I just finished reading, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s an achievement, believe me. It took me almost 9 months to finish that book.
And it wasn’t because I read many other books at the same time. No, while I read this book, I read no other. And it still took me 9 months. I should say, though, I was also studying for my exams and, for about three to four months, I didn’t even touch Zen.
Still, it’s a long time to read a five hundred+ page book. An international best seller, at that.
I read slow, but even I’m not that slow. After all, Harry Potter, the Inheritance series, and Chronicles of Narnia are all about the same size and I’ve sat through all night glued to those books. Why then did this book take so long?
It’s the writing for the most part. It was complex, it was all over the place, with two different narratives that just kept throwing me off the original message.
But there were so many good parts in the book that just jumped out at me. The best thing that came out of spending 9 months on one book is that it seemed like a lifetime. And the book is about a man’s discoveries over a lifetime. In hindsight, it feels like I’ve learnt so many different things, at different stages of my own life.
The book transcends from Pirsig’s life, into my own; my learnings, and my own understanding of how the world works.
Disclaimer, though: I don’t mean to sound all enlightened and zen-like. There are so many parts of the book that I read without taking in a thing.
But these blank parts of the book that I read three months ago, make sense to me now. What I though I understood while reading a paragraph is so different from when I understand after finishing the book.
And I’m counting on the same thing happening with other complex topics in the book.
And I’m sure when I read it the second time, I’ll see more things I didn’t see this time. Or, maybe, when I’m in the shower worrying about my hair fall, I’ll realise I should let the future be.