Let’s Talk Bookish – Do Book Titles Matter?

How much do book titles matter?

I’d argue that book titles are the second thing people notice when they find an interesting book, only coming after the book cover art. For the most part, the title matters because it draws perspective readers in and gives them a little idea what the book is about.

Have you ever read or not read a book based on the title alone?

I have read many books based on the title alone, but I’d say those were mostly non-fictions because I need to know that what I’m picking up is relevant to my interests. For fiction books, there’s usually an element of mystery associated with the title and you need to read the book to find out more about it’s name.

I have definitely chose to not read books because of their titles as well. Some books just have really, really awful subjects and their titles immediately let me know that that book is just not for me.

Do you like long or short book titles better?

I think that the title needs to be however long is necessary to convey the gist of the book. Single word titles are okay, and so are titles that have 5-8 words. But, I will say that long titles should be broken up into Title: Subtitle.

Do you think the title has to connect to the story in some way?

I’m going to say yes, because it helps a reader decide whether or not to pick up the book. But, I’m also going to say no, because it is ultimately up to the author and publisher and in some circumstances a title may not be linked to the book or might even not be necessary at all if that’s what is in theme with the art of the book itself. So, 90% yes a title needs to be connected to the story in some way and 10% no it can be unrelated and uniquely its own thing.

What are some of your favorite book titles?

From just recent reads:

  • Piranesi
  • Manacled
  • The Terror
  • Six of Crows
  • Wicked Nights
  • Spinning Silver
  • A Deadly Education
  • What Moves the Dead
  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
  • Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

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