By Abby Hallagan, Staff Writer
The BookTok Book Club is a newly organized, student-run organization on campus that provides members with an opportunity to get involved in the Gettysburg community and meet new people who also share a passion for reading.
The club’s president, Jenna King ’24, is a health sciences major with a minor in chemistry who is actively involved on campus. She serves as a Peer Learning Associate for chemistry, works for the equipment room in the athletics department, is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and is the secretary for the Health Sciences Student Advisory Board.
Although she was an avid reader when she was younger, King found that the older she got, the less free time she had to sit down and enjoy a book. One day King was chatting with her lacrosse coach and she mentioned that she had always wanted to be a part of a book club and that it was on her bucket list. King’s coach encouraged her to get involved in one now.
After forming a board consisting of Vice President Devon Kelty ’24, Secretary Kaitlyn Bergen ’23, Treasurer Allie Strazzella ’24 and Public Relations Officer Gracie Meisner ’25, King started the BookTok Book Club.
King’s inspiration for the BookTok Book Club came largely from the #BookTok trend on the social media app TikTok. For King, #BookTok reignited her love for reading.
During the summer of 2022, reading was one of the top trends on this app. Through #BookTok, book lovers make video reviews about their favorite reads. Not only do these reviews highlight good books, they also have the potential to create the “BookTok effect,” which occurs when some increasingly popular titles sell out in bookstores. Other #BookTok books even make it onto The New York Times Bestseller lists.
The BookTok Book Club discussions will be held monthly upstairs in The Ragged Edge Coffee House. When deciding what books to read for the following month, the club’s executive board will put together a list of three or four titles and send them out to the group. Members of the group will vote on which book they would like to read. The book polling with the highest votes will be the selection for the next month.
Anyone with a passion for reading can join the BookTok Book Club. In fact, King says, “The more the merrier!”
Fun and lively conversations are the overall goal of the meetings, so the more people in attendance, the more thought-provoking King believes the discussions will be. According to King, the commitment to this club is not meant to be overbearing. Rather, it is a relaxing option to keep students’ minds active and help them escape for a while from their busy day-to-day lives.