Students back to books

Social Media’s impact on students and teachers reading habits.


Mirren Grimason

Sophomore Alex Waltz is reading a book they have recently discovered on BookTok. “BookTok has helped me find so many books in my preferred genre that I would have never come across before,” Waltz said.

Freshman across GlenOak groan and sigh in protest as their English teacher announces the next book they will be reading: The Odyssey. Students would much rather spend their time doing something else, including reading the book they saw scrolling on TikTok last night. 

 Many teens have always claimed that they hate reading and can never get into reading a book, until they saw it on their social media feed. 

Now, when students walk through the halls they have a Colleen Hoover book in hand or a Sarah J. Mass book in their trusty tote bag. These same teens who claimed they got bored from reading, now bring a book everywhere they go “just in case.”

This increase in teens reading is all thanks to one of the most popular social media apps, TikTok. According to The New York Times, book sales have risen by over 50% since 2022.

Teens and young adults who want to share their love for reading have taken to social media to let everyone know what they are currently reading. The name of this niche community on the app is known as BookTok. 

BookTok is a community on TikTok where influencers make videos about the books they have read. These videos include book reviews and ratings or wrap-ups of everytho=ing they have read this month or year. 

Freshman English teacher, Angela Beshore, witnessed the influence of book social media has had on her reading habits and the reading habits of her students.

“I’ve always talked with my students about books and I typically have a lot of students that are readers but recently it has been on a whole other level,” Beshore said. “I often see my students with a book on their desk I recognize and I think its a great way to start a conversation and feel connected with them.”

BookTok has not only been influencing young readers but also major book stores as a whole. Places like Barnes and Noble and Books a Million have tables or even sections dedicated to the books that are seen on BookTok.  

BookTok started in 2019 when a group of small influencers began showing their love for reading and book recommendations. Since then, these influencers and others have been blowing up on BookTok.

“I used to always flip back and forth between fiction and nonfiction books because I really enjoy nonfiction books that shake up my beliefs and make me think,” Beshore said. “However, since BookTok I have been reading three or four fiction books in a row, which I have never done before.”

Not only has BookTok been increasing the amount of fiction books people read, but some have also reported reading books faster than they used to.

Sophomore Lillie Haupt realized a noticeable change in her reading habits since BookTok.

“I used to think it was tiring reading a book, but now I happily read a 300 page book in just one day,” Haupt said. 

Some students have had their social media as a whole taken over by book related content. 

Sophomore Katelyn Salmons has reported seeing many book related posts on her social media feed. 

“On my explore page on Instagram, I see lots of posts about books people have read and adored,” Salmons said. “I frequently screenshot them and share them with my family and friends.”

The positive impact BookTok has had on many teens shows how social media can influence us in many different aspects of our lives, including rekindling a love for reading. 

The next time you find yourself complaining about your latest English assignment, take to BookTok to remind yourself how enjoyable reading can be. You might be surprised by what you find.