Alternative title: In Which I Attempt To Make A Coherent Discussion Regarding Book Covers
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about titles. Be it the title of a book, part of a book, or chapter, titles are, arguably, important. They exist to subtly reveal information regarding the content and thus intrigue the reader.
All that is well and good, but does the title of a book actually matter?
Over the last week or so I’ve done a bit of thinking, reflection, and observation about this question, primarily of my own habits in regards to book-picking but also of those around me.
I’ve noticed that the first thing that attracts me, and many others, to a book is the cover art—the colours, fonts and images used to represent the story. Personally, it’s only once I’ve actually picked up a book that I’ll go ahead and read the title. The title, however, is a deciding factor in whether or not I’ll actually read said book.
Another thing I found is that even if I like the cover art of a book, if the title doesn’t appeal to me, I won’t even bother to read the blurb.
I do, however, wonder, what it would be like to find a title-less book—would it matter? How would I react? Have I been trained to judge a book by both the cover and title or just the cover? What about plain books? Those only have their titles and I pick them up just fine. Maybe cover art isn’t as important as it’s made out to be.
But that can’t be it.
These days there appears to be a great emphasis put on a book’s ability to double as room decor—the more visually appealing the cover is, the better—that didn’t exist a century (or even a few decades) ago.
Then again there’s also a lot more content which means more competition. It’s not as though there are only several authors in print and one must read their work; there are dozens of authors and books out there and they’re all there wanting, waiting, to be read.
I’ve tentatively come to the conclusion that the two, the cover art and title of a book, exist in a symbiotic relationship wherein one cannot exist without the other, but I’d love to hear your thoughts—titles, are they important?
Thanks for reading,
Photo from the lovely Patrik Göthe.