Younger generations read books, but their approach to books is not the same as that of older generations.
For proof, look no further than BookTok, the massive book club that has sprung up on the TikTok social network.
Many 16-25 year olds take part in it to discover new titles to read, according to a recent survey conducted by the Publishers Association.
The British trade organization examined this phenomenon by surveying more than 2,000 respondents aged 16 to 25 through agency Savanta.
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It found that BookTok had an impact on the cultural consumption habits of young people: 59% of them said that the literary network TikTok helped them “discover a passion for reading”.
It’s been two years since the short video creation and sharing platform saw an increase in book recommendations and reviews. And it’s far from an isolated phenomenon: the #booktok hashtag has over 91 billion views.
This new type of literary content has even boosted the sales numbers of some books, including Madeline Miller’s “Achilles’ Song,” Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper,” and Leigh Bardugo’s “Grishaverse” novels.
These successes in book sales can be explained by the role BookTok plays as a referral tool for millennials and younger generations. Many of them watch videos of literary influencers introducing them to classics as well as the latest book releases.
Their opinion sometimes matters more than that of their loved ones: 38% of 16-25 year olds say they prefer to turn to members of the BookTok community for book recommendations over family and friends.
I’m doing the cold reading again
Dan Conway, chief executive of the Association of Publishers, is delighted that the BookTok phenomenon is pushing younger generations to embrace books. “It’s great to see that [it] ignites the love of reading in young people.
Reading can be so beneficial for health and happiness and is a way for all ages to connect over shared interests,” he said in a statement. BookTok’s power when it comes to recommendations is also a big hit with publishers and book professionals.
And for good reason, nearly half of 16-25 year olds say they recently went to a bookstore to buy a book they heard about on TikTok. It turns out to be a great way to boost the entire sector. After working in publishing for six years, Chrissy Ryan decided to open her own bookstore, Book Bar, in the heart of London to ride the BookTok wave.
A friendly space where bibliophiles can enjoy a glass of wine while flipping through paper versions of books they’ve discovered on their phones. “We’re seeing more and more young people coming into the store asking for books they discovered on TikTok,” she explained in the Publishers Association report.
“We increasingly look to BookTok to help us establish our inventory and anticipate demand. It’s exciting to see that BookTok has made reading cool again.” Cool and sociable. Far from being just a trendy hashtag, BookTok allows young people to connect with like-minded readers.
For example, 19% of those surveyed said this huge book club made them feel like they belonged to a community, while 16% said it led to new friendships.