Sometimes Judge A Book By Its Cover


Cover designer Peter Mendelsund has released two new books about cover design. Cover collects many of the images Mendelsund has designed over his career and What We See When We Read explores the relationship between cover art and the books behind it. Mendelsund spoke with PBS Newshour in a short video and transcript about judging books by their covers:

“…a great cover is, as I said, a cover that really does a great job of representing that particular story, but, of course, a great cover is also a cover that sells a book well.”

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →