“What We See When We Read”


It is difficult for me to pass up a book about reading/libraries/books, and in this case I am glad I didn’t. Written by Knopf’s Associate Art Director Peter Mendelsund, who has designed many recognizable book jackets (e.g. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) this book is quick, fun, and offers an interesting perspective on an activity (reading fiction) that most of us engage in but rarely analyze. Through discussion and heavy illustration, the author examines character descriptions found in fiction, what these descriptions inspire readers to see, and why. Mendelsund’s lesson is one that I’m sure to take with me the next time I pick up a novel. Although quite different, it reminded me in its combination of text and image of Haruki Murakami’s novella, The Strange Library, which I also quite enjoyed.

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