Prepare to Get Lost in The Midnight Library

Never underestimate the big importance of small things.

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

I’m not a big library person. I know that sounds weird coming from someone who writes about books, but I have good reasons for buying books instead of borrowing them. There’s no pressure for me to finish reading a book by a certain date, I can underline my favorite quotes, and of course write things like, “OMG,” and “WTF,” in the margins of the pages when I come across plot twists. I simply cannot do any of this with a library book.

Also, I’m really good at losing things, so either way, I’d end up paying for the book by paying late fees, or for a replacement. That’s why, for now, I’m sticking to my kindle, local book store, and BOTM subscription.

The reason I even have libraries on my mind is that I just finished reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I think if I had a librarian like Mrs. Elm growing up, then I probably would have a much deeper connection to my local library and to libraries in general.

No matter! If you decide to pick this book up then you should prepare to get lost (in a good way).

Book Description

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe, there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

(Brought to you by Goodreads)

Just Read It

Any book that deals with the construct of time, parallel universes, and/or the afterlife is an automatic win for me. There’s no doubt that I will spend hours wondering about all of the things I can’t wrap my head around. Since The Midnight Library contained all of those crazy elements, you could say I was entrapped by the magic of it all.

I think that’s the best way to describe this book: magical.

Haig reminds us that no matter who you are, or what you’ve done in your life, you play a bigger role in the universe than you could ever imagine. It can be hard to see what kind of impact you have on someone else’s life when you’re stuck in your own head.

This is the struggle for Nora Seed – she doesn’t believe that she’s necessary. She believes she’s taking up space and that she has not made any impact on anyone in her life, so she attempts to end it. Instead of dying, Nora finds herself somewhere between life and death. She wakes up in the Midnight Library, where she gets to try on different lives, like the main character of a movie trying on different clothes during a classic fashion show montage.

Each book in the library holds a different version of Nora’s life, had she made different decisions. Nora’s Midnight Library spirit guide is her old childhood librarian, Mrs. Elm, who she held near and dear to her heart growing up. Mrs. Elm helps Nora pick different books (or lives) to try out.

The more versions of Nora’s life Nora lives out, the more she begins to realize how altering a tiny decision has, not just in her life, but in the lives of the people around her. And even though she said no to being an Olympic swimmer, singing in a band, or saving the world as a glaciologist, she realizes that her life – the one she once thought was worthless and unimpactful – was actually full of endless possibilities.

This book reminds us not to dwell on the past but to stay in the present and embrace everything life has to offer us. See the potential that your life has because it has a lot of it.

This book was a winner! While it might make you overthink everything about existence, it’s still a fast read, so don’t give it a second thought.

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