Tag Archives: memoir

Book: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Black-on-white version also available

Impetus to run.
192 pages, ★★★★

Running is a form of meditation. Murakami says he “doesn’t doesn’t know what he thinks about when he’s running”. When he’s happy, he thinks a little about being happy, and when he’s unhappy, he thinks a little about being unhappy. He says the average human mind isn’t strong enough to sustain a vacuum of thoughts, so random thoughts will seep in occasionally no matter how hard we try to block them out (see my book review on meditation exercises). That sounds like meditation to me.

Murakami started running to recover from an addiction to cigarettes, and has since run multiple marathons, including the original marathon route in Greece (he did it alone, surrounded by traffic!) Running motivated him to write, to give up smoking, and to run even more. Runners compete only against their former selves.

This humorous, autobiographical collection of essays, letters and memories persuades me strongly to get up and run.

Enough said. I want to go running. ★★★★