I realized exactly two hours and four minutes ago that I have an obsession.
Two hours and four minutes ago I was at Barnes and Nobles with my family. Book shopping is one of our favorite family pastimes. Upon entering this haven of words, I walked down three aisles and turned to the left. This is the running books section.
At my Barnes and Nobles, there are three shelves of running books. On these three shelves there are about a dozen stories of running, as opposed to the myriad of books that teach you how to be a better runner. Of these books that tell these stories, I could only find two I had not read. Clearly I am obsessed.
I used to read all kinds of books. I love biographies, classic literature, pop. lit., anything by the Bronte’ sisters, Augusten Burroughs, or Dave Eggers.
But at some point, I clearly have become addicted to running stories. In fact, nothing else is interesting me at all. It is weird. I hope it isn’t a disease or something. As noted above, I am about to run out of choices. What will I do? Will I fall into a depressed funk? Will I finally break my habit? I am lost without a book at my bedside, so I am hoping for the later.
My latest fix was Bart Yasso’s, My Life on the Run. I finished this afternoon and immediately said, “Time to get a new book.”
Today’s purchase was Haruki Murakami’s, What I talk about when I talk about running. I picked it because Murakami is a highly regarded, award winning writer from Japan whose work has been translated into 42 languages. I have a couple of his books. It seems rare that a running story is actually written by an accomplished author. They are usually written by accomplished runners. I figured that with Murakami’s pedigree, this story would have to be good! And frankly, the inside jacket sold me.
With only one unread book left at the B & N, perhaps I will find my way back to stories that don’t involve long distances and tales of training, racing, and personal triumph. On the other hand, maybe more people will publish more stories about what it means to them to lace up their shoes and hit the road. They can rest assured at least one copy will be sold.