Book Number 18: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Murakami

Book number: 18

Book name: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Author: Haruki Murakami

Book Length: 180 Pages

Time taken to read: July 4- July 5, 2020

Genre: Memoir

Recommended to:

Okay, so I am actually not able to digest the fact that this is a book about running by a writer who is known for his writings. But on the other hand, he is someone who had once run 62 miles in a single day, and all that crazy stuff about him makes me go crazy.

If you are not a Murakami fan like me, then it is fine, but if you are wanting to improve your writing skills being a blogger/novelist then this is a must book.
The metaphors are real in this book and they are being inspired by only running. Running? Really? Yes, really.

Inspired me to learn about:

After completing the last book by Murakami, Birthday Girl, apparently my 6th book by the same novelist, I, somehow, bumped into this new read which could be possible only and only because of the weather.
I started reading this last night while being on the bed near the window. It was raining heavily last night, and I always believe downpour and reading go hand in hand. I got the digital copy of this book, enjoyed the sound of rain drops by the window and I got so amazed that I am going to share what and how I loved each line of this book below.

Takeaways from the book:

Usually, I only write 3 takeaways from the book which I write but this time I want to share the paragraphs which extremely hit me hard, which I took from the book to share here:

There is a reason I love Murakami’s work a lot because his thoughts and my journey of being a writer since 5 years is so similar that I could not agree more-
“It might be a little silly for someone getting to be my age to put this into words, but I just want to make sure I get the facts down clearly: 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.”

Again, I am always one of those people who focus on becoming better. I never crave to reach the level where I am called the best. Why? Because that is the stage where your learnings end and this describes so well-

“As I mentioned before, competing against other people, whether in daily life or in my field of work, is just not the sort of lifestyle I’m after. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but the world is made up of all kinds of people. Other people have their own values to live by, and the same holds true with me. These differences give rise to disagreements, and the combination of these disagreements can give rise to even greater misunderstandings.”

How I have been able to find my voice through my erotica writings which is not usual to read and find. And the same goes for Murakami. He is a genius to get inside the circumstances.

“It’s precisely my ability to detect some aspects of a scene that other people can’t, to feel differently than others and choose words that differ from theirs, that’s allowed me to write stories that are mine alone. And because of this we have the extraordinary situation in which quite a few people read what I’ve written. So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets.”

Being fully responsible for whatever I do-

“I’m the kind of person who has to totally commit to whatever I do. I just couldn’t do something clever like writing a novel while someone else ran the business. I had to give it everything I had. If I failed, I could accept that. But I knew that if I did things halfheartedly and they didn’t work out, I’d always have regrets.”


“I never could stand being forced to do something I didn’t want to do at a time I didn’t want to do it. Whenever I was able to do something I liked to do, though, when I wanted to do it, and the way I wanted to do it, I’d give it everything I had.”

One of the reasons, I avoid office parties many of the times, and enjoy sitting at home and writing blogs-

“I felt that the indispensable relationship I should build in my life was not with a specific person, but with an unspecified number of readers. As long as I got my day-to-day life set so that each work was an improvement over the last, then many of my readers would welcome whatever life I chose for myself. Shouldn’t this be my duty as a novelist, and my top priority?”

Being a writer-

“what’s the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. No matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.

If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus—the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I’m writing. I don’t see anything else, I don’t think about anything else. Even a novelist who has a lot of talent and a mind full of great new ideas probably can’t write a thing if, for instance, he’s suffering a lot of pain from a cavity. The pain blocks concentration. That’s what I mean when I say that without focus you can’t accomplish anything.”

My consistency to write every day for more than 900 days every night-

“In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him.
The whole process—sitting at your desk, focusing your mind like a laser beam, imagining something out of a blank horizon, creating a story, selecting the right words, one by one, keeping the whole flow of the story on track—requires far more energy, over a long period, than most people ever imagine. You might not move your body around, but there’s grueling, dynamic labor going on inside you. Everybody uses their mind when they think. But a writer puts on an outfit called narrative and thinks with his entire being.”

I am sure, it would have been as much beneficial for you the way it was for me to enjoy this book. I hope and wish you have a lovely week ahead. Thanks for reading!

“You have to wait until tomorrow to find out what tomorrow will bring.”

Copyright© 2015-2020 by SumitOfficial

All Rights Reserved.

27 thoughts on “Book Number 18: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Murakami”

  1. Murakami, Murakami, Murakami, all praises and all adoration for an author.
    I liked your description. This time it was a detailed one and I liked your thoughts on same as well.
    Interesting review.

    I am excited to read what Tomorrow brings by the way.

    And yes let me have a privilege to wish you a happy Guru Purnima. I say it with all my heart. You have been a constant source of teaching to me. I have been learning a lot from you. And this is the reason why I respect a person like you so much. There are so many things I learnt from you, I don’t have a count of same. But I am blessed to have met you and to learn from you.

    Take care!

    (P.S- I wish rains continue for a little more time so that you can read more and keep up with the speed and meet the target!)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hahahaha! Mujhe pata tha, you’re going get pisses off ab to.
      Kya karu, Rashmi? I’m just never out of his thoughts to he honest. I remember last year, randomly I had bought a book by him from Mumbai Airport when I was going for Goa, and who knew that it would make such bug difference in my life that I’ll end up reading him in a row.

      Oh my my! The girl is here undoubtedly with the wishes which I had expected the least. Okay, I take the wishes but in return, I also want to thank you for all the things which are uncountable but you know I have observed and learnt from you too, Rashmi.

      Of course, making me a rhythmic poet is one of the life time gifts you’ve given to me as a teacher. And this student of yours always wants her teacher to keep an eye on him.

      The rains! I lost my words here but rains! I hope you understand my midnight love for the rain and then the afterwards.

      (PS- Yes, ma’am, July is going to be a full reading+book reviewing month and the target is going to be achieved soon.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! The backend story, I missed listening to the same.

    I have an eye on your work, I am letting you work a bit more on reading but as soon as you meet the target I wanna see you back with a bang of your poems, doesn’t matter rhymes or free verses, all that matters is you back with your poems. Thike!

    Undoubtedly you gonna do what you thought, that’s what you’re all about. Keep up the determination and keep reading.

    See you around ✨
    It was pleasure interacting to you!

    (P.S- I was talking about vibes, It makes me happy)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know you must be missing that, and even without me knowing I told you everything.

      Let’s aim 25 books by this month, and/or if I’m done with it, we’re gonna be back to the basics.


      1. You doubt Sumitofficial?
        You kidding me, you gonna nail it reading!
        I know it can turn 26 but 24 is not an option only.

        Just make sure you don’t miss your sleep mean while. Rest assured we gotta do it by the end of this month.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Few days back I started reading Norwegian wood. But out of some other works I couldn’t complete that book. Now after reading your reviews on Murakami, I fell like reading that book immediately.
    Will complete that one and read the books reviewed by you here.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Woohoo! I loved those quotes, they were so insightful and I could see how they were relating to your life. This is why you love this writer huh! Also, you read this in one day? 😯 Wowww! Nice speeed.

    Liked by 3 people

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