Books really are magical. Some books take us on journeys, challenge our imaginations, change our beliefs, and sometimes give us hope in ourselves or humanity. At their best, those typed words on a page make us feel something.
If you’ve ever felt the weight of depression and anxiety for any length of time, or if it’s begun to become normalized to your daily existence, then you should read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. If the long shadows of depression, panic, and anxiety have never haunted your door, you’ll still most likely enjoy reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
We all deserve to feel hope, happiness––peace. But, it’s easy to lose those feelings as we grow older. Life really is worth living and when we can, we should soak up every second, even the seemingly mundane ones. Each day, we have an opportunity to make the most of this one unique life. You can still pursue who you want to be. Throw age and timelines out the window. Nothing good ever comes of living in or with regrets. Burn them up on the altar of the past where they belong.
Even when life seems hard as granite and hopeless, try to find a spark. Maybe it’s a simple view of something beautiful, or a loved one, a new hobby, or if all else fails, try to just be grateful for another day. Or, maybe we can find that spark through a simple book that came from Matt Haig’s imagination and his own struggles.
16 striking Quotes from Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library (In Order of Appearance)
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1. “‘Well, then, what is success?’ Nora had no idea what success was. She had felt like a failure for so long.”
2. “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”
3. “Every second of every day we are entering a new universe. And we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people and to other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good and degrees of bad.”
4. “I mean, it would have made things a lot easier if we understood there was no way of living that can immunise you against sadness. And that sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness.”
5. “The regrets she had been living with most of her life were wasted ones.”
6. “That was how she had felt most of her life. Caught in the middle. Struggling, flailing, just trying to survive while not knowing which way to go. Which path to commit to without regret.”
7. “In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything.”
8. “She didn’t want to die. And she didn’t want to live any other life than the one that was hers. The one that could be a messy struggle, but it was her messy struggle. A beautiful messy struggle.”
9. “But it is not the lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy.”
10. “We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays. We are as completely and utterly alive as we are in any other life and have access to the same emotional spectrum. We only need to be one person. We only need to feel one existence. We don’t have to do everything in order to be everything, because we are already infinite. While we are alive we always contain a future of multifarious possibility.”
11. “Will my life be miraculously free from pain, despair, grief, heartbreak, hardship, loneliness, depression? No. But do I want to live? Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.”
12. “It is quite a revelation to discover that the place you wanted to escape to is the exact same place you escaped from. That the prison wasn’t the place, but the perspective.”
13. “And it was different because she no longer felt she was there simply to serve the dreams of other people. She no longer felt like she had to find sole fulfilment as some imaginary perfect daughter or sister or partner or wife or mother or employee or anything other than a human being, orbiting her own purpose, and answerable to herself.”
14. “There was more to her than a flat line of mild to moderate depression, spiced up with occasional flourishes of despair. And that gave her hope, and even the sheer sentimental gratitude of being able to be here, knowing she had the potential to enjoy watching radiant skies and mediocre Ryan Bailey comedies and be happy listening to music and conversation and the beat of her own heart. And it was different because, above all other things, that heavy and painful Book of Regrets had been successfully burnt to dust.”
15. “The paradox of volcanoes was that they were symbols of destruction but also life. Once the lava slows and cools, it solidifies and then breaks down over time to become soil – rich, fertile soil. She wasn’t a black hole, she decided. She was a volcano. And like a volcano she couldn’t run away from herself. She’d have to stay there and tend to that wasteland.”
16. “Well, that’s the beauty, isn’t it? You just never know how it ends.’ And Nora smiled as she stared at all the pieces she still had left in play, thinking about her next move.