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Book covers and titles

 
 
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 06:33 pm
Mo's been working on a school project for the last few weeks. He's worked really hard on it and it has turned out beautifully. He's nearly finished and it's time to title it.

I like Mo to do his own work and I try not to interfere but this time, he has selected (what I think) is a bad title.

I've tried talking to him about the importance of a good title. How a title can really skew the way a person relates to the subject matter. So now I'm thinking......

Many sci-fi book covers turn me off even though I've found the books to be pretty good.

"Soon to be a major motion picture" blurbs on a cover will turn me away. I guess I feel like I'm just a bit too late to the game.

I am often attracted to titles but off hand I can't think of titles that turned me away. I just read "The Sister Brothers" because I loved the title (and ended up loving the book (and, yes, now it's soon to be a major motion picture)).

What about you?

Do book covers/titles/blurbs have an effect on you?

How so?
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Type: Question • Score: 11 • Views: 3,108 • Replies: 29

 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 06:40 pm
@boomerang,
For a while I seemed to be more attracted to the colour of the jacket that anything else. I think (hope) I'm over that now.

The title rarely pulls me in. Authors' names tend to be the grab for me these days. Either it's a name I'm following or looking for, or it looks interesting and I'll pick the book up and read the blurb on the back. I rarely look at the artwork on the cover of a book ... and titles fall behind the artwork. That is, I know what the title is - but it's rarely a factor in selecting a book to buy/read.

tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 06:41 pm
@boomerang,
Titles maybe but not on a notably conscious level. Titles that are dead give away for romances and chick lit-esque books might scare me away.

Blurbs? I only bother with blurbs from recognized book review publications and often ignore blurbs obtained from peer authors simply because they seem to be you scratch my back and I'll give a good blurb for your book bit of quid pro quo going on there. Unless it's an author I really love and respect which means I would rarely ever see his or her name on another writer's book cover.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 06:41 pm
@ehBeth,
Color is interesting. I notice so many white or yellow covers these days.....
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 06:44 pm
@tsarstepan,
by blurb I'm talking about the "this is a story about a dog" thing, not reviews
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 06:49 pm
@boomerang,
Yellow. Yellow was my thing for a while.

I found a reprint of a copy of The Yellow Book, as well as one about the history of The Yellow Book. That started something.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yellow_Book

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4666208441_d9105e710a.jpg
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 06:52 pm
I read stuff by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. The covers are really weak, but I think I made a good guess in thinking they are by an aspiring artist within the family. I suppose I read them in spite of the cover art.
Irishk
 
  4  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 07:39 pm
@roger,
One of my all time favorite titles is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Then, they went and called the movie Blade Runner.

Go figure.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 07:46 pm
@Irishk,
it was a decent movie, did it adhere to the book?
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 08:00 pm
@Rockhead,
Not really. I did enjoy both, though.
0 Replies
 
Aldistar
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 11:39 pm
The jacket art is usually what grabs my attention first, but then I am an artist so I guess that makes sense. Once I get past the art I read the blurb, if it doesn't grab me then, eh.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Mar, 2012 11:58 pm
@Aldistar,
Many of us here are artists of one sort or another. For me, I'd be apt to have to ignore covers as I might like the writer past the front.

That said, I have long liked cover art.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 01:59 am
Title means more to me than anything. Before ever i had heard of William Faulkner, i saw The Sound and the Fury on a spine of a book in the library. I knew were the title came from, and i was intrigued. Although not at all mentally prepared to understand the book and all of its nuances, knowing that "it is a tale told by an idiot" definitely helped me to read it whan 12 years of age.

There's an aspect of ntellectual snobbery in that, to the extent that i'll be attracted more by a title which has a literary reference, or a reference to an historical event, or a recent notorious episode of current events. But, after all, reading is an intellectual exercise.

It works that way for me for movies, too. It's certainly not infallible--The Fisher King (reference to Arthurian legend) with Robin Williams was excellent, while Outrageous Fortune (reference to Hamlet) proved to be just a vehicle for Shelley Long and Bette Midler, and What Dreams May Come (yet another reference to Hamlet) is an awful movie featuring Robin Williams.

I don't always know the reference, but a good title will intrigue me. A Confederacy of Dunces was an entertaining novel, and i did not know until i looked into it that the title was from a quote of Jonathon Swift. Silent Running i took to be about submarines, and was pleasantly surprised to tind the little gem of a science fiction movie which used it. But, books or movies, the title will mean more than anything else in attacting my interest.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 09:10 am
I was thinking about this last night and realized that reading on my Kindle has changed the way I read.

I find myself reading less fiction and the fiction I have read seems somehow less "fresh" than something I was drawn to in a book shop display. It's not as spontaneous. I don't stumble across books the way I used to. Browsing a website feels too much like shopping (something I hate) while hanging out at the bookstore never felt like shopping.

Hmmmm......
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 09:16 am
@boomerang,
Yeah, ever since I have a Kindle, I go strictly by recommendations - so far so good!
Book titles are somewhat important but usually what grabs ones attention first is the cover itself. So Mo did well in that department and I think if you have an exceptional well cover, the title becomes secondary.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 09:44 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
I just read "The Sister Brothers" because I loved the title
That title would never have worked for me.

I look at the title of a book, prefer them on the shelf so I see the spine, this way there's as little as possible to draw me in. No pretty pictures or quick statements. The title grabs me first, then the author's name. If I don't care much for the author's name I may pass on the book. In those cases, I try to read a few paragraphs within the book, sometimes that will change my thinking.

In cases where the cover is viewable, a police badge tends to gain my interest. Quick turn offs are 'recommended by _____________' and it's some television star who I don't care about.


Actually looking at the shelves, there are a lot of books with red lettering on the spine, maybe that's one of the things which attracts me.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 09:45 am
@Sturgis,
"The Sisters Brothers" is a western. It's very good!
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 09:57 am
@boomerang,
Perhaps at some time in the future I'll take a look at it. The title just kind of didn't work for me.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 10:19 am
Some books I buy or get at the library because of the author.
Other times I select a book for a trip - then it is usually for the title or the book cover.
There are a few books which I have bought just for the beautiful cover.
This book cover I loved even before I could read. It is hard cover and kind of a box that you have open up to get to the book itself. The pages feel like cloth and not paper and the illustrations were just fashinating for me as achild and I still like it.

http://www.google.de/imgres?imgurl=http://www.baxleystamps.com/litho/hasegawa/dich_1912_14tau_6-1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.baxleystamps.com/litho/hasegawa/dichtergrusse.shtml&usg=__iejNF4njxnOjPsQx5wCt12UWTjw=&h=931&w=1250&sz=253&hl=de&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=AmztyKTjpPLutM:&tbnh=123&tbnw=121&ei=gMNgT-m9Ks7dsgaKu4CzCg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Ddichtergr%25C3%25BCsse%2Baus%2Bdem%2Bosten%2Bjapanische%2Bdichtungen%2Bvon%2BK.%2BFlorenz%26hl%3Dde%26biw%3D1016%26bih%3D589%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=337&vpy=4&dur=1980&hovh=194&hovw=260&tx=113&ty=114&sig=116406469360944378052&page=1&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:8,s:0
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2012 11:00 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I was thinking about this last night and realized that reading on my Kindle has changed the way I read.
I find that I read a lot more than I did before I had an ereader. I guess because I pretty much take it with me everywhere (it fits in my purse), and before it was sometimes just too much trouble to grab a big, heavy book to lug around as I was going out the door.

Mr.Irish, on the other hand, still prefers hardcover books. He mentioned that he wanted to read Hemingway's Boat the other day (which I have in ebook form), but he said no...he wants the book-book lol. Different strokes.
 

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