Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book Nook: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami


Amazing novelist writes about his marathon running and Olympic-distance triathlon training and compares it to the endurance needed to write a novel. Combines many of my loves into one, concise memoir.

I read some paragraphs that made me think, “Didn’t I already write this?” It’s so spot on.

On Bicycling:

“Running and swimming I like to do anyway, even if I’m not training for a race. They’re a natural part of my daily routine, but bicycling isn’t. One reason I’m reluctant when it comes to bicycling is that a bike’s a kind of tool. You need a helmet, bike shoes, and all sorts of other accoutrements, and you have to maintain all the parts and equipment. I’m just not very good at taking care of tools. Plus, you have to find a safe course where you can pedal as fast as you want. It always seems like too much of a hassle.”

On Swimming and Education:

“Lots of people know how to swim, but those who can efficiently teach how to swim are few and far between. That’s the feeling I get. It’s difficult to teach how to write novels (at least I know I couldn’t), but teaching swimming is just as hard. And this isn’t just confined to swimming and novels. Of course there are teachers who can teach a set subject, in a set order, using predetermined phrases, but there aren’t many who can adjust their teaching to the abilities and tendencies of their pupils and explain things in their own individual way. Maybe hardly any at all.”

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