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I Finally Felt It: Reading a Book When I Really Needed It

Currently Reading: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

I've always wondered what people meant when they said they read a book when they needed it the most or when a book really speaks to them on a deep level at just the right time. I'd never experienced that. And it was surprising because I would call myself someone who reads quite often. But I never experienced that moment where I felt like a book was really speaking to me.

Until now.

I'm currently reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (my fave!!) and I can say for the first time in my life, I felt like I was reading this just when I needed it.

The story follows Toru Okada or Mr. Wind-Up Bird according to another one of the characters which is fun. I'll try not to spoil too much but if this book is next up on your list and you want to go in blind, maybe stop reading here.

At one point in the book, Toru willingly climbs into a dry well. It's completely pitch black, damp and a little unnerving down there. No one forces him to do this, he just felt like it was something he needed to do.

Whilst he's down there, he describes how dark it is, how damp it smells and how cut off from the rest of the world he is. Reality is different down there, he exclaims, everyone s living their life well above him, completely oblivious to the fact that he is sitting in a well, really, really low down into the ground. He's cut off.

Toru is also a character that comes across as pretty unbothered by much. His cat goes missing and you can tell he misses him, but it's not completely disrupting his life. He appears to take this attitude with pretty much everything in his life, even when *SPOILER* *SPOILER* his wife leaves him. He just seems really apathetic towards everything, even when some wildly surreal things happen to him in this book in classic Murakami fashion.

I'm not sure if this is what Murakami was going for (and I still haven't finished the book, it's kinda long, let me live) but I was reading this book during one of my, shall we say, Sad Periods, and it made so much sense. That feeling where you're so low you don't even feel a part of the world anymore. You're so deep in your own pit of self-loathing, apathy, numbness and sadness that it feels like the rest of the world is moving on and you're stuck in some deep, dark pit underground and no way or energy to get out. Toru stayed in the well for a really long time and eventually it began to feel comforting, much like how our sadness can become too familiar and almost welcoming sometimes. Like returning to an unhealthy relationship.

I remember this feeling rushing over me as I read these specific moments of the book like, wow, I understand this. And the best part was that it wasn't some obvious metaphor for depression, it was just some guy climbing into a well of his own volition and describing what it was like down there. It was really strange but I understood it.

Toru's entire character symbolizes so much for me and it gives the book one more layer on top of the many others it has. A couple of mini stories are included in this book as well, told by other characters that each have their own meanings and ties into Toru's journey that he's wading through. There's so much to this book that I will definitely not be analyzing, I just love the personal connections books can give us.

It's a great read and I'm really excited to finish it.

Let me know which books you also read at the perfect time!

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