Slovakia Update #110 – Books

Today I want to talk about my mass consumption of literature over the past few months.

After about three months, I noticed that I had come down with a terrible disease, known as boredom. This disease is not curable, but it is possible to delay the horrible effects. One of the possible treatments that I have found to be successful, is reading. The only problem that I had, was that in a country that doesn’t speak English, finding literature that I can understand was a bit of a challange. One day, as I was browsing the English section of the local bookstore, I found a book by an author that I had never heard of. I thought the cover looked nice so I decided to pick it up. This one single event has left me addicted and obsessed with everything Haruki Murakami.

I could give a large biography on this literary giant, but I will try and summarize as to not bore you. Born in post-WWII Japan, Murakami grew up in the era of the student/hippie revolution. A lot of these themes can be seen throughout his novels and short stories. Some of his most famous works include: Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore, The Wind up Bird Chronicle, and many more.

I honestly can’t remember exactly what the first book of his that I read was, possibly Kafka on the Shore or Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage. You might say that it shouldn’t be that difficult, as I could just pick it out on my bookshelf. That would be true, but you forget I mentioned that this has become an addiction. I am willing to say that most of my stipends that I get go towards buying books to read. Just from Murakami, I have bought a total of twelve books.

The question that is probably on your mind, and that has been on my mind for some time, is why do I like this author so much? I tried thinking about this for a long time, but the only answer that I could come up is this: his novels feel real actual. Even in fantastic novels such as 1Q84, or A Wild Sheep Chase, you still feel like the events that took place could actually happen to you, when in reality these books involve large portions of spiritual and otherworldly unknowns. I don’t know if I am using these books as an escape from this boring facade, but either way they have changed the way I read, write, and live my daily life.

If you take anything from this day’s worth of ramblings, know that this books have changed me for the better. Or perhaps, they are changing me forever, as I am not quite done with all of his novels. Maybe tomorrow I will sit down and do a proper breakdown and review of my favorite book, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. But that’s all for today, I hope you enjoyed!

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