• Home
  • Books
  • Reviewing the power and influence of “BookTok” (Op-Ed)
Photo Credit: The Future Party

Reviewing the power and influence of “BookTok” (Op-Ed)

Social media has had a heavy hand in influencing which popular culture and media gets the most attention for decades. 

If you wanted the best recommendations and reviews for movies, books, television shows, music, and more, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter (X) and even Pinterest and Reddit were there to connect you to real people with real opinions. 

Released in 2016 and growing in massive popularity ever since, the video-sharing platform TikTok has been an enormous hub of information, knocking these other platforms out of the park when it comes to content sharing.

Most recently, ‘BookTok’, and similarly, ‘Bookstagram’ on Instagram have emerged as the ultimate haven for bookworms looking for their next read. While each online sphere does have its share of influencers and specific accounts that have dedicated themselves to providing book reviews and recommendations, the entire community, brought together by hashtags, account tags, top-tier book photography and thoughtful reviews, has created a stronghold of users looking to share their love of reading. 

However, when it comes to sharing opinions and recommendations online, there are sure to be a variety of outcomes and consequences. 

While I, personally, do not use TikTok, I am an avid Instagram user who has plenty of experience with this, albeit late, and smaller, community of readers on Bookstagram. Oftentimes when scrolling or discovering new accounts, one can expect to see a small, repetitive handful of the same titles, whether they be recent releases or oldies that are getting a second chance in the spotlight years after their initial releases. Through repeated exposure to the same covers, titles, and blurbs, one is psychologically primed to become more curious about the book, looking into the author, price, release, sales locations and more simply by seeing and hearing about it again and again.

Propelled by a shared love of dystopian fiction, fantasy, romance, romantic comedies, and all varieties of fiction sprinkled in with historical fiction and memoirs, these accounts tend to become an echo chamber. This is done by pinging the same books back and forth to each other, even if a decent portion of those who read it did not enjoy the read due to its poor writing, lackluster characterization, or boring plot. 

Now, is this a negative outcome? Not necessarily. It is completely valid to read a book, enjoy it to the point of recommendation, or despise it to the point of blacklisting, and find a community online to share thoughts, feelings and opinions with. The next time you scroll or swipe, though, dig a little deeper, read between the lines, and make sure to hear both sides of the story before adding to your TBR.


Join Our Mailing List

Recent Articles

Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!