Breana Newton, a legal coordinator in Princeton, New Jersey, who regularly posts about books on TikTok, was one of the people who responded to Ms. Blalock’s video. “I will show you the wealth of your library,” says Ms. Newton, 33, in to the video of its own. “Ready?”
She then gives viewers a brief tour of her house, showing books everywhere – on shelves, in piles here and there, and spread out on the bed. There’s no feeling that the plays were staged or that the books were purchased with their appearance on Instagram in mind.
In an interview, Ms. Newton said she worried that trends such as library wealth would encourage overconsumption. This year, she added, she’s trying not to buy new books.
Another critic of this trend, Keila Tirado-Leist, said in a reaction video: “Who benefits from having to constantly name, qualify and attach richness to any type of interior design style or aesthetic?”
Ms. Tirado-Leist, a lifestyle content creator in Madison, Wis., likened library wealth to “quiet luxury” and “stealth wealth,” styles that have recently been making waves on social media.
Yet she understood that what drives an interior design trend like this is the desire to create a home that feels good, warm. In another video, she described the idea of superposition — that is, slowly acquiring pieces and building a finished look, rather than trying to buy a bunch of things at once in an effort to follow a trend.
“Decorating a house takes time,” Ms. Tirado-Leist said.
Another TikTok user Put it more bluntly in response to Ms. Blalock’s video: “The wealth of a library does not mean you have books. This means you have built-in elements.