Because The Moonstone is composed of a series of first-person narratives, supposedly written by the characters themselves, there are frequent remarks about the act of writing. What should be included? What should be left out? What is the narrator's responsibility to the reader? The various narrators all address these questions to some extent. The narrators' own reading habits also give us hints as to their reliability as writers: Gabriel Betteredge, for example, reads Robinson Crusoe, whereas Miss Clack reads trite, hackneyed religious tracts.
Miss Clack insistently reads only texts that offer trite and reductive interpretations of the Bible; her refusal to engage directly with primary texts and her open disapproval of those who do suggest her close-mindedness.
Characters who read fiction are consistently portrayed as more critical, observant, and sympathetic than those who do not – hardly surprising, of course, given that Collins was a professional novelist!