The Hardships of Reading

Today I finished reading Kafka on the Shore by Murakami. I had been savouring this book for a couple of weeks, only reading a few chapters a time, like taking very tiny pieces of a really good chocolate cake and then putting the rest away for tomorrow, for something to look forward to… But now I have finished this book and I feel a sense of… a sense of loss. I’m mourning the loss of this book.

Because this book was a gate to a different world for me, for a while. It was wonderful, I was stuck in Japan, curiously reading onwards , trying to decipher the mysteries that Murakami put out there for me to wonder about and reflect on. But now all of that is gone. And to me, that is the most rewarding yet heartbreaking thing about reading books: Once you’ve read a really good book, nothing will ever be the same again. The world will have shifted slightly within you, everything will look different. And this is wonderful. But you can never regain that experience of reading this particular book for the first time ever again. When re-reading it, it will most likely still be wonderful. But it will not have the complete same impact.

 I need to move on to another book. But for tonight I will mourn the loss of a great companion, Kafka on the shore by Murakami.


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