Thaler's deployment of anomalous anecdotes has helped raise the profile of behavioural economics. This paper explores possible uses of other narrative materials as aids to economic research. After examining the use of anecdotes in economics, the paper reviews opportunities to use a wide range of more extensive reflective materials. Two text-based applications are then presented: the first uses material from consumer magazines, the second draws from novels by David Lodge. Both applications call into question conventional thinking regarding the degree of substitution between product characteristics, while the second is also instructive regarding the processes by which economic activities are coordinated.