Books books books

I have not read books for several years. Not because they do not interest me, but because I have been so terribly afraid of losing myself somewhere between the pages. I used to read a lot when I was younger, several books a week, plowed through both classical literature and quirky newcomers. I discovered Jon Fosse when I was 14, read through classical Greek plays, I loved it all, it moved something inside of me. I felt a lot, but – feeling – it is such a two-edged sword. Being able to experience so much emotion jumping off the paper, but not knowing what to do with it all once it hit me. So, I started avoiding books. Just like I still avoid movies, for the most part. It is too much. It is not enough.

For my Japanese course this fall, I had to read four novels by Japanese authors, and I chose Banana Yoshimoto’s N.P. and Kitchen, and I choose Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the shore and Norwegian wood. I have spent the last weeks evenings curled up in bed, gulping down the words on the pages, rediscovering reading. This is what it feels like to read fiction. I had forgotten. Upon rediscovering books, I realized that there was something about them which I missed immensely. I am not sure if it is the literary drought inside of me, the fact that I have not read books in such a long time, that made all of these four books so stunningly amazing to me, or if I just hit the jackpot and managed to pick out four amazing books to read in a row, but needless to say, I loved them all. Yoshimoto writes in such a clear and crisp way, so tangible and concrete about difficult subjects like death and complicated love (spiced up with incest and transexualism), and maybe just by pure chance, Murakami covers the same topic in Kafka on the shore, but writes about it so differently it is hard to think they cover any of the same topics at all. When Murakami makes everything surreal and floaty and you are not sure what is reality and what is a dream, Yoshimoto drags you down to earth and explain things in laymen’s terms. The combination of these books made my October evenings spectacular.

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  1. Samhain Moon says:

    In an ironic way, I find that now I have the most resources available with the internet is also when I read the least. Now with so many blogs and online publications, I get so saturated with content on the internet that I forget to check out some noteworthy books.

    There is just so much stuff out there!

    Glad you enjoyed those, I think you have inspired me to go look for some nice books to read!

    • Sushi Bird says:

      I totally agree with you! I just feel like I am not using my time well if I read a book for fun, instead of reading something related to the university courses. *sigh* I know it is the wrong attitude to have, I just can’t seem to shake it.

  2. Sandra Olsen says:

    Jeg likte Kafka on the shore veldig godt også. <3

    • Sushi Bird says:

      Den var veldig fin å lese på norsk, men all dialekten som var brukt i boken gjorde at den ikke ble så lett å lese på japansk altså… men jeg følte jeg lærte masse av å prøve meg frem 🙂