The Midnight Library - Book Review

Back cover summary
When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?


Nora Seed is deeply unhappy and disappointed in herself for mistakes she believes she's made throughout her life based on bad choices. She decides to end her life, and as she overdoses and is adrift between life and death, she encounters a library that takes her through the different lives (both good and bad) she could've lived if she'd made different choices.

I loved the deep philosophical discussions Matt Haig's The Midnight Library plunged me into. Nora's experience and aha moments were profoundly eye-opening as they became aha moments for me too. Why complain all the time at what you didn't become, when you should be looking at what you are now, and what you still can become? Why regret a decision you made and wish you could re-do, when that decision could possibly have been the best one you had to make at the time, and any other decision would have resulted in much, much worse consequences?

To put it simply, the choices you make don't define or make you who you are -- you can be whoever you want to be, so quit walking down Regret Lane. Face forward and do what you can do now to live right and be happy.

Big takeaway for me => 
You can never run out of possibilities on the kind of life you want to live - they are endless. So if you regretted a decision you made in the past, let it go and make things better today and start living the life you want to live. 

Don't give up on life because life didn't turn out the way you'd planned or wished it to. Learn from your past, learn from what didn't work, and then become better. As long as there's life, there's still time to make things right. Be a better person; be better at your job; be better as a parent, sibling, partner, friend.

A few quotes from the book that I really loved:

  • Sometimes regrets are just a load of bullsh*t.
  • Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.
  • What we consider to be the most successful route for us to take actually isn't, because too often our view of success is about some external bullsh*t idea of achievement, an Olympic medal, the ideal husband, a good salary, and we have all these metrics that we try and reach, but really success isn't something you measure, and life isn't a race you can win. It's all bullocks, actually.
  • She didn't need a fancy house or car or vineyard to be happy. She needed potential, and what was she if not potential?
  • You don't have to understand life. You just have to live it.
  • You don't live life if you keep searching for the meaning of life.

The Midnight Library is a gripping read that gets you thinking for days, long after you've finished it. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and highly recommend!

ᴍʏ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5
ɢᴇɴʀᴇ: ɢᴇɴᴇʀᴀʟ ꜰɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴ, , ꜰᴀɴᴛᴀꜱʏ, ᴘʜɪʟᴏꜱᴏᴘʜɪᴄᴀʟ
ᴍᴀᴛᴜʀɪᴛʏ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: 14+
ᴍᴀᴛᴇʀɪᴀʟ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ: ʙᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ꜰᴏʀ ʀᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ ᴘʟᴇᴀꜱᴜʀᴇ

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