#BookTok has captured the hearts of our community; with creators, bookworms and authors alike coming together to share their love of literature in a uniquely TikTok way.
This summer is set to be huge for this book-loving community - we recently announced the launch of the TikTok Book Awards for the UK and Ireland, and we're so excited to be partnering once again with the Hay Festival, the world’s leading arts and literary festival.
Ahead of the Festival kicking off next week, we're spotlighting one of creators who'll be there in person - @samfallingbooks! Sam is well known in the #BookTok world for her book hauls, book reviews and insights into a wide variety of genres. She also shares some incredible book recommendations that are perfect for your next summer holiday.
Not only is Sam a #BookTok celebrity, but she is also joining us on our TikTok panel at the Hay Festival. We can't wait to see her in her element, sharing her expertise and passion with those attending alongside industry experts.
We hope you are looking forward to Hay Festival Sam! What does #BookTok mean to you?
Thank you for having me! Last year looked amazing and I can't wait to experience it in person.
#BookTok for me encompasses a diverse community who love books. There are so many genres and niches but essentially we're all shouting about the books we love and hoping that someone else might love them too. I think there's something incredibly lovely about that. #BookTok is a place where I know I can find a book I will enjoy, no matter what I'm in the mood for. Romance? A graphic novel? A twist on a classic? A thriller that will put me on edge? A non-fiction that makes you realise you need way more sleep and you should stop going to bed at 2am? #BookTok has you covered.
I've met so many incredible people and some have become close friends. I will say... reader friends are the best friends! If you want to get into reading and you don't know where to start, come and join us! We are just a crazy bunch of people that love words on paper.
What first inspired you to create content on TikTok?
I had a book blog when I was younger and I had a lot of fun writing reviews (probably quite poorly written at the age of 13 but I was having a good time). Through the years I wanted to make videos about books but was ultimately too nervous. When I started using TikTok I loved seeing the different styles of content that people were creating to share their love of books e.g. the aesthetic videos, the reviews, the fun skits. There wasn't one right way to do things, you could be so versatile and express yourself in any form that feels comfortable. I was a bit nervous putting my face out there at first, but the community is so welcoming and supportive that this fear quickly went away. I really enjoyed the way my content could reach such a wide audience and I have been able to connect with other readers through this to not only share thoughts, but also get more recommendations to add on to the never ending list of books I want to read, aka my TBR (To Be Read).
What else is on your For You feed?
- BTS content (counting down the days until they're reunited).
- Taylor Swift tour.
- Bridgerton! Loved Queen Charlottte and now I'm ready for season three.
- Thailand vlogs! I am visiting my family soon and I'm thankful that I can find good places to eat to add to my itinerary.
- I also get a lot of those videos where someone undercover donates money to a small business struggling or someone in need and I'm left in tears every time.
Which other BookTok creators on TikTok inspire you?
@Joe.reads - We have slightly different reading tastes but Joe has made me want to pick up more literary fiction. I really enjoy his thorough reviews and I think he's so funny.
@Groovytas - Do you have those people that you follow that you could listen to them talk forever? That is Tas for me. She has amazing fantasy recommendations and they never miss!
@Amymayreads - We have the same reading tastes and if Amy loves something I know I will too. She creates an extremely cosy space and I always feel safe watching her videos.
What is your favourite TikTok video you have made to date and why?
I think it would have to be a recommendation video I did for The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber. Since I posted that video I've had so many people messaging me that the video made them pick up the series and they absolutely adored it. Some were people who hadn't read a book since they were in school, some had never read a fantasy, some were just people who were excited by how much I loved the book and wanted to see if they would love it just as much. The book ends on a big cliffhanger and the next book is out in October, so it feels nice to have a little community of people who are all just as excited for the next installment. I like to say that even though the book left us in pain, at least we're in pain together.
Finally, if you could recommend one Summer read for us, what would it be?
This is very difficult! I will always recommend As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh. Such a beautiful book following the story of a girl living in Syria who begins to fall in love as she's trying to decide whether to flee. It is heartbreaking and gut wrenching at times, but I believe that everyone should pick it up. But if you want something a bit lighter within the romance genre, then Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert is a great one! If you're a younger reader wanting to read a fun fantasy, then I'd recommend Twin Crowns by Katherine Webber and Catherine Doyle. It has a rom-com vibe and it's really easy to get into.