02 March 2008

Do you judge a book by its title?

CBS News Sunday Morning had a segment this morning about how authors pick titles for books. They mentioned a new book out called Why Not Catch-21?: The Stories Behind the Titles that chronicles the struggles behind naming famous books such as The Great Gatsby. Often this process involves not only the author but the publisher and his staff. It never occurred to me that picking a title was (a)difficult and (b)such a group affair.

One other idea brought up during this segment was that many people pick books based on the title. I have to admit that I am guilty of this, especially if it is going to be a book that I am carrying around a lot. It is totally shallow, but I believe people make snap judgments about you based on what they see you reading. On my last job, I had a space on my desk that I used to display books. The beauty of the covers and the catchy titles let my co-workers know that I'm a hip, intelligent person and not just a dumpy mom of four kids. And yes, I was actually reading the books :-).

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