I was browsing the Amazon Best of 2005 lists, and it seems to me that a much larger population of books now have a colon in the title than last year’s selection. Strangely, a fair number of books felt it necessarily to follow the colon with an explanation of what the book is. For example, there’s Michelle: A Novel. Or, The Glass Castle: A Memoir.

Is this the result of publishers recognizing that consumers most often spot these books on a generic “new release” rack at the bookstore? Or that due to Amazon and other online retailers, consumers are finding books by association rather than going to the non-fiction or fiction sections? Or is it just that they felt the book’s title doesn’t stand on its own? Hmm.