Annals of Japery and Notable Articles

Read Me! Please!: Book Titles Rewritten to Get More Clicks

By posted at 6:00 am on January 21, 2014 77

As Upworthy-style headlines sweep the internet, aiming to snag as many clicks as possible by pandering to as many whims and obsessions as possible, the dignified mystery of the great book title stands in stark contrast. The Upworthy headline had been widely satirized on other websites and social media, including some folks applying them to book titles, so my Millions colleague Nick Moran and I were inspired to muse as well — what if books were whorishly titled, optimizing our search engines rather than our imaginations, rather than leaving us to discover who Oliver Twist was or who was proud and who was prejudiced?

Leave your own optimized book titles in the comments or on twitter with the hashtag #litworthy.

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77 Responses to “Read Me! Please!: Book Titles Rewritten to Get More Clicks”

  1. Jamie
    at 2:31 pm on February 5, 2014

    You’ll never believe what happens when this emo kid thinks his sleeping wife is dead. He totally shoulda checked his sources.

  2. Cristina
    at 10:43 pm on February 6, 2014

    Two bored men waiting for someone who won’t ever come.

  3. Best of the Web | Lights All Around
    at 1:02 am on February 7, 2014

    […] The Millions posted a list of books hilariously re-titled to get more clicks. […]

  4. KC
    at 5:57 pm on February 9, 2014

    Guess which kid is going to die. Trust us, it’s not who you think. (The Fault in Our Stars)

  5. Jill
    at 7:35 pm on February 12, 2014

    A Victorian army vet moves in with a possibly mad genuis detective and writes about it. Warning: May make you want to avoid waterfalls.

  6. Megan
    at 7:57 am on February 19, 2014

    A Little Girl And Her Spirit Animal Set Out On The Wackiest Polar Rescue Mission Ever.

    (The Golden Compass – Phillip Pullman)

  7. Rissa
    at 8:00 am on February 19, 2014

    Old man kind of sucks at fishing.

  8. Rissa
    at 8:05 am on February 19, 2014

    A new mom takes redecorating her bedroom into her own hands.

  9. Celine
    at 7:16 pm on February 19, 2014

    Utopian society isn’t so utopic when a special man cares about a special boy enough to get him out of there.

    Why are we living underground starving while our mayor gets fat and there’s life above ground? #Idon’tknow #I just wanted to be a mail woman #then my grandma died

    Sentient mouse changes the opinion of an entire society through a chain reaction of social outcasts

  10. Velma
    at 8:55 pm on March 9, 2014

    SleuthSayers built upon your great theme. Thank you!

  11. Hamlet
    at 9:07 pm on May 25, 2014

    “My Dead Dad Told Me To Kill My Uncle/New Dad But I Accidentally Killed My Ex-Girlfriend’s Dad Instead And Now I’ll Never Get To Rule Denmark So I Might As Well Let Norway Take Over And Let Everybody Die But My Kinda-Gay Best Friend”

  12. Hershl Hartman
    at 5:44 pm on June 7, 2014

    How the universe began and all the stuff that happened later, by an author whom you’d better not question.

  13. RIta
    at 1:53 pm on June 26, 2014

    Even a child can see how racist Alabama is in the 1930’s

  14. Alison Barker
    at 3:08 am on July 13, 2014

    Watch what happens when a snarky, drug addicted detective meets a very unammused doctor.

  15. Riba
    at 9:13 pm on July 19, 2014

    A man is confused, then kills another man, then he’s still confused.

    A fully grown man decides to lock himself with a child in a factory full of illegal immigrants and no one finds it weird.

  16. Weekly Links & Wrap-up (Jan. 26, 2014) - Here There Be Books
    at 8:06 pm on September 13, 2014

    […] links At The Millions, classic book titles get rewritten to be more Upworthy. My […]

  17. Ken Harsch
    at 12:34 pm on November 11, 2014

    The love child of a critically injured veteran ravaged by a feminist icon searches for meaning with the help of a transgender football player. Man bites dog. Woman bites man.

  18. Covert Angel
    at 9:39 pm on November 13, 2014

    What makes these apes go wild, turn killers, then wind up, many years later, after being locked out in the dark, go zooming through a freaky light show and wind up in a classy hotel room with an old guy for no apparent reason. #Maybe the big baby knows.

    (2001: A Space Odyssey)

  19. Allison
    at 10:03 am on November 19, 2014

    A girl hides from her siblings in a closet…you’ll never believe what she found behind the fur coats! (C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia)

  20. Jesus Christ
    at 5:26 pm on November 23, 2014

    And then Jesus came upon his disciples and said, “Brethren, I’ve heard it said among you that I am the Son of God and was sent to die for your sins.

    Brethren, may I asketh, who among you is the lunatic who came up with this Neanderthal bullshit!!!???

    Blood sacrifice!!!!???? Brethren, have you completely lost your fucking minds!!!!????

    Surely I say to you, I’d sooner lick Judas’ ass crack than subject myself to the Stone Age insanity of human sacrifice!!!

    And the disciple whom Jesus loved the most said,

    “Well, shit man!!!! What the hell are we supposed to do now!!!!????

    Hey, is that fat bastard over there the Buddha!!?

    Tell that some’ bitch I need to have a word with him!!!

    —-The Holy Bible, if it was actually true

  21. Will
    at 6:03 pm on November 24, 2014

    “After disaster strikes, an apocryphal and wildly inaccurate guide book sends duo on a quest for universal truth.” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    “After being dropped in a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets, then teams up with three strangers to kill again” – The Wizard of Oz

    “Innovative approach to population control proposed: Irish not amused” – A Modest Proposal

    “Vindictive millionaire plots convoluted revenge after wrongful imprisonment, but does he go too far?” – The Count of Monte Cristo

  22. Tyson
    at 5:10 am on January 5, 2015

    It rubs the lotion on its skin. You won’t believe what happens next.

  23. Lisa Grunwald
    at 10:28 am on March 7, 2015

    These are BRILLIANT! Special request: can you make them as posters? I desperately need to have your Great Gatsby cover framed on my wall!

  24. #clickbaitbooks nailed it 10 times with new book titles | East Idaho News
    at 8:19 am on May 4, 2015

    […] 5. "He Didn't Want to Dance With Her When They First Met. Now He Really, Really Does" (Pride and Prejudice) […]

  25. 11 Classic Novels Reimagined With Clickbait Titles | 101 Books
    at 8:20 am on May 12, 2015

    […] how I might rename these classic novels using clickbait: (HT to The Millions for this […]

  26. Kori Fisher
    at 4:19 pm on June 7, 2015

    They teased her for saying there was a strange world through the back of her closet. What happens next will give you chills ! (CSLewis)

  27. Wynterr
    at 12:01 am on November 2, 2015

    “Disfigured murdering singer stalks opera singer. Will they fall in love?” (Phantom of the Opera)

    “Teens kill themselves because of bad parenting and lack of communication!” Romeo and Juliette

    “Listening to your wife if she is a complete power hungry nut may not be the best idea. This is why!” (Macbeth)

    “Lots of people go to an island. No one leaves. You will never guess why!” (And Then There Were None)

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