The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a thought-provoking novel that explores the power of choices and the importance of living a fulfilling life.
The story follows the journey of the protagonist named Nora, a young woman struggling to find her place in the world and grappling with remorse about the choices she made.
After a suicide attempt, she finds herself in a library between life and death, a magical place where she revisits different moments in her life and sees how her choices have shaped who she becomes. Who is who, and where she can find alternate versions of her life based on the various choices she could have made.
As she travels through these different worlds, Nora learns valuable lessons about the consequences of her actions and the importance of embracing the present moment.
The concept of Midnight Library is a unique and captivating one, and the novel is filled with poignant insight into the human experience. The characters are well developed and relatable, and themes of love, loss and redemption are explored with depth and sensitivity.
01. “There are millions of decisions in every life. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is made over the other, the results differ. There is an irreversible variation, which leads to further variations.
The concept of the library and the idea of ”what ifs” are intriguing and make the reader question their own life decisions.
02. “The pressure makes us, though. You start out like coal and the pressure turns you into a diamond.”
03. “Everyone’s life could have ended in an infinite number of ways. It’s never too late to chase a dream.”
04. “Sometimes regret is not based on fact. Sometimes regret is just a load of crap. Repentance doesn’t stop. They weren’t mosquito bites. They itch forever.
05. “You can choose choices but not consequences. Therefore, the only way to learn is to live.”
06. “Never underestimate the great importance of the little things.”
07. “If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail. Aim to be you. Aim to look and act and think like yourself. Aim to be the truest version of yourself. Embrace that you-ness. endorse it. love it. Work hard at it. And don’t give a second thought to him when people scoff or mock him. Most gossip is jealousy in disguise. keep your head down. Maintain your stamina. keep swimming..”
08. “Life is strange. How do we live it together? in a straight line. But that’s not really the whole picture. Because life is not only made up of the things we do, but also the things we don’t do. And every moment of our life is a turning point. Think about it. Think of this as the set of how we started. Like the seed of a tree sown in the ground. And then we grow, and first of all, we are a stem.”
“But then the tree that is our life grows branches. And think of all the branches that are coming out of the trunk at different heights. And think of all the branches that branch again. branching out, often going in opposite directions. Think of those branches becoming other branches and those becoming twigs. And think of the end of each of those branches, all in different places. But, starting from one. Life is like that but on a larger scale. New branches are made every second of every day. And from our perspective—from everyone’s perspective—it looks like a continuum. Each branch has traveled only one journey. decided. But there are still other twigs. There are other days. Other lives that would have been different if you had taken different directions earlier in your life. This is the tree of life.”
09. “Life is scary, and it’s scary for a reason, and the reason is that no matter what branch of life we get on, we’re always the same rotten tree. Everyone goes through a lot in their life.” Wants to be something. All kinds of things. But if your life is rotten, whatever you do will be rotten. Dampness rots useless things.”
Nora has always had trouble accepting herself. For as long as she could remember, she had the feeling that she was not enough. Her parents, who both had their own insecurities, encouraged the idea. She imagined now, what it would be like to accept herself completely. Every mistake he made. Every mark on his body. Every dream she couldn’t fulfill or every pain she felt. He had suppressed every craving. He thought of accepting it all. The way he accepted nature. The way he accepted the breach of a glacier or a puffin or a whale. He imagined himself to be just another magnificent freak of nature. Just another sentient animal, trying its best. And in doing so, he imagined what it was like to be free.
10. “The thing you have to remember is that this is an opportunity and it is rare and we can undo any mistakes we make and live life the way we want to. any life. Think Big. You can be anything you want to be. Because in one life, you are.
11. “The patterns to life are… rhythms. It is so easy, while stuck in just one life, to imagine that times of sadness or tragedy or failure, or fear are the result of that particular existence. It is a by-product of living a certain way, rather than just living. I mean, it would make things a lot easier if we understood that there is no way of living that can save you from sadness. And that unhappiness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness. You can’t have one without the other. Of course, they come in varying degrees and amounts. But there is no such life where you can live in a state of utmost happiness forever. And imagining that just creates more misery in the life you’re in.
12. “You know what’s up. This whole place exists because of you. You are the power source. When there is a serious disruption to that power source, the library is at risk. it’s you. You are giving up at the worst possible moment. You can’t give up. You have more opportunities to offer. You have multiple versions. Remember how you felt after the polar bear. Remember how much you wanted life.
13. “If you ever want to be successful at chess you need to feel something. The thing you need to understand is this- the game is not over until it is over. It is not over if there is still a pawn on the board. If one side has a pawn and a king, and the other side has every player, there is still a game. And even if you were a pawn – probably we all are then you should remember that a pawn is the most magical piece. This may sound short and simple but it is not. Because a pawn is never just a pawn. A pawn is a queen-in-waiting. All you have to do is find a way to keep moving forward. Square after square. And you can go to the other side and unlock all kinds of power.
This means that what seems to be the most ordinary may end up being what leads you to victory. You have to keep going.
14. “Excellence is never an accident. Those outstanding results were the result of a wise choice of many choices.”
15. “At the start of a game, there is no variation. There is only one way to board. There are nine million variations after the first six moves. And after eight moves there are two hundred and eighty eight billion different positions. And those possibilities keep growing. There are more possible ways to play a game of chess than there are atoms in the observable universe. So it gets very messy. And there’s no one right way to play, there are many ways. In chess as in life, probability is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment lived.
16. “You didn’t have to enjoy every aspect of every life in order to have the choice to experience them. You just had to never give up the idea that there would be a life out there to be enjoyed. Similarly, a Enjoying life doesn’t mean you stay in it. You stay in life forever if you can’t imagine a better one, and yet, paradoxically, life sucks the more you try. , the easier it becomes to think of something better, as the imagination becomes a little more expansive with each new life, as shown in the sample from The Midnight Library.
17. “You don’t need to understand life. you just have to live it.
18. “We only know what we feel. Everything we experience is ultimately our perception of it. It’s not what you see, it’s what you see.”
19. “Life sometimes gives you a new perspective by waiting long enough for you to see it.”
20. “It’s never too late to chase a dream.”
The book is a perfect blend of philosophical musings and emotional depth, and themes of regret, second chances, and finding meaning in life are woven seamlessly into the story. Overall, The Midnight Library is a must-read for anyone who loves introspective and contemplative books that make you question the purpose of life and the impact of our choices.