Recently, I started reading a book with an untweetable title as part of my Judge a Book by its Cover reading contest. The book I’m reading is Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between. I’m starting 2015 on a non-fiction kick.
But besides gaining an appreciation for the book with a long title, I was also left with a question. Is the subtitle part of the title? I always considered it as a part of the title and personally enjoy when authors supplement their books with additional information.
While this habit of a subtitle is more prevalent in non-fiction books, I would love to see it transcend more into fiction books. The subtitle allows for a space to get some wonderful insight into the world you are creating and can set a tone up for the reader before they even open page one.
Below are some examples of books that use the subtitle to add some colorful details to their work:
Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory
By Roy Blount Jr.
In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language
By Arika Okrent
Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren’t as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn’t Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out
By Neil Gaiman, Nick Hornby, Jon Scieszka and more
Let me know if you consider the subtitle a part of the title, or if you just gloss over the extra words on the cover?