Wednesday 1 October 2014

Glamorous words.

There are certain words in book titles that will guarantee that I will pick them up and take a look. I don't think I'm alone in this. Names of cities/places do it for me, Paris, London, practically anywhere in Italy, ditto any Greek island, New York ... Some people would add Cornwall to that list. And anything that suggests Scotland or Ireland - How many books can you think of with the word 'Highlander' on the cover?

I also have some what you might call 'second string words' - titles that include Beach, Bay,Coast, Island or Cove usually require a look. And some words to do with transport - like 'flight' and 'train'. The word 'Summer' will usually push my buttons too. For other people it's vampire or werewolf.

It's all to do with atmosphere - those words conjure up images that resonate. Think about your reaction to the phrase 'Orient Express'. I bet it's an image of glamorous, well dressed men and women, 1920's and 1930's settings, luxury, extravagance, champagne and gourmet food - maybe crisp linen and fine china and possibly a detective with a notable moustache lurking in the background. All from two words.

Powerful stuff, titles .


  1. You've got me thinking, Evonne.

    When I look at my crowded book shelves, there's no common thread suggesting that I'm subconsciously swayed by a word, or words, in a title, and I'm wondering what it was that drew me to the books on my shelves. I can't answer that it was the author's name because the name only works as a draw once you've to read a book by that author and liked it.

    There's quite an absence of books with place names in the title on my shelves, and it's possible that such titles might deter me. In a way, place identifiers might make me feel as if they were placing the location above the story, hoping I'd think that the setting alone was sufficient a draw, when it's the story, not the place, that really matters.

    1. Hi Liz
      it's interesting, as you said, gets you thinking. I'm very drawn to setting, so it's one of my markers. Such a lot is down to 'atmosphere' and the mood you are in at the time when you make a choice. Covers are an influence, of course.