Friday, November 18, 2011

"I took a gamble and I survived."

I took a gamble at writing and I don't know if I survived.
Ask me in a couple of years.
The real quote "I took a gamble and I survived" was based on an article written last month (Friday 14 October 2011) by Emma Brockes (The Guardian) who interviewed Mr Murakami on his latest book.
The quote, Marukami's gamble, was not what I expected. I thought his gamble had been choosing to write when his parents had expected him to get a job with Mitsubishi. But no.  Haruki Murakami's biggest gamble was to get married young (20 or 21) This according to him, was even more difficult that buying a jazz bar. 
That says quite something about marriage. ;-)
I haven't read his book which is only a 1000-page long.
But the Japanese obviously didn't get discouraged by his "paving stone" novel because according to the Guardian, "in its first month of release, 1Q84 sold one million copies in Japan."
And the book isn't an easy read either apparently.

This made me question about a subject close to me.

The attention span of our current society in reading.

How much do people read on a daily basis? How many people would read a 1000 page long novel in general?  How much is our attention span? And would it be more important in Japan than in Europe or in the U.S.A?

With T.V and computers, it seems pretty clear to me that attention spans have decreased a lot
over the last 30 years or so.
It makes perfect sense too: if you grow up watching action sequences rolling before your eyes in fast sequences while you stay passive, reading a book feels like hard work and for a lot of us (children especially) reading would feel too slow for our antsy conditioned brains.

So my question would be: what is the longest book you ever read? And the longest time you sat reading a book?


  1. Whatever about society in general, I've found that my own attention span for reading has decreased over the years. I used to read such doorstoppers as War and Peace (1,000 pages plus) in a couple of weeks in my late teens/early twenties without thinking anything of it. Such a feat would be so so much more difficult now with all the distractions of modern living.

  2. I don't remember how long I've read a book, but the longest one I've read was probably "The Witching Hour" by Anne Rice. I wish it was something more erudite like "War and Peace," but nope, it was a book about witches. And an awesome one, at that.


  3. the longest book ive read has to be Quo Vadis. i tried reading it in russian first, but couldnt pronounce some of the 24-letter words, so i gave up and went to english instead =P

    took me at least a week, i think.