x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

There's nothing like a good, really long, read

Zaineb Al Hassani finally succeeds in reading The Economist from start to finish ... but it was a time-consuming exercise that was hard on the eyes.

After moving to Abu Dhabi I set myself the task of increasing my business acumen, and reading from front to back, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times and The Economist.

On top of my usual reading schedule, this all adds up to rather a lot, and needless to say, until recently I had still not managed to read through just one of the many papers and magazines I find waiting patiently, day after day, on my desk at work. That's not to say anything goes to waste; the exact opposite, in fact. But it was a constant bugbear that I was unable to find the time to read just one publication all the way through. And so, ripping my beloved Economist from its envelope, I decided I would finally read it the way I had set out. Every. Single. Word. Over the next five days I found myself reading the magazine every spare minute I had. I read in the taxi on my short journey to the office; I sat outside with a coffee and read before beginning my daily tasks; I went across the road after work to my favourite little cafe and read; I went home and, you guessed it, read until I couldn't open my eyes.

I like reading The Economist, I really do, but when a third day left me with a twitch in my right eye, I began to wonder if it was really worth it. As the week drew to a close, and I grew ever closer to the end of the magazine, I found myself getting more and more excited about finishing off the last page.

My friends - well, one, at the very least - were also intrigued to see if I would complete the task, and finally it came to pass, on Thursday, March 17, at precisely 8pm, that I got to that last page, read that last page, and closed my magazine with a triumphant sigh. I would say that I need to get out more, but I still have plenty of reading to do. Now, where did I put this week's issue...?