TikTok's Book Influencers Are Sucking The Joy Out Of Reading

Put the book down, I repeat, put the book down.
It's meant to be fun after all.
iiievgeniy via Getty Images
It's meant to be fun after all.

I adore reading. I love the feeling of being transported to another world whilst laying in bed. I love falling in love with characters and storylines. I love when an author manages to perfectly describe how you feel in one sentence.

As a writer, books inspire me but as a normal person, I take great pleasure in just reading a good book. I’d describe myself as an avid reader, typically reading three to four books a month.

I thought all of this was normal until I joined BookTok.

Suddenly, I felt I was flawed when I saw people on TikTok sharing how they’d read 10 to 20 books that month alone, as if it was nothing.

At first, I thought people reading that many books were the the minority – but, it seemed that nearly every other book influencer on the clock app was reading more than 10 books a month and it made me feel like I wasn’t reading enough.

Reading is not a competition but I suddenly found myself feeling like I had to read more or make excuses as to why I don’t read that often.

User @Anna Fitzpatrick tweeted about a book influencer giving tips on how to read more books a year.

“They were: listen to audiobooks on 1.5 speed, skim long passages of texts, read novellas and graphic novels to hit your “reading goals” faster. Which is fine, if your goal is to consume as much as possible,” she said.

All relatively good tips I suppose, but doesn’t this just take the joy out of reading?

People in the comments were conflicted. Many felt that ‘reading goals’ take away from the joy of reading. Instead of just getting stuck into a good book and relishing it, you’re just reading to hit a quota.

Others questioned why we shouldn’t be pushing ourselves to read more.

Reading goals in their entirety aren’t always a bad thing – for instance, some people might aspire to read more books from a specific genre. Others might want to read more books so that they can learn more about a specific topic.

I always have a yearly amount of books I want to read and it helps me ensure I read daily which helps me stay offline (sometimes).

But if your reading goals are based around reading an insane amount of books for the sake of it, you might want to ask yourself, why? Especially if you’re creating book content.

Reading is fun but I don’t want to read every single day and that’s fine! If you do, that’s also fine. But let’s not turn this very wholesome activity into a rat race okay?