I have been thinking forever about book titles. Just like book covers are used to attract the readers or a browsers attention, the title does the same for so many of us. At least it does for me. We see so many books around everyday, read about dozens of books, what makes a book really stand out for me is the cover and the title. I remember reading about King Rat on Nymeth’s blog. And then at the end she had mentioned ‘Un Lun Dun’. The title stuck with me and when some time later I happened to browse in the bookstore, I came across it. I didn’t remember anything about the book except the title and that I had read something nice about it. So I picked it up.
The other day I read about ‘A toss of Lemon’ and ‘The boy with the stripped pajamas’ and I know I’ll always remember them and pick them up eventually.
The thing is, why don’t people work as hard on titles as they do on covers? Why are there so many books with similar titles?
Let’s see. There’s A long way gone, A long way home, A long way from home, It’s a long way home, The long way home, The way home. See what I mean?
I want titles that could be distinguished from hordes of other books.
Beautiful titles like A thousand splendid suns, Half of a yellow sun, The Convent of little flowers, Gone with the wind…
or striking ones like The house at Riverton, House on the Tradd street, Witches Trinity, Last night in Montréal, First comes love then come Maleria. I also think Neil Gaiman’s books have the most amazing titles.
If it’s a popular author I don’t think the title matters much, but I do believe it should be given sufficient thought for debut novels.
I agree I don’t buy books based on the title, but it does help to have an eye-catching one when all you see in a bookstore is the spine of the book. Does the title attract you when you browse a bookstore or even while surfing the internet?
Any titles you specifically love or remember?