When Readers Can’t Remember a Title

Have you ever tried to buy a book, and the title slipped your mind? How about worked at a bookstore or library, and had a customer or patron not be able to remember the title or the author? Sometimes it can be frustrating, sometimes funny–almost always it’s rewarding when the bookseller or librarian, with a great knowledge of books, uses their detective skills and figures out which book it is!

The titles people mangle, though, can be pretty funny. Read about some of them in this article–and don’t miss the comments; some of the funniest are there.

Have you had someone mangle a title? I’d love to hear it.

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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6 Responses to When Readers Can’t Remember a Title

  1. Jo says:

    Very funny! I worked in a small bookstore for four years and we always had customers come in and ask for the book with the red lettering and the thing on the cover, or information like “it’s really popular. I saw it in the NY Times book review a few weeks ago and it starts with the word ‘the’. The scary part is I’d say 95% if the time we were able to figure it out.

  2. Madison says:

    I forget titles all the time. But most times I remember the author’s first name. Or the last. But hardly both together. Yep, I’m lame. 😀

  3. Cheryl says:

    Jo, I think it’s amazing that you guys figured out the book so often for people! How cool! And wow, some of them sound really hard to decipher.

    Madison, I forget titles, too. Glad you often remember the author name, or partial name–that helps in your search. 🙂 It’s not lame–we all have memory lapses.

  4. Kelly says:

    Jo, was it easy because 95% of the time it was Twilight? 😉

    I would love to be a bookstore worker or librarian so I could play title detective! Okay, maybe it’s not actually as fun as it seems to an outsider. But maybe once a week would be nice. So if you’re sick of it, give me a call. *grin*

  5. Cheryl says:

    Kelly, that makes sense, I guess–that people would want a book that was really popular–that they’d heard of it but couldn’t remember the title.

  6. Jo says:

    This was pre-Twilight. Our detective work was partly knowing our customers and their buying history, partly listening to NPR (Public radio which has strong lit programs) and reading the NY Times Book Review of course, but most often it was because all of the employees loved books and we spent hours browsing, picking up books, leafing through pages, reading jacket copy, and somehow keeping all those words in our heads. I don’t work there anymore and I am totally clueless now, unfortunately.

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