Bookish talk · Discussion · Personal thoughts

The importance of a beautiful title

I love beautiful, poetic book titles.

I think that titles can not only give the reader a hint of what a book is about, but in just a few words, can portray the emotion of a book.

This can be both positive or negative. Let me explain.

Without looking at the book’s cover, what would you think a book titled, “Secrets of a Charmed Life” is about?

While I am fully aware that a person’s first thoughts would probably be based on their own reading trends and life experiences, when I hear the title “Secrets of a Charmed Life,” I picture a contemporary or even nonfiction novel.

I picture big blown-out blonde hair, a chihuahua, and lots of pink. Basically “Legally Blonde.” Because isn’t Elle Woods’ life charmed?

The importance of a beautiful title on Chocolate and Chapters

Once upon a time, I won a copy of a book called “Secrets of a Charmed Life” in a Goodreads Giveaway. (Here’s my review if you’re interested.) The book itself was a solid 3 for me, but the title absolutely ground on my nerves. Every time I’d pick the book up, I’d shake my head at the title, which I felt was inaccurate, cliche, and did not represent the book at all.

If I was expecting Elle Woods from such a title, I got something different. The book was about a teenage girl who lives through WWII’s London blitzkrieg with her sweet little sister and her single mother. There are bombings and soldiers and sadness.

“Secrets of a Charmed Life”? Ugh. I can’t even. What about the story was secret or charmed?

On the flip side, the power of a good title can also be very beneficial.

I have a bookshelf on Goodreads called “Beautiful Titles.” It’s a collection of books that have amazing titles, whether I’ve read them or not.

Let me share with you some of my favorite titles from the list, all of which I check back on and coo at like newborn kittens every now and then. Because I love them and they make my heart melt like a chunk of chocolate left on a car’s dashboard on a hot day.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave

I Shall Be Near To You

Walk on Earth a Stranger

But You Did Not Come Back

Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined

No One Is Coming to Save Us

Someone Knows My Name

The Stars are Fire


These titles tell a story. They communicate a feeling. They aren’t cliche and they aren’t expected.

(Also, I apparently love book titles with pronouns in them.)

Of course, there are plenty of simple book titles that do the job wonderfully. Book titles can still be simple. They don’t have to be poetic.

But think of how much extra oompf and power a book can have, just by having a powerful title.

Do you agree? Is the title of a book important to you? What are your favorite book titles?


This post is also posted to the 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge, hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight!



12 thoughts on “The importance of a beautiful title

  1. I LOVE this post. You are so right. A great title don’t necessarily “make” a book — the writing itself does that — but it’s the most delectable icing on the cake. Now I want to make a list of my favorite, beautiful and poetic book titles.


  2. So interesting. I hadn’t thought much about titles, until I read The Names They Gave Us recently. I loved that book, but the title did not fit it at all. What does that even mean, The Names They Gave Us? Titles are important.


  3. Nicely put! I totally agree that books titles impact my overall feel of the book. They give me a first impression, too! It should definitely be original and everything but cliche. It should tell us enough; yet still keep us wondering.


  4. I had the exact same type of book come to mind with that title, and I completely agree—titles should portray accurately what the story is like. I mean, when I’m scrolling through lists of books or GR/Amazon, it’s the titles and covers that I look at in order to decided whether to click and read the blurb. So titles are definitely important!

    I’ve done posts about funny/interesting titles, but I never even though to keep track with a shelf or something of beautiful ones! I kind of want to look through my list of books now and see if there are any beautiful ones lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do the same thing with titles and covers on Goodreads. They’re both very important. I will definitely check out your list of funny/interesting titles! And I’d love to see which titles you choose if you do a beautiful titles post!


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