Monday, April 18, 2011

Titles of Books (Am I a Title-Snob or Do Others Feel the Same Way?)

What's the importance of a title of a book? It brands the object you are naming. Sure an appealing name might interest the reader in the book though aren't covers much more important in that department? But like Juliet said about names in Romeo and Juliet: By any other name would smell as sweet;

I've read a couple of books where the title has ruined or minimized my enjoyment of a book because the title was revealing information on a matter that was supposed to be a mystery. I think it's me being snobby but it's gotten me thinking about what makes a good title. I decided to make a little list of what I like in titles.

  1. Originality. I don't want to be confused with another book in the same genre. I know that sometimes it's inevitable to have the same title and that's okay, it won't put me off the book. Creativity however goes a long way in interesting me to read a book. Ex: Wicked Lovely. That series always has creative titles. 
  2. The ability to be thought provoking which is basically being memorable. Titles that make you question what will happen, who will it happen to, what's the mood of a story, etc. The more time I spend on a title, the longer it'll stay in my mind. Ex: If I Stay. Stay where? Why would you want to go? Why is staying a question? This title sounds a bit emotional so it prepares me for the book (which is very emotional- expect a very positive review up in the next few weeks). 
  3. Relevance. Who cares how thought provoking or original your title is if it has nothing to do with the story! Good titles are titles that give information about the story without spoiling anything. Titles that wrap the whole (or most of the) overall message or events of the story. Ex: Delirium. The whole story is about the disease amor deliria nervosa and the effect this disease has on Lena, the main character. I think it was very well named. 
Other things concerning titles are patterns throughout series. I like that. It doesn't even have to be the repetition of a word like the City of Bones, City of Ashes etc. It can be the repetition of a mood or theme like Hearts at Stake (also known as My Love Lies Bleeding), Blood Feud, Out for Blood, etc. It's cool to read a title that  matches the other ones of the series. 

What are your thoughts on titles? Do you agree or disagree? Am I completely blowing the significance of a title out of proportion or what?


  1. No I totally agree with you, titles can influence our enjoyment and even choice of book.

    You make some very good points here. :D

  2. I think book titles do sway me to whether I want to know more about the book or not, same as the cover. And I also hate it when the title has nothing to do with the book (or makes the book seem like it's in a completely different genre).

  3. Glad I'm not being unnecessarily melodramatic.

    @Kayla: I also find that super annoying. I think; ooh, paranormal but then it turns out to be contemporary. Nothing against contemps but when I'm in a paranormal state of mind...


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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