Judging by the Cover

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Covers not only stage an interaction between word and image, printed matter and visual representation, they also broker various connections among reader, designer, editor, publisher, and bookseller.

Using Peter Mendelsund’s amazing books Cover and What We See When We Read as a jumping-off point, and invoking covers of books like Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar, David J. Alworth explores what Mendelsund calls “translation”: the jobs and responsibilities of a book cover, what they accomplish, and what happens when they fail.


Kyle Williams is a student at Brooklyn College, studying creative writing and literature. You can find more from him on Tumblr at kaywhyelleee.tumblr.com, but don't feel like you have to. More from this author →