What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami


That is the longest title i’ve seen in a while and it fits exceptionally well.

This book’s a part journal, part running diary of the famous author Haruki Murakami, and was the first novel I read by him. I still found this book interesting, even if I’m not a runner – not at all.

My thoughts


– this book is about running and so much more – 

I was looking for motivation and insight, which I got, in a way. There’s a lot of reasons to read this book. The writing’s fantastic and so is the self-reflections and general thoughts it included. I like Murakami’s view of the world, which is a weird thing to say, but his thoughts on why he’s running and his stories are interesting in themselves. Like when he sold his jazz club to become a full-time author because it was what he wanted. He went against common sense, but he gives his reasons to why that didn’t stop him. And there seems like nothing will stop him from running for a while either, which still baffles me that one could genuinely enjoy.

– i will never run a marathon but – 

What surprised me the most was the meditation aspect of long-distance running and why someone deliberately cause themselves pain, like Murakami running a marathon in the scolding heat of greece’s summer, on his own. I’m no stranger to pain, but that’s something else. And Murakami doesn’t seem to understand it completely either, only that he wasn’t about to do it again.

When Murakami wrote this book, in 2005, he’d run somewhere around 24 marathons, which I have to be amazed at. He’s been running longer than I’ve been alive. It was really interesting to search for the reason to why he’s be able to keep putting effort into something so demanding for so long. Definitely something to strive for, but it doesn’t mean I’m about to go running anytime soon. I now believe some enjoy it, but they can keep it. I find my meditational exercise elsewhere, even if I didn’t realize it before this book. 


– Murakami on writing –

“Writers who are blessed with inborn talent can freely write novels no matter what they do – or don’t do. Like water from a natural spring, the sentences just well up, and with little or no effort these writers can complete at work. Occassionally you’ll find someone like that, but, unfortunately, the category wouldn’t include me. I haven’t spotted and springs nearby. I have to pound the rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of creativity. To write a novel I have to drive myself hard physically and use a lot of time and effort. Every time I begin a new novel, I have to dredge out another new, deep hole. But as I’ve sustained this kind of life over many years, I’ve become quite efficient, both technically and physically, at opening a hole in the hard rock and locating a new water vein.” 

5 thoughts on “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

  1. Jenn @ the Bibliofile February 12, 2018 / 11:20 am

    It’s interesting that you still liked the book even though you’re not a runner. I’ve never been interested in trying to do a marathon; friends are always trying to get me to train with them, but it’s not my thing. (I’d rather be reading, haha) I love that he writes about the difficulty of writing; reminds people that even for great writers the process can be hard but they should keep at it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • aquapages // eline February 12, 2018 / 2:34 pm

      Yes, it was something fascinating about the determination needed and the way exercise might get rid of stress or be meditational in a way I haven’t found in much else. I’m mostly a bookworm too, hah


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s