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October 21: Do book titles matter? (Hannah @ Hannah’s Library)
Prompts: How much do book titles matter? Have you ever read or not read a book based on the title alone? Do you like long or short book titles better? Do you think the title has to connect to the story in some way? What are some of your favorite book titles?
Welcome to another week of LTB here at DTRH! Today’s topic is certainly a good one and I’d love to hear what you all think about it. We’ve all heard about don’t judge a book by its cover, but how much do the titles actually matter/form part of that judgment?
I think book titles do matter, but how much can be hard to say. I would say it doesn’t make or break a book but a good title really does wonders for a book. It wouldn’t destroy a great book nor would it save a bad book. That being said I really do think even a great book can be improved by a great title! Titles are part of the cover and it just forms part of your initial impression, and there’s just no getting by that, even if we try not to be biased.
I personally have not let a title affect whether I read it or not. But that isn’t to say it didn’t subconsciously affect what grabbed my attention at the book store. Of course, if someone recommended me a book and it had kind of a strange title, I don’t think that would stop me from reading the book. The title is just a title; the content of the book is still really what matters the most.
I think short or long titles can work well, but it really depends. I think generally shorter ones (3-4 words, maybe) tend to be more “catchy” and easier to remember. I tend to prefer them but something like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest also just has a bit of a ring to it. I’ve never thought “I wish that title was shorter” but I certainly know that my own attention is really caught when there is a short and sweet title that really intrigues me.
Ideally, for me, I like when the book titles relate to the book in some way. It doesn’t have to be the plot, it could even be something intangible. But I think I do always reflect on the book title after reading the book, and I think it also helps me to remember what happened in the book years in the future, so it really helps when the title really does have something to do with the book. I have read some books where I felt like the title was completely irrelevant, and that is always a little bit off-putting. I have even read a book recently where the book title was casually thrown into the last few pages of the novel, as an essentially throwaway line and I was like…is that the only reference to the title? Strange.
I love titles like Verity, Six of Crows, Caraval, The Binding, or other rather intriguing titles that really make me want to read the book and find out why the author picked that as the title. If you haven’t read any of the above titles, I certainly recommend all of them!
What about you all? I’d love to hear some of your favourite titles!