What I talk about when I talk about running
By the time I was a junior high school student Japanese novels became super popular, and I used to go to the school library every lunchtime and read Murakami Haruki's books. At that time, I thought I understood his novel, but looking back, there were a lot of books that were a bit difficult to understand as a middle school student.
I finally old enough to understand his novel and realize how genius he is as a novelist.
I recommended Haruki's memoir, “What I talk about when I talk about running” while I was enjoying reading another brilliant book 1Q84 by a person who really likes to run.
It's hard to get a paper book written in Korean in Vietnam, and there are limits om E-books to download as well, so I had to read 1Q84 in English.
My English isn't very good enough to read a full-length novel in English, but I feel like Haruki's book is so fascinating that I can read them so quickly and so easily. While I was reading his book I kept thinking "Gosh, I gotta read this in Japanese." If there are books I really like I always want to read in the author's original language. I try sometimes if it's possible. If you are learning another language I recommend you to read books that you really like. It helps me a lot ;)
Anyways, I also read 'What I talk about when I talk about running' in the English version. It's pretty short compare to 1Q84, and it wasn't really difficult to understand.
He was talking about himself as a long-distance runner, as a novelist, and as a human being in this book 'What I talk about when I talk about running'. If you are a big fan of Haruki's literature, this is like a gift since he never talks about himself or his personal life. Honestly, I'm not a runner and I rarely run, I rather go for a swim and do yoga regularly. However, the reason I really enjoyed this book is that you can relate to Haruki's story no matter what kind of job you have, and what kind of exercise you are doing.
Murakami Haruki ran a jazz cafe & bar from when he was still in college to the mid-30s. Then, one day, he went to see a baseball game by himself and was sitting on the lawn, suddenly, he thought he should write a novel. He said that he had never thought of becoming a novelist or writing a book before that day. Even he had always thought he had no writing abilities.
Since that day, he started writing a book while working at a jazz bar at night. That's how to become a novelist.
He said the most important reason he could become a world-famous novelist is his regular lifestyle. He sits at his desk for four or five hours and writes 20 pages every day. He stops at 20 pages even on days he wants to write more, and he fills 20 pages even on days he doesn't write any more.
“There is no regret that I would have written better if I had more time. Because I have poured enough time and energy. If I wrote something wrong, that's because I'm lacking in abilities as a writer."
He always fell asleep at 9 o'clock and started his day at 5 o'clock every day. Some of his friends were complaining of his regular pattern because they can't hang out with him anymore, still, he quietly kept his patterns. He reminding himself that he cannot make everyone happy.
When he decided to become the novelist and just started writing a book, he smoked more than 40 cigarettes a day and never did exercise. He thought he wants to be a novelist as long as he could, so he chooses to run, which requires no tools or places. And he has been running or swimming for about an hour almost every day and once a year he participated in a marathon for over 30 years.
Haruki says he couldn't run for more than 20 minutes when he first started exercising, however, he realized it doesn't matter how far, and how well you did, the most important thing is not to give up.