I just picked up Haruki Murakami’s latest novel 1Q84 last week, and after finishing Dickens’ David Copperfield and Towles’ The Rules of Civility I’m giving it a go. I’m mentioning it here for a few reasons:
1) Murakami’s my favorite living author.
2) I’ve read a few books on kindle and have to say I’m hooked, but…
3) I wanted to give hardcovers another shot.
4) It might be fun to blog about a book as I read it, as Bill Simmons blogs about a game as he watches it.
1) Author Declares Murakami Fav
I remember the first time I picked up The Wind Up Bird Chronicle; I was only able to read a chapter, but recognized it instantly when I saw it again four years later. I sometimes suspect that I’ve modeled myself after Toru Okada, for better or worse.1 I’ve since read most of his other work
2) Kindle Bests Expections
I read the Dickens and the Towles on Kindle. I’d had my doubts, but it really is a great product: I didn’t have to lug around a large, heavy book, I could bookmark pages without damaging a physical copy of the book, I could write notes that weren’t limited to the margin, and then I could search those notes easily.
3) New Convert Has Second Thoughts.
And yet I wanted to give physical copies another chance. If nothing else, books work as advertisements and conversation pieces, especially in a place like New York, where people often read in public. Murakami fans are very devoted, so by reading his latest in public I’m giving it a whirl and hoping to start some good conversations.
4) Novel Approach to Novel Reading
And so, frustrated by own unwillingness to mark up the pages, I am going to blog about the chapters as I read them. Even if no one else bothers reading it, I’ll have a record of how I felt going through the book. And so, without further interruption…
 Indeed so much so that I was a bit stung when I read the Economist’s August 27th, 2011 review of a theatrical adaptation of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle which described Okada as an “out of work loser.” In the context of the book that would put the Economist’s staff in the role of the primary antagonist, Noboru Wataya, who thinks that Okada’s head is full of nothing but “garbage and rocks,” and is definitely not a likeable or sympathetic character. It may not count as revenge proper, but such small observations are the most frequent, and maybe most enjoyable sort of payback.