The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale
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LIKE NEW!!! Has a small black line on edge of pages.
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Description

Product Description

Why do some book covers instantly grab your attention, while others never get a second glance? Fusing word and image, as well as design thinking and literary criticism, this captivating investigation goes behind the scenes of the cover design process to answer this question and more.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

As the outward face of the text, the book cover makes an all-important first impression. The Look of the Book examines art at the edges of literature through notable covers and the stories behind them, galleries of the many different jackets of bestselling books, an overview of book cover trends throughout history, and insights from dozens of literary and design luminaries. Co-authored by celebrated designer and creative director Peter Mendelsund and scholar David Alworth, this fascinating collaboration, featuring hundreds of covers, challenges our notions of what a book cover can and should be.

Review

Praise for The Look of the Book:

“A book about books that deserves a spot in every bibliophile’s collection.” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Cover:


“In the past decade, Mr. Mendelsund has designed about 600 book jackets, ranging from a sober, sophisticated cover for Tolstoy''s War and Peace to his whimsical Pop Art-like treatment of Kafka''s novella Metamorphosis, to the hypnotic fluorescent swirls on Stieg Larsson''s thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” New York Times

“Cover is foremost a visually enticing tour of some of the most important books of recent times, made even more memorable by Mendelsund''s daring covers.” Washington Post

Praise for What We See When We Read:


“A playful, illustrated treatise on how words give rise to mental images.” Alexandra Alter, New York Times

“Mendelsund, throughout this thought-provoking book, helps the lay reader contemplate text in ways you hadn''t thought about previously.” Los Angeles Times

“A welcome and fascinating new book.” New York Review of Books

About the Author

Peter Mendelsund is the former art director at Alfred A. Knopf, the creative director of The Atlantic, and the author of a design monograph called Cover, as well as What We See When We Read, which has been translated into fourteen languages, and the novel Same Same. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, and other magazines.

David J. Alworth is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He teaches and writes about modern and contemporary literature, media, art, and design. He is the author of Site Reading: Fiction, Art, Social Form and his essays have appeared in Public Books and the Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as in various scholarly journals.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Judging a Book by Its Cover


We’re not supposed to do it, but we do it anyway. The book cover is the outward face of the text, the all-important first impression of the text, but it’s also incidental and easily replaced. The same text can take many different covers without losing its identity.

These contradictions started to intrigue us the more we thought about them. Eventually, they got us
thinking about the book cover as a specific medium of communication, graphic expression, design, and perhaps even art. There really is no other medium quite like it, but as is the case with all media in the twenty-first century, the book cover is being transformed by the digital revolution. Until recently, talking about book covers meant talking about physical books: either hardbacks (with or without paper jackets) or paperbacks. In the era of e-books and audiobooks, however, book covers exist as digital images that can float free of the texts that they cover. These days, we are likely to see a new book in the form of a publicity image before we can purchase it. As visual designs, book covers must accomplish a nearly impossible task: they have to be as effective at 1 1/2 inches tall, which is the size of an Amazon thumbnail image, as they are at 9 inches tall, displayed in the window of the brick-and-mortar bookstore. For this reason and others, the look of the book matters now as never before.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
72 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Ann Marie Norrid
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfect book for book cover judgers!
Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2021
🎉Attention fellow book cover judgers! This is our book! 🎉 The Look of the Book features sumptuous artwork from book covers all throughout history, from the first book jackets to the modern graphic covers of today. It analyzes the evolution of cover art, the... See more
🎉Attention fellow book cover judgers! This is our book! 🎉

The Look of the Book features sumptuous artwork from book covers all throughout history, from the first book jackets to the modern graphic covers of today. It analyzes the evolution of cover art, the reasons behind certain design choices, the ethics of certain covers (Umm, hello there, Lolita) the history behind iconic covers, the tension between the publisher and cover artist, and so much more that I could talk about for DAYS.

I could not put this big, beautiful book down trying to savor all the gorgeous covers featured on each page. It''s honestly the perfect coffee table book for cover lovers like us.

One of the most interesting parts was how the book described the different processes of creating book covers, from the older hand drawn designs to the modern covers designed through computer software. But then it also traces the recent movement right back around to the handmade looking covers, which look more organic amidst many computer generated ones.

I also really enjoyed the way it would highlight certain cover designers and show a section of their greatest hits in which you could see how their own design sense connected each cover they had made, no matter the genre.

My most favorite part of this book though was the way that it celebrated and acknowledged how incredibly important book cover design is. It spoke of the ineffable moment between book cover and reader that causes a "visual-acoustic shock" in which you''re temporarily suspended in the world the cover just conjured up for you and you just know you need more. I don''t know about you, but it made me feel downright NOBLE in being a bit of a book cover snob.
One person found this helpful
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LC
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Book Cover Lovers UNITE!
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2021
This book is a sumptuous, glorious feast for the eyes! The texture of the cover, with its raised detailing, invites you in for eye candy, particularly of the vintage literary set. The pages are thick and meaningful. The reader wants to spend time soaking-in, before moving... See more
This book is a sumptuous, glorious feast for the eyes! The texture of the cover, with its raised detailing, invites you in for eye candy, particularly of the vintage literary set. The pages are thick and meaningful. The reader wants to spend time soaking-in, before moving onto the next page. Within the preface there is a beautiful, smaller book with photographs of old book covers and a smattering of typewriter-fond words. "Like a bag of potato chips or a television commercial, book covers have an obvious mandate, which is to sell a commodity, except in the case of literature the commodity is also art". I love this book so much because it keeps inviting me in. I appreciate the academic analysis as much as I appreciate looking at the photos of book covers themselves. I think the readership for this book has a wide range and I encourage all bibliophiles to purchase this for themselves. Mendelsund and Alworth do an outstanding job by not "judging a book by its cover", but rather, basking in the glories so many have to offer.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
First Hook to a Book
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2021
I enjoy going to the bookstore scanning covers on display. I am not always familiar with the authors or sometimes just looking for something different so have always enjoyed looking at cover art and design. Thought the book captured what I appreciate about book covers and... See more
I enjoy going to the bookstore scanning covers on display. I am not always familiar with the authors or sometimes just looking for something different so have always enjoyed looking at cover art and design. Thought the book captured what I appreciate about book covers and had good range
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Karen E. Tomlinson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pure joy to a graphic designer / book lover!
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2021
I love this book! A perfect treat for a design geek like me!
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Miranda Reads
1.0 out of 5 stars
So much less than what I expected
Reviewed in the United States on March 6, 2021
Hmmm... mixy thoughts on this. So this is a book all about book covers. And initially I was SUPER excited for it. I mean... who doesn''t judge a book by its cover? I was so curious to learn about the history and trends that you see in book... See more
Hmmm... mixy thoughts on this.

So this is a book all about book covers. And initially I was SUPER excited for it.

I mean... who doesn''t judge a book by its cover?

I was so curious to learn about the history and trends that you see in book covers - and why some are considered works of art while others are just "ehhh". I couldn''t wait to see motifs and trace them through the years....

But this book is more...hmm...less than I hoped.

I wanted to be dazzled but instead it felt like my spark was being smothered.

The academic nature and pedantic language of the book really...well...sucked the fun out of a topic that I was looking forward too. It felt like I was attending a lecture.

It also probably didn''t help that the author only focuses on medium-old books (if that makes sense).

Like there were a lot of books from the 19th-20th century but next to nothing from before or after...which kind of killed my excitement for learning about modern trends or ancient ones.

I would''ve LOVED to have a few chapters about when book covers became a "thing" and how people first started decorating them (like physically how and what they did to do it) - it''s such a cool thing!

And a few chapters on the books of today - where we trace the earlier influences and how they are seen on books from today.

Also, this might be a bit more minor but a lot of the books featured were relatively unknown to me - and considering I read ~300+ books a year, I was kinda surprised that I only recognized like 10-20% of the books.

I mean, it was kinda neat to learn about the books I''ve never heard of but at the same time, I wish that a few more common books were chosen.

ALSO - and it may just be me...but I was disappointed by the lack of "pretty covers" (which, yes...sounds shallow but at the same time...you know you like pretty covers).

I mean, I don''t have the research to back this up BUT I would argue major reason covers are designed are so people are going to want to buy the book.

There are so many covers out there that are just stunning - ones that instantly tell me that YES YOU NEED THIS ON YOUR SHELF.

Honestly, what would you rather have on your shelf? a weird abstract cover in mud-brown and baby-food-green or the same book in royal blue, bonded leather, gilt pages and embossed cover?)

I was really pumped to learn more about those ones and how beauty factors into the design....but that wasn''t really addressed.

Ah well. If you are in college and need a textbook about covers - this one will work for you.
4 people found this helpful
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Alexander Rivera
5.0 out of 5 stars
Visual feast, fluid prose
Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2020
A visual feast accompanied by lively stories about the intersection of the visual and textual. It’s fun to turn the page. You never know what delight is coming next. The prose is fluid. This is a coffee table book you’ll... See more
A visual feast accompanied by lively stories about the intersection of the visual and textual. It’s fun to turn the page. You never know what delight is coming next. The prose is fluid. This is a coffee table book you’ll actually read and treasure. I’d suggest it for anyone who likes fiction and art, which is probably all of us.

It presses the buttons: art, fiction, graphic design.
8 people found this helpful
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Robin
4.0 out of 5 stars
It covers a lot of fiction
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2020
A worthwhile overview of fiction covers though I did find it a bit over designed. The first thing I noticed when opening the book was a smaller one inside, the thirty-six pages carry the book''s page numbers but it''s 9 by 6.75 inches and has a cover on each page to reveal... See more
A worthwhile overview of fiction covers though I did find it a bit over designed. The first thing I noticed when opening the book was a smaller one inside, the thirty-six pages carry the book''s page numbers but it''s 9 by 6.75 inches and has a cover on each page to reveal the essence of a book. I thought the inclusion of these shorter pages a nice touch.

The first chapter ''What a book cover is'' has a spread with a complete jacket: the two side flaps, back, spine and front, it carries a handsome design by Peter Mendelsund. Any professional designer would agree that the complete jacket should be considered as one design unit but unfortunately, most publishers don''t share that point of view so all the covers in the book are just that: the front only, no flaps or backs.

There must be several hundred jackets throughout these pages and they are various sizes, from whole page down to thumbnail size. With that number it obviously includes plenty of mediocre designs, an image (usually an illustration) with the typography just dropped on without any thought about integrating these two elements. This makes several Penguin books included stand out as they have always considered the cover elements should work together. Page 254 has nine French and Italian covers from Apple Books with beautifully simple graphics, flat colors and all the type in Helvetica. Interestingly the Helvetica is in upper and lower case which is a more European style for titles rather than the American all capitals.

I thought the book was rather over-designed, there are too many black pages with white type, several pastel colored pages and lots of captions are set sideways so the book has to be turned round to read them, this is no more than designer whimsy. Pages numbers are missing here and there: 87 to 93 or 271 to 278 for example.

This is an interesting addition to the slowly expanding collection of titles devoted to cover art so book and graphic designers will want to get a copy. Look inside the book at Westread Book Reviews then click 2020 and December.
5 people found this helpful
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Nikkee
5.0 out of 5 stars
Perfect for the Aesthete and the Bibliophile
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2020
A unique dive into literary aesthetics, this book makes a perfect holiday gift! Alworth and Mendelsund do a fantastic job of holding readers'' interests while educating them on an esoteric yet fascinating subject. A great idea for that "hard to buy" person in your life or... See more
A unique dive into literary aesthetics, this book makes a perfect holiday gift! Alworth and Mendelsund do a fantastic job of holding readers'' interests while educating them on an esoteric yet fascinating subject. A great idea for that "hard to buy" person in your life or anyone fascinated by books. Highly recommend!
2 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Robin
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It covers a lot of fiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2020
A worthwhile overview of fiction covers though I did find it a bit over designed. The first thing I noticed when opening the book was a smaller one inside, the thirty-six pages carry the book''s page numbers but it''s 9 by 6.75 inches and has a cover on each page to reveal...See more
A worthwhile overview of fiction covers though I did find it a bit over designed. The first thing I noticed when opening the book was a smaller one inside, the thirty-six pages carry the book''s page numbers but it''s 9 by 6.75 inches and has a cover on each page to reveal the essence of a book. I thought the inclusion of these shorter pages a nice touch. The first chapter ''What a book cover is'' has a spread with a complete jacket: the two side flaps, back, spine and front, it carries a handsome design by Peter Mendelsund. Any professional designer would agree that the complete jacket should be considered as one design unit but unfortunately, most publishers don''t share that point of view so all the covers in the book are just that: the front only, no flaps or backs. There must be several hundred jackets throughout these pages and they are various sizes, from whole page down to thumbnail size. With that number it obviously includes plenty of mediocre designs, an image (usually an illustration) with the typography just dropped on without any thought about integrating these two elements. This makes several Penguin books included stand out as they have always considered the cover elements should work together. Page 254 has nine French and Italian covers from Apple Books with beautifully simple graphics, flat colours and all the type in Helvetica. Interestingly the Helvetica is in upper and lower case which is a more European style for titles rather than the American all capitals. I thought the book was rather over-designed, there are too many black pages with white type, several pastel coloured pages and lots of captions are set sideways so the book has to be turned round to read them, this is no more than designer whimsy. Pages numbers are missing here and there: 87 to 93 or 271 to 278 for example. This is an interesting addition to the slowly expanding collection of titles devoted to cover art so book and graphic designers will want to get a copy. Look inside the book at Westread Book Reviews then click 2020 and December.
One person found this helpful
Report
jdc278
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful and insightful book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 22, 2021
This is a wonderful and unique book that really gets to the heart of something we all take for granted: why do our books look the way they do and why do they grab our attention? Mendulsund and Alworth have excellently researched this topic and present it accessibly and...See more
This is a wonderful and unique book that really gets to the heart of something we all take for granted: why do our books look the way they do and why do they grab our attention? Mendulsund and Alworth have excellently researched this topic and present it accessibly and fascinatingly to the reader. Recommended to any and every book lover!
Report
Holly/ADK’s NY
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It was a hit
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2021
Great appreciated gift
Report
Pacific Reader
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fantastic
Reviewed in India on May 25, 2021
Brilliant book
Report
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The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale

The popular Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, discount and Art at the Edges of Literature online sale