Study Up For 'Think': What We See When We Read | KERA News

Study Up For 'Think': What We See When We Read

Aug 21, 2014

How do the words we read on a page translate into the images we see in our head? Peter Mendelsund, Associate Art Director for Alfred A. Knopf Books, joins Krys Boyd on Think today. At 1 p.m., he’ll discuss the neuroscience behind reading, which he covers in his book What We See When We Read.

Two excerpts of Mendelsund’s illustrated book are available. One on Slate takes Anna Karenina as an example to examine the way we envision a character with limited physical description. The other, via the Huffington Post, looks at the way we understand information through the process of reading.

Although his book is about the psychology behind reading, Mendelsund does not deal with science on a daily basis. As part of his job in publishing, Mendelsund designs book jackets. He helps create the images we might associate with the literature we read. His work spans from Sonia Sotomayor’s latest book to new editions of Dostoyevsky, Joyce, and Kafka. One of his most notable: the cover for Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. A few examples of his work are featured in the slide show above.

Mendelsund recently talked to Studio 360 about the thought process behind his unusual designs. Previously, a classical pianist, the designer describes his transition from one profession to another. Mendelsund also maintains a blog where you can see his latest designs.

Listen to Think, Monday through Thursday at noon and 9 p.m., on KERA 90.1 FM or via online streaming.