BookTok is taking over

Lexie Bordenkecher, editor

Last year during quarantine, people had to find things to do. Some turned to TV, painting, crocheting, or solving puzzles, but a large number of people, specifically teenagers, began reading.

Ben Davis media center specialist Shannon Rose said, “We have almost had more circulation in just the beginning of school this year than all of last year combined,” she continued, “I think it’s a combination of reasons why, but whatever the reason, I am so happy about it.”

Reading for pleasure is much different than being assigned a book in school. The books that we get assigned in school are usually books that are at least 20 years old, usually older. It’s not that older books aren’t good, but they’re usually written about characters or events that modern-day teens don’t find relatable or engaging.

Of course, it is still important to read the books assigned in school. The lessons that the books teach are timeless, and learning how to comprehend difficult material is a crucial part of education. But, don’t swear off reading just because you haven’t liked the books assigned to you in class. There are so many books that are engaging and fun to read.

Whether you like romance, contemporary fiction, fantasy, or historical fiction, there’s something for everyone! Our school’s library has many options available for checkout. Rose notes that the most popular genres from this year are realistic fiction, mystery, thriller, and Manga.

On the ever-growing social media platform, TikTok, there is a creator-made subsection called “BookTok”. Readers share their favorite books in “aesthetically pleasing” videos. Commonly made videos are captioned, “convincing you to read ______ based on the aesthetic”, or “if you like this song, read this book”.

It is a creative way to convince people to read more. 

If you’re looking to get back into reading, check out the library. Rose is always available for book recommendations and requests.

“Reading is exercise for your brain,” she said. “It helps people see themselves and their experiences and feel seen and validated as well as allowing them to see the experiences of others and build understanding and empathy.”

She is always looking for more readers, and will happily fill your request if you want to read a book our library doesn’t carry. Try to challenge yourself to read at least two books for yourself by the end of 2021.