Book Discussion: Titles

BD; titles

Hi there! So, this is the first week of the “Book Discussion” thingymajig. Who knows how this is going to turn out?! I might readjust this over the coming weeks, but hopefully it’ll be something you guys enjoy. As aforementioned in the title, the aim of this blog post is to be a discussion; so, please, feel free to say your opinion on the topic in the comments below!

So, titles. Every book has one. The question is… how important to you are they?

Sometimes, titles are the things which sells the book for me, such as Journey to the River Sea, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender or The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think they’re intriguing, and that’s what makes me pick them up and start reading them. I think that a title has to give the reader enough of, “Hey, look at me, look how different I am!” for them to pick it up.

Other times, however, titles are not as great and perhaps it’s the premise or cover which makes you pick up the book. I just saw a book on my GoodReads home screen called Hungry. Am I going to read a book called that? No, probably not. But the COVER was a different question… although I don’t always get the opportunity to see that (and covers are a topic for another day).

Final word on titles: ambiguous titles or titles deriving from or are quotes. Example: The Fault in Our Stars. This was never explained in the book and no one really knew what it mean until one fan worked out the star sign thing. I think, personally, titles should be relatively easy to understand (although I do like the poeticness of this one). Ambiguity can be used in a brilliantly ironic way, or in a way which leaves it up to the reader and what they take away from the work… which can work in the book’s favour! Example 2: Don’t Even Think About It. This related to the book perfectly and if you read the book, it’s quite funny. This works well with the book and complements it. And it’s funny. So, big tick here. But if a quote was too long or didn’t work with the book? NOPE.

What do you think about titles? Are they important to you? 

Scenario: you have to pick a book from just the title. What type of title to you pick? (Plus points if you give an example, either from a real book or one you invented!)


7 thoughts on “Book Discussion: Titles

  1. I think titles are important. It depends on what you are looking for in a book If it’s just a list of titles then the title definitely needs to appeal to reader. But if it’s the spine of the book, then you have size of book, color, font of title, author name, and actual words of title that to guide a decision. And if you look at the front of the book, add the picture! Alone a title isn’t enough, it’s the whole package 🙂 Which I think takes pressure off because if one thing doesn’t work, other elements might. You got me thinking! Thanks for a great post! & again good luck on this new blog adventure.

    • Yes, I’m planning on focusing on covers next week but I also think a book needs to be a whole package to work properly.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the blog post! Good luck to you also in your adventures. 🙂

  2. Hi! I’m a huge fan of your blog. It introduced me me to NaNoWritMo which I epically failed to complete this past April (lol). But I wrote more words than one month then I sometimes write in years LOL. And I was able to map out an entire fanfiction and write 3/4th of it in that time frame so i was happy.

    I liked this post and will give an answer. I just wanted to let you know that John Green himself explained in a video on his youtube site, The Fault in Our Stars is a modified quote from Julius Cesar from when Brutus and Cassius are talking and the line is “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Hence the Fault in our Stars.

    Often when I purchase Manga I choose a lot based on the title. If the title is interesting then I’ll go for it more so then the cover art. Only once have I picked a manga based on the cover art and it has surprisingly not let me down yet (lol). But for actual literary books I think titles say a lot about the work. I get kind of upset if I read a book and then don’t understand its title.

    The last great book I read with a killer title was The Pillars of the Earth. The title caught my attention when I saw it in the discount bin at a Good Will. I had no idea it was apparently a master piece of some kind. I just saw it looked like a long book and something I could easily leave as a before bed reader. It was a very good read that I enjoyed.

    I try to shoot for titles that make me want to know more. Another really good book I got on a recommendation was “Learning to Run in the Rain”. Surprisingly the story was about a dog’s perspective on a human. Not what I thought I was going to get myself into from the title but it was a great read also.

    I like these book discussions and can’t wait for your next one. 🙂

    • Hi Jordan! I’m so glad my blog has helped you, and, well, words are better than no words!
      I don’t really watch YouTube videos that often, so I did not know that about The Fault in Our Stars! Thank you for letting me know!
      My friend reads a lot of Manga, and I read one called Vermonia: The Silver Tiger (I think) and I picked that up because the title seemed interesting!
      I’m glad you enjoy them! I can’t wait for the next one, either. 😉

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