How important is the title of a book?

A little while ago I wrote a post titled Are book covers important, or is it only the story that matters? When I finished writing that it made me question how important is the title of a book? Does it directly affect whether people will read it or not?

Personally, I think the title of a book definitely has an impact on whether it is picked up. Whilst a title isn’t the only thing that I look for, I must admit that it is one of the first things I think about when browsing books. Equally, my time on Instagram and in the blogging world has seen me exposed to many book reviews and I have been known to skip past a post if it’s a book that I’m unfamiliar with and the title doesn’t engage me.

Why is that?

In short, I’m not entirely sure.

Related post – Bibliomania

novel books
Photo by Min An on

There have been many books that I have read where the title has hooked me and yet I’ve stopped reading because once I get into the story I realise it’s not the book for me after all. I have also given a book a try on more than one occasion and loved it irrespective of what it has been called. When I think of some of my favourite books I wonder whether I would have read them if they were called something else. I wonder how many of them were called many other things along the way to publication. An example of this is one of my favourite books: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Originally it was called First Impressions, but it was changed prior to publication. Would it have seen the same popularity had it kept its original title?

Do authors stress over what their books will be called? I expect so. Should they? I’m not sure, but I think it is important. After all, if it wasn’t then books wouldn’t have titles would they? It would be a cover with a synopsis on it instead wouldn’t it?

Related post – Tsundoku

Having said that, a title isn’t enough to make me read a book. I will always read a summary, review, or blurb first to get a feel for what the book is about.

Also, if it is a favourite author of mine then I take a different approach again, I will want to read it irrelevant of what the book looks like, what it is about, or what it is called.

Related post – ‘Classic’ literature: must you read it to discuss it?

row of books in shelf
Photo by Pixabay on

Overall, I think it is a combination of things that all contribute. I think that what a book is called, what it looks like, and what it has been described as are all important. At least for me anyway. I do wonder however, whether there are some great reads out there that I have missed out on because the title hasn’t hooked me enough to find out more about it.

What are your thoughts on this? How important is the title of a book for you? Is a bad title enough to put you off? Is a good title enough to convince you to read it?

It’s certainly interesting to think about isn’t it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what is important when selecting something to read, so do get in touch!

Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!

If you would like to see more of my content then please follow this blog and check out my Instagram and Pinterest pages.

Until the next time…Jess x

9 thoughts on “How important is the title of a book?

    1. Thanks! That’s a good point about genre, I hadn’t considered that but the title definitely suggests the genre. I find the cover of the book does as well. I do think that an obvious or clichéd title can be quite off putting because for me it suggests that the story inside will be the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a very unique post idea! To me, the title doesn’t matter much. I think it’s unfortunate when a great book has a lackluster title but it’s not as bad as a bad cover for instance. I can see how it would be an issue is the title gives an idea about the book that is inappropriate to the actual contents, hopefully that doesn’t happen too often!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment! It’s interesting to see that the majority of people I have spoken to about this are in agreement that a cover is more important than the title. I suppose it goes to show how it’s not just the story that makes a book. I agree, such a shame if there is a great book hidden behind a bad title!

      Liked by 1 person

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