What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us, exactly, what Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page—a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so—and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved—or reviled—literary figures. In What We See When We Read, Peter Mendelsund combines his profession, as a an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature—he considers himself first and foremost a reader—into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading.