Without repeating the ideological universalism of earlier Marxism, or reducing readers either to dupes or fully-empowered interpreters, how would we assemble a method for decoding texts as though, like commodities, their job was to provide satisfaction for private needs? More importantly, how would a commodity reading compare to the extant evidence of what people did with books? Because while some people bought books, others borrowed or were given them. Books were collected, le unread, remaindered for trunk linings or used to line baking dishes. Readers o en came across their literature in daily newspapers and in paper used to wrap commodity goods. Not all readers entered into an aesthetic contemplation of the uni ed text – literature may well have been what distracted readers whilst they should have been busy with something else.