How BookTok is reigniting Reading in Pakistan

TikTok launched BookTok to reignite the love of reading in Pakistan. But how is this trend reshaping bookstores?

How BookTok is reigniting Reading in Pakistan f

"they have a very high price range.”

In recent times, BookTok was formed as a book and literary page on TikTok and has spread widely in Lahore.

This has given bookstores in the city the opportunity to stock the most popular books and has started a new trend called ‘TikTok Made Me Buy It’.

Readings is one of the biggest online booksellers in Pakistan and has been allowed to add a section exclusively named ‘TikTok Made Me Buy It’.

Jibran Saeed is the director of sales at the popular bookseller and revealed that there had been a huge increase in the demand for books.

Because of this, they added new shelves to their ever-growing collection.

One avid reader said: “Many of the books I want to buy are sold out at Readings, from where I usually buy my books.

“Other competitors in the Lahore book market are Liberty Books and Ferozsons.

“But the latter does not sell books that come under the category of Young Adult or BookTok Books.

“Although Liberty Books stock novels made famous with the online book and literature community, I would never switch to them because they have a very high price range.”

Since the start of BookTok, indie bookshops have seen the addition of popular titles such as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong.

Adding to the list are popular authors such as Coleen Hoover and Danielle Steel.

Once upon a time, the passion for reading had decreased significantly in Pakistan as there was more of a demand for the latest gadgets and social media among the younger generation.

But in a way, social media, especially TikTok and X, can be thanked for reigniting the fire of literature in young readers.

With various trends quickly becoming viral on social media, one such trend was TikTok videos in which a library of books would be shown set up in colour coordination to look aesthetically pleasing to the engaging audience.

The younger audience has been engaging in content put out by social media influencers, consisting of book hauls and artistic images of their book purchases on their coffee tables.

Placing books on a coffee table has also become a fashionable act recently.

X account ‘Book Struggles’ boasts a following of over 40,000 followers and it was stated on their page that owning books was merely to give the illusion that some people are interested in reading.

But in reality, the books were just a showpiece for their home.

“Books are something that people are over-consuming, something to buy and read, sometimes to enjoy, but not usually something to digest.

“Reading has become a lifestyle, now people must simply look as though they own and read books, never mind if they actually do.”

BookTok has been on TikTok since 2020 in an attempt to garner interest in reading, writing and book reviews, and has become increasingly popular as it continues to trend all over social media.

Sana is from a law background who's pursuing her love of writing. She likes reading, music, cooking and making her own jam. Her motto is: "Taking the second step is always less scarier than taking the first."

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