves scrolling endlessly through lighthearted videos in which creators feature everything from culinary skills and comedic videos to choreographed dances. These videos often encourage their viewers to partake in popular trends doing things that they love, anything from thrifting at local shops to recommending notable novels. 

Content related to literature has become increasingly popular, especially during quarantine. Often referred to as “BookTok”, this side of the app highlights all things related to books: giveaways, book recommendations, memes related to literature-based fandoms and tips on aesthetically organizing your bookshelf.

Literary influencer Ayman Chaudhary, who posts under the username @aymansbooks on TikTok, explained that “once you surround yourself with BookTok creators, the recommendations are limitless.”

In November 2020, Chaudhary gained traction on TikTok by creating BookTok content. She often posts funny, relatable videos; her memorable book recommendations notably generate the most views and attract the most followers. Like many young adults, Chaudhary wanted to build an audience and make connections with others in the community who shared similar interests. Now she has over 360,000 followers with 23.5 million overall likes on her videos. 

Not only do BookTok influencers affect the books that young adults are reading — they can also dramatically affect an author’s career. 

“BookTok is, in itself, kind of like a marketing place,” Chaudhary said. 

Books that gain popularity on TikTok entice viewers to buy the book. A prime example of this is V.E. Schwab’s “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.” In December 2020, Chaudhary posted a video recommending it as one of her favorite books and got a lot of recognition on the app. She soon learned — via TikTok comments — that “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” sold out on Amazon because of her.

Although the book was popular before Ayman created her book recommendation video, after her review was posted, Schwab’s “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” jumped all the way to No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List for hardcover fiction. 

Schwab “thought the internet was broken …  to this day the book is still in the New York Times Best Selling Hardcover Fiction top thirty.” 

This is primarily because, like Ayman, many young adults like to receive information quicker and faster. Therefore, they can see what books are trending by simply scrolling through BookTok.

Dionna Taylor, a member of the BookTok community and a content creator, definitely sees the effect that large creators and trending books have on what she and her followers read. In a written email, Taylor explained that “[she] started reading again because [she] kept seeing books like Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Red White and Royal Blue all over the place on Tiktok! Most of the books I read definitely come from Booktoker recommendations, that’s pretty much how I build my To Be Read [list].”

BookTok has demonstrated that your new favorite book is out there, and you can easily find it through this large online community.