Ways in Which I Resemble Haruki Murakami

(excerpts are from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)

  • We both enjoy solitude.

    I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. I’ve had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.

  • We both like being near the water.

    Seeing a lot of water like that every day is probably an important thing for human beings. For human beings might be a bit of a generalization—but I do know it’s important for one person: me. If I go for a time without seeing water, I feel like something’s slowly draining out of me. It’s probably like the feeling a music lover has when, for whatever reason, he’s separated from music for a long time. The fact that I was raised near the sea might have something to do with it.

Ways in which I do not resemble Haruki Murakami:

  • He runs an average of six miles a day while I am lazy and only fantasize about running.

I’m just over halfway through the book at this point, and while it’s definitely not for everyone I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s a memoir of running, and of writing, but the tone is very conversational and it feels like Murakami is just sharing his views on life with his (devoted) readers. But I think to really enjoy this you’d have to not only like Murakami but also either be a runner or at least understand or be interested in the strange and singular experience running can be for those who do it long-distance.

3 comments to Ways in Which I Resemble Haruki Murakami

  • readerville

    A friend of mine (who is in her forties) just started a blog about her goal to train for a marathon…I have no desire to do it myself, but I’m finding it inspiring. check it out

  • That is inspiring—she may be over 40 but she can just hop out of bed one morning and run two miles! I always find I need to really work up to things a lot more than that.

    I have to say I do find the Murakami memoir inspiring as well. I have a sinus infection at the moment but I really, really want to go out and get some exercise again! His best advice, of course, is not to give in to excuses and rationalizations not to run. But I think a fever might be a good enough reason.

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