This chapter introduces the Mass Observation Project based at the University of Sussex and explores the 160 pieces of writing received for the Reading Aloud directive. It goes on to examine the pictures of reading aloud, literacy as a social practice and contemporary adult life that these pieces of writing create, providing an overview of the range of practices mentioned (including reading to dying friends, reading aloud in courts of law and reading aloud as part of work as medical professionals), while also reflecting on the Mass Observers as both sociologists and autobiographers, both researchers and storytellers. This chapter develops the idea of the ‘Mass Observation ethos’ and theorises why Mass Observation may be such a valuable resource for better understanding literacy in adult life.