The girlypop is a bibliophile

New trend romanticizes reading


photo credit: John Olajimi

Girls just wanna have…books \\ From relaxing the mind to enlightening the soul, reading has numerous wellness benefits; however, the romanticization of the practice may impede those positive outcomes.

writer: Gloria Olajimi, Copy Editor

It’s no secret that since the pandemic, Americans are prone to romanticizing daily practices out of their newfound appreciation for home life. Women in particular are trading the boss woman era for a new era of soft living with an emphasis on cottage core, stay-at-home girlfriends and most recently, the emergence of the girlypop, the idealized “cool girl” who’s mastered the art of self-care and wellness. 

The girlypop is a reader. Her life exhibits an aesthetic tranquility- a Starbucks iced coffee sits on her desk as she sinks into a comfy chair, hair claw-clipped and the latest trending #Booktok (a sub-community of readers who offer book recommendations on Tiktok) book in hand. But Tiktok readers may want to reconsider hopping on the trend.

Arguably, there are benefits to a widespread reading rampage. Reading is a highly beneficial activity as it increases comprehension abilities, broadens personal perspective and is an applicable skill to multiple areas of work and education. When everyone’s a reader, people have the opportunity to connect with others online by making connections to the same story. By allowing readers to formulate their own opinions on a plotline, character or theme, this reading trend also promotes self-thought, a quickly diminishing practice in today’s bandwagoning era.

Reading doesn’t require a Starbucks iced coffee, claw-clipped hair or an aesthetic room.”

— Gloria Olajimi, copy editor

However, there are downsides to this bibliophilia fever. For starters, the books that are gaining popularity are pretty basic; primarily spicy romance novels, fantasies and mysteries- perfectly fine choices, but limited in variety.

Additionally, with every frenzy comes performative authenticity; not everyone is reading to gain its health benefits. The reality of the matter is that most “BookTokers” get into reading to fit into the “cool girl” persona, which is a fleeting goal- no trend lasts forever. With women faking their love for books, most will lose sight of the original goal of putting mental health first and, instead, stress over maintaining a false facade of peace.

Reading and other wellness activities should not require glamorization nor need to appear “cute” or “aesthetic” for people to acknowledge their worth. Reading doesn’t require a Starbucks iced coffee, claw-clipped hair or an aesthetic room. Why not read for the journey, for the fun of embarking on a mystical tale without even having to leave your bed? Why not read for its mental health benefits?

Why not live well just for the sake of it?