Book Title Drop in Novel

I read about someone doing this before, but never considered it. I thought it would feel forced. Then it happened so naturally that I had to leave it be. Leave it in my novel.

What am I talking about? Dropping book titles in a novel.

Have you done this? Have you mentioned a book title and/or author in one of your stories? Would you consider doing it? Have you read books where this has been done?

While writing Twistmas -The Season of Love during the summer of 2012, I did. Here’s the loosely edited paragraph in which a book gets mentioned:

Jan took a deep breath to calm her already frazzled nerves. As if this noise wasn’t bad enough, the overhead speakers blasted the same Christmas music she’d listened to for more than a month. She used to enjoy Silent Night, but the scene in front of her was far from it. Again, she wondered how Delanie had talked her into leaving her warm home and venturing out into the cold to endure this headache. She glanced at her watch: 7:18 pm. Under normal circumstances she’d be cosied up to a pillow on the chesterfield, enjoying a cup of tea and reading a book at this time, but tonight Deborah Hale and The Wizard’s Ward would have to wait for Santa Claus.

Of course, I had to use a local author. It only seemed right. It also had to be a book I’d read.

Now, while writing “Throw Away Kittens” I almost did it again. Except it didn’t feel natural, so I didn’t. But the thought was there. Charlie–the little guy in the story–walked into the kitchen to find his mother reading a book. I was about to mention the title, but there was no reason why Charlie would know this, so I left it out.

So have you? Will you? Have you considered it?

Throw Away Kitten

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6 thoughts on “Book Title Drop in Novel

  1. I’m pretty sure I have, although as much as I hate to admit this, I don’t remember all the intimate details of my past books. I do know for sure that I have mentioned local artists when setting the scene in an office and described pictures hanging on my own walls as if they were theirs. Hey, if like them enough to hang them, I like them enough to promote them.

  2. I do like the idea as a reader. If the character has read something I have, I have that one extra thing I can connect to them about. Or maybe I’ll check out what they’re reading.
    The protagonist in my WIP is a bookworm, so I like including the things she reads. She also likes bragging to the reader about what she’s reading. 😉 Unfortunately she reads more than I do, so occasionally I put in a book I haven’t read, usually a classic I haven’t gotten around to yet. 🙂

    • Thanks, Libby. That is one way to connect with a character, and perhaps provide some insight into the type of person they are by sharing what they read. They say you are what you eat, and I say you are what you read. Characters can be what they read too.
      A character bragging about a book would be interesting. I wonder if one throwing their book against a wall be acceptable. I mean, the author might take offence to that. 🙂

  3. I wouldn’t say I ‘mentioned’ a book title in my book but where my book is a children’s book, I have placed my first children’s book along with Jayne Peters Messy Jessy in the illustration. I think it’s a pretty neat idea.

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