Before I answer this, I’m going to rant a little. You know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? That’s bullshit. Why would you willingly pick up a book that looks like the most boring book in the world? Or choose a book with a really stupid title? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to pick up a book that has no creativity expressed from the beginning. If it looks boring, it probably is. If it doesn’t show a lot of creative effort, it’s probably not creative. If the cover and/or title seem to be pretentious, the story probably is as well. I don’t think I’ve had a lot of convincing arguments to prove me wrong. However, if you know of such an argument, leave a comment on this post and I promise you I will check it out. So, onward.
Favorite title, eh? Now that I think about it, a lot of titles are really simple. For example, The Hobbit. 3 guesses what that book’s about. How about The Scarlet Letter? Oooh, here’s a better one: Harry Potter and the [insert topic of book]! Seriously! Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone is about the Stone! Chamber of Secrets? Chamber of Secrets! Very creative there, Jo. I’m gonna cut her some slack though because it WAS geared toward children.
There are plenty of titles, though, that attract my attention. They tend to be the books that I buy at bookstores. Usually, they are symbolic or poetic that don’t immediately give away the story. Those are the books I pick up and read the back of, the ones that intrigue me. Otherwise I glance right over them.
However, other times I am interested in silly or whimsical titles, such as the parody book I bought called The Devious Book for Cats by Fluffy and Bonkers. I also picked up The Night Circus because 1. the cover art is AMAZING and completely enchanting and 2. who doesn’t love a circus?! Anything goes, and it is the ultimate creative free-for-all playground. I absolutely love the idea of a circus.
So, who wins the title of favorite title?
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen!
I know I’ve already used this book (right?) but I love the physical representation of the title WITHIN the title (notice: comma). I think it’s creative as well as informative. It intrigued me right away, the moment I saw it on the shelf at my public library. Obviously it’s about a girl, but the comma disrupts the title and splits it into two parts. Why is she interrupted? What is she interrupted by? Physically or symbolically? WHAT DOES THE COMMA MEAN?! All of that happened simultaneously in my brain while staring at the book. And then I snatched it up and checked it out of the library without even reading the back.
Do you agree, or do you think I’m insane? Let me know! Also, if you have any examples of a super drab title but you ventured the journey and discovered a super-awesome story, TELL ME ABOUT IT!