I’m sure that I can’t be the only person who’s noticed just how often a book title begins with the word ‘The’. Am I the only one who is annoyed by this? To be completely honest, anytime I see ‘The’ as the first word in a title, I’ve already mentally marked the book down a bit. Now I can’t ever recall having not bought a book due to this, but I’ve come to realize that titles are among the most important aspects of me choosing a book, and it bugs me. To me, it just seems somewhat lazy when ‘The’ is the first word – I’m sure this is an overgeneralization, but it does represent my gut feel.
I took a quick look to see just how prevalent it is – I’ve posted a total of 68 book reviews since starting this blog about a year and half ago. Of those books, 28 start with ‘The’ – that’s over 40% of the titles starting with the same unoriginal word. I didn’t bother to count up how many tags/labels I’ve attached to various posts, but 39 of them start with ‘The’, and most are book or series titles.
What does this mean – well, I suggest that if a writer or editor is looking to come up with a good title that’s more likely to grab the attention of someone like myself – avoid the scourge of ‘The’. Really, put just a bit more thought into it and the title will benefit.
Am I alone here? Thoughts? Any comments from someone who has actually had to come up with at title?
*I’m particularly proud of the fact that I used ‘The’ to start the title of this blog post.