Untitled by No-name Author

A lad strolls into a bookstore. He walks around in the maze of bookshelves, eyeing the myriad of choices. Each book screams at him with its elaborate cover and persuading title. He searches for something familiar a book. He finds a title that assures him of his decision. His expectations have formed.

The question is…

Does the title influence our reading experience?

The title is a very important part of a book. It’s one of the main criteria that we use for selecting the books we’ll read in the future. So a title is a vital marketing tool, but that’s not what this post is about.

A title conveys the essence of a book…at least sometimes. However, it is also a permanent label that forms our expectation. Whenever we hear a title a lot of things spring to mind. We will most likely be able to guess the genre of the work, recall clichés, and even figure out where the plot might by heading based solely on the title.

An author’s name on the cover works in very much the same way, where we know what to expect if we have read the author’s previous works. Of course, prolific writers can surprise the reader in numerous ways, but this idea of the unknown is partially lost.

All of these things above influence how we perceive a book, and what we expect out of the read. It’s almost like the title is the filter through which we read the book, because once our expectations are formed, we are constantly analyzing the book based on them.

Let’s imagine for a second that there was a book without a title nor author. What would we expect to find in such a book? Unfortunately, such a book would never reach us, because the moment it would be complete, it would be buried under the hundreds of other books that come out each year.

So here I’ll leave things open again. These posts originated from asking a single question, but it looks like this breaks the pattern with its numerous inquiries. Just like always feel free to comment and make suggestions.

Thanks for reading.
Patrick Rain

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