Sunday, February 2, 2014

Lengthy Titles: How Book Titles Have Become Longer Than the Books Themselves

By Rich

It quietly snuck up on us, like a lion silently hunting a gazelle or Honey Boo Boo becoming a television star. At some point in time between the first printed word and now, book titles became longer. At first it was just a two or three word subtitle. Today, many secondary titles are stories unto themselves featuring character development, plot points, and gratuitous sex. Its gotten to the point that eBook readers have grown to tabloid newspaper size in order to accommodate this plethora of wordage.

It didn't used to be this way. During the olden days, when men were chaste and women really ruled the world, book titles were short and to the point. Yet, what if they weren't? What if the titles of some of the classics were just as long as today's? Well, you don't have to wonder too much, because I have a list of what some of these titles would've been.  Here are a few examples that you can read while finishing your Venti latte.

The Old Man and the Sea: How One Man Wasted an Entire Day on One Fish and Probably Got Skin Cancer

Moby Dick: How One Man Wasted an Entire Lifetime on One Whale and Probably Got Skin Cancer and Bettle Rot

A Christmas Carol: The Story of One Man in the Early Stages of Dementia

Gone With the Wind: The Many Ways to Wear Drapes After Your City is Lit on Fire by Union Soldiers

Robinson Crusoe: One Man's Dream of Living Alone on an Island Without Wife, Children, or a Volleyball Named Wilson

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory: One Man's Goal to Become the Purveyor of Childhood Diabetes and Obesity Across the Globe

The Lord of the Flies: The Best Ways to Stick a Pig's Head on a Stake

The Hobbit: How to Remain Healthy and Shoe-less on Seven Meals a Day

The Odyssey: What Not to do With a Dead Albatross

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: How England's Child Welfare Department Failed in Their Duties

And finally ...

50 Shades of Gray: How Not to Write an Erotic Novel

What other titles can you come up with?

The title of Rich Keller's  first novel, Paradise Not Quite Lost, is pretty short. The title of his irst self-published short story anthology, Tales From the Coffee Cup: Stories Inspired by Overheard Conversations at the Coffee House, is a bit longer,


Dean K Miller said...

Night: What follows the day and precedes the day, especially when it's dark.

It: And that's It, that's final, there is no more.

Ivanhoe: You have the rake, let's take down this garden.

And Then I Smiled: Reflections on a Life Not Yet Complete; because if it was, I wouldn't be here to write it and then the title would be different...and shorter.

Sarah Sullivan said...

Very funny! I laughed out loud. : )

Anonymous said...

This gave me a good laugh. What a great way to start the week! Thanks.

Shirley Drew said...


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