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Article: Is Austen finding new fans on… Tiktok?

Jane Austen Centre on tik tok

Is Austen finding new fans on… Tiktok?

Jane Austen on Tik Tok

I don’t know about you, but it often feels to me that the world is changing at a pace I can hardly keep up with. As someone whose day job involves working with teenagers, it’s a constant struggle to keep up with all the new apps, trends and slang, and I could swear the pace of things is just getting faster. What was in yesterday is out today. Trends come and go like the weather. TikTok, however, has been such a phenomenon that I’d have to be living with my head in the sand to miss its influence.

I have been on TikTok for over a year now, and have become quite a dedicated member of the BookTok community. For the uninitiated, ‘BookTok’ is the name given to the book loving community, offering a place to discuss and recommend releases new and old. Some authors absolutely dominate this space - Madeline Miller, Emily Henry and Colleen Hoover are perennial favourites. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t space for an old classic or two.

Jane Austen is one of the leaders of the pack in this regard. To coincide with the release of the Netflix film, the official TikTok Book Club picked Persuasion as its very first read. At time of writing, the AustenTok hashtag has over 44.6 million views. The Jane Austen Centre even has an account where you can see everything that’s going on here - give us a cheeky follow!

BookTok is a multi-headed beast, with niche communities nestling within it - not just for Jane Austen and other classics, but for non-fiction, genre fiction, and recommendations for reading more diversely. However, a big drawback is that it can get a little same-y, with many of the same books featuring over and over again in people’s reading wrap ups.

If you’re still sceptical, I suggest giving it a go and seeing what you can find. The app has not only great book recommendations, but a whole world of fun, comedy skits and intriguing fun facts. Be warned, though - the scrolling is addictive!

What do you think - is BookTok good for literature, or does it lead to everyone reading the same thing? Are you on AustenTok? We’d love to hear from you. Message to let us know your thoughts.

Ellen White is editor of the Jane Austen Centre blog. She would love to hear from you! Check out our Submission Guidelines and get in touch.

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