Sad news: I didn’t like What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. If you’ve ever gone running stoned, you’ve already read this book. And in case that isn’t part of your fitness regime, this essay in the New Yorker had all the good parts. Maybe a better translation would have helped. There are two translators of Murakami, and I prefer the other guy. That said, I never quite like Murakami while I’m reading him, only afterward. His style can be a little overbearing and sometimes I’d prefer to read about someone other than a divorced 35 year-old who subsists on pasta and beer and is dealing with a talking cat or charming teenager or mysterious phone calls. But I keep going back to Murakami because he always leaves me with insightful nuggets. Here’s one to think about before you fall asleep:
Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, writing as well.