Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners – 31 Stories on Starting Out, Running Therapy, and Camaraderie (Review)

Book cover for "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners".Title: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners – 31 Stories on Starting Out, Running Therapy, and Camaraderie

Authors: Various Contributors

Narrators: Christina Traister and Dan John Miller

Publication Year: 2010

Pages: 400 (audio length: 3 hours 17 minutes)

Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays

Source: Audiobook version purchased from

From the cover:

When runners aren’t running, they are talking about running, planning their next run, shopping for running… This book contains 101 stories from everyday and famous runners… telling their stories to other runners… about how running has improved their lives, recovering from injuries, challenging themselves, and includes amazing stories of marathons, camaraderie, and the natural high that comes from this popular sport. Plenty of stories for triathletes too, covering swimming and cycling.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, but a while back there were a few of them about running on sale on Audible, and this is one of the ones that I picked up. Because they’re basically all called “for the Runner’s Soul”, I’m going to refer to this one by its subtitle: 31 Stories.

31 Stories is, like the series generally, a collection of personal essays and similarly-formatted narratives from everyday people, in this case talking about how they are involved in the sport of running. The stories in this collection range from narratives by ultrarunners and marathoners about the challenges they face while running, to narratives by stay-at-home moms and cubicle warriors about the sport they took up part time to become more healthy or deal with family stresses.

I think you have to be in the right mood to read a book like this. The stories are almost all highly sentimental, and all contain some kind of an emotional tug on your heartstrings. So long as you’re in the mood for this, as well as for the blatant motivational boost that they’re supposed to give you, then 31 Stories might be a good choice.

Having said that, I don’t think it matters if you choose to read the audiobook or the dead tree version. The narrators were okay, but didn’t really stand out as anything special to write home about. You’d probably do just as well to curl up with the book and a mug of tea than you would to stick your earphones in, and then you could at least read at your own pace, little by little, in between doing other – more intellectually stimulating – things.


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