If you have looked at books at Walmart and Target or looked in certain sections in a bookstore, you might have, at some point, noticed books turned backward or covered by another book. Examples of this are Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming or husband Barack’s A Promised Land hidden by a book written by a conservative author such as Candice Owens.
Carrie Deming, the owner of The Dog Eared Book, a bookstore in Palmyra, New York, addresses this issue in a video for her store’s TikTok account. Deming explains in the video she and her employees go around their store and turn LGBTQ and BIPOC books back around to show the books’ covers after people who do not agree with the books and turn them backward.
There were some creators that stitched this video talking about times that this happened in libraries and other bookstores.
Deming does a follow-up video on July 16 where she talks about how the video has resonated with a lot of people. Deming also says:
“Even more incredible I cannot believe how this community has put their money where their mouth is and the amount of orders that came through our website last night for LGBTQ+ books is absolutely incredible. I’m running around pulling them to get orders packed this morning and honestly by the time I’m done, I don’t think there’s gonna be a single BIPOC or LGBTQ+ book in the store but I promise we stock them for a very important reason cause bookstores are for everyone.”
The subgenre on TikTok known as BookTok has had a positive effect on independent bookstores like The Dog Eared Book and authors of LGBTQ and BIPOC books. Many authors like Casey McQuiston and Byron Lane use their TikTok accounts to interact with fans of their books.
Many BookTok creators post their own mini-reviews of books they love. These reviews can be just a simple video talking about a certain book or a video that gives short recommendations of many books like the “It’s Gay and It Slaps” trend on BookTok.
It is these little reviews that have helped the sales of books mentioned in these videos.