I have a stack (a virtual stack, that is) of unread books that I am genuinely interested in reading. I often go through long periods of dipping in and out of different books, making little progress on any one book. My potentially unlimited access to almost any book I want at any time is a bit overwhelming and regularly keeps me from actually reading a book all the way through.
However, Born To Run pulled me in and kept me intrigued all the way to the end and beyond. When I opened my iBooks app in the past week, I didn’t hesitate to open Born To Run, and only Born To Run. I didn’t stray or skim through another title in indecision. All Born To Run, all the time. It was a delight to read, and it was a delight to find a book that had the magnetism to hold my attention and push all other reading material behind it.
The author, Christopher McDougall, did a masterful job of weaving together a fascinating group of characters (real people that I found intriguing enough to google and explore further) into a narrative that was truly compelling. And I’m not even a runner.
But this book has sparked a new appreciation of distance runners and a curiosity about the science and engineering and anthropology behind truly great running form. I even, in preparation for an upcoming trip, bought a pair of the Luna Sandals whose design was inspired by the story in this book. And I have definitely never been a sandals guy. At all. (Though, the similarity of these particular sandals to what I think gladiator/Roman emperor sandals would have looked like makes them a bit easier to accept.)
A book that entertains with a page-turner of a story that also educates and challenges assumptions and has you trying a new approach to your basic daily habits (and buying sandals, of all things)… A fine accomplishment for an author.
I see that McDougall has a new book coming out this month with a similar vibe: Natural Born Heroes. Pre-ordered.