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Jigsaw reading

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

I will tell you a dirty little secret of mine: I don’t always read a book from beginning to end.

Sometimes I struggle to connect and invest in the words. Sometimes, I’m just bored.

I skip to the back and find out how it ends. Find out who the characters are that I should care about. Find out what drives the story.

I’ll read it backward from there, skipping whole chapters and making connections on how we got to those final pages.

I find important words. Names. Objects. Places. I search for them in my e-reader and see where they appear in the story. I scan those sections.

Slowly I work my way back to the beginning and read forward, not every word, but the beginning and endings of sentences and paragraphs.

I piece the story together like a jigsaw puzzle. It makes sense only as a patchwork.

Sometimes this process hooks me. It draws me in. I read more. I read deeply. I find meaning.

It’s not traditional, but it works, and I prefer it to not reading the book at all.


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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