• Deborah Yaffe

Cue the wine and cheese

Last spring, as blog readers will recall, the London Times announced that Persuasion was the sixth most popular book on TikTok, the video-sharing platform that has proved startlingly effective at drumming up interest in new, or newly rediscovered, books.


In the intervening months, Janeites have spent an inordinate amount of time discussing Netflix’s polarizing new adaptation of Persuasion, which premiered earlier this month.


Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that Persuasion is the inaugural selection of the new TikTok Book club, launched last week via an announcement on TikTok’s British website.


“The TikTok Book Club will serve as a virtual space for the TikTok community to discuss new titles together,” the platform’s press release explained, “and the best thing about the TikTok Book Club is that anyone can join.”


According to TikTok, each month will feature a new title, with book club members encouraged to post video responses as they read. At month’s end, the club’s five BookTok Laureates – each a BookTok-er with between 50,000 and 650,000 followers – will convene for a live discussion of the book in question.


Persuasion is apparently the July pick, which seems a tad unfair, since the month was more than half over before the club’s launch. (True, it’s one of Austen’s shortest novels, but still.) And I can’t find any word on when, exactly, the live discussion will take place, or how TikTok plans to provide members with the alcohol and homemade snacks that no reputable book club can do without.


But it's early days yet, and hey: Anything that gets people reading Jane Austen is a very good thing.

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