Beauty and Brains: The Newfound Hotness of Reading Books

Beauty and Brains: The Newfound Hotness of Reading Books

25-04-2024 (12:59) - FT Trend Cult

Hey there our little Bookworms, we have some more food for thought to share. Boomerang FT. Trend Cult is back with the freshest Gen Z trend! In our last edition, we looked at the Sassy Man Apocalypse and all the debate it sparked about gender roles. This month's topic is not dependent on gender as it is accessible to everyone: Books! Gen Z is bringing books back and making it the new IT hobby. Want to find out more? Then keep on reading.

The trend of book reading has been sparking among Zoomers ever since the pandemic. BookTok, a reading community on TikTok where users share reviews of their favorite books, popularizes certain genres and reading preferences. Gen Z is drawn to read more romantic books with rather elementary tropes such as enemies to lovers and fantasy. Authors are also tailoring their books to get recognition on BookTok as they have a higher chance of going viral. BookTok also has power outside of TikTok since bookstores are adding new sections with the label “as seen on TikTok” to capitalize on the trend. Generally speaking, BookTok made books cool again and brought more attention to reading.

Do it for the ‘gram

Not everyone has the time or mental space to take on the challenge of reading all 27 Dune books. However, everyone felt inspired to after seeing Zendaya’s 4 seconds of screentime in the first adaptation. Similarly, some of those joining the trend are not avid readers, but simply fans of the aesthetics. Pictures of an influencer reading a book during a bubble bath go viral because of their ideal depiction of relaxation, with some pictures even featuring glitter and kiss marks on the pages. The book is now wet and messy, but hey, cool picture!
In everyday life, Zoomers firmly believe that bringing a book to a coffee place will make them more mysterious and attractive. Whether this actually lands you more dates or new friends, it surely makes you feel hot. So, this trend sells a narrative to others but also to ourselves. And we probably choose to believe it because it’s easier than reading 200 pages, something that – let’s be honest – Gen Z has no attention span for.

“Perhaps these traditional forms of entertainment are a break from doom-scrolling or binge-watching Netflix”

Attenzione, Zoomers!

We were born into a digitalized world full of constant audiovisual stimulations. Therefore, it is no surprise that Gen Z does not find a black-and-white page full of words on and no illustrations as interesting as the previous generations. By constantly scrolling through short clips, some of our attention spans have reached the complexity of a goldfish. Books becoming hot is almost ironic. Yet, very refreshing. Perhaps these traditional forms of entertainment are a break from doom-scrolling or binge-watching Netflix. After all, if there was any chance of revitalizing our attention span by training it with proper reading, we’d be all down for it.

So, hot or not?

We have a confession to make: we at Trend Cult are not the most proficient readers. Remember the part of this article about the attention span of a goldfish? Yeah, we were mostly speaking from experience. However, with the never-ending emergence of new trends, it is undoubtedly exciting that our generation is bringing something as intellectually stimulating as books – we definitely prefer that over the Chubby Bunny challenge (remember that one?). So, this trend, even if somewhat performative, gets a sign of approval from your favorite team.

We’ll have to leave it here this month – we're still on book 19 of the Dune series. As always, your suggested topics are more than welcome, so feel free to drop us a message if something comes to mind. And of course, keep your eyes peeled for the next month’s edition: we're nearing the summer, how exciting is that? See you in May!

Yours truly, Trend Cult.