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booktok bookshelf nottingham
Photograph: Dan Wray

TikTok-inspired ‘BookTok’ bookshelves will soon open across the UK

The app has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust to bring books to young people across the country

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

Nothing has a grip on today’s youth quite like TikTok. Alongside the likes of girl maths, cottage core and oddly satisfying ASMR content, one of the app’s biggest phenomena is #BookTok. If you’re not familiar, it’s pretty much what it says on the tin — TikToks about books. And with almost 200 billion views, BookTok is one of the most popular video tags out there. 

Now, the National Literacy Trust (NLT) wants to harness that power. Hoping to increase access to books and encourage more reading among young people, particularly in areas of poverty and low literacy, TikTok and NLT have linked up to bring #BookTok bookshelves to community hubs in 11 areas across the UK

Every bookshelf will be different, each one curated by youth volunteers within each community. According to NLT, ‘the books will cover a range of different themes and interests that are specific to each group of young people’. In Nottingham, for example, book browsers will get to pick from titles from the likes of Malorie Blackman, Holly Jackson, Hafsah Faizal, Neil Gaiman and Alice Oseman.

The first social media inspired library launched at the Lenton Centre in Nottingham today (Friday, May 10) and further BookTok shelves will be landing in Birmingham, Blackpool, Bradford, Doncaster, Manchester, Middlesborough, Newcastle, Peterborough, Stoke and Swindon between now and September. 

Jason Vit, head of local areas at the National Literacy Trust, said: ‘As a charity, we strive to boost literacy levels across the UK, particularly in our most disadvantaged communities, by increasing access to books and reaching people where they are – and in a way that feels meaningful to them.’

Calling all bookworms

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