“Begin With The End in Mind” (Stephen Covey): When Reading?

anna-karenina-97181Have you ever read the last chapter first?  My friend does this to decide if she wants to read the book.  When I heard this I was incredulous.  There is a beginning, middle and end for a reason.  The reason to read the book is to be lured in, to wonder what will happen next, and how it will end.  Not for Susan.   She reads the end so she captures the details of how we get there.   I think it is like watching The Sixth Sense the second time once you know Bruce Willis was dead all along.

I had my first experience with “having the end in mind” awhile back when Oprah told me to read Anna Karenina – so of course I did.  What a big book – in many ways.  Halfway through I lost interest (sorry O).  And then, while flipping TV channels one night I heard someone say “It’s not like Anna Karenina when she throws herself under a train.”  WHAT?????   I couldn’t imagine how Anna found her way to this end.  And for the first time I understood Susan’s reading strategy.

And then there was today.  I was 250 pages in to a novel that was finally starting to move along.  But I had another hundred pages to go.  I’m not a fast reader so 100 pages is an investment to me.  Hmmm.  If I read the last chapter would it reignite my interest?

Toby died.

Whatever.

Next book.

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