Why Everyone Should Read The Midnight Library

I’ve just finished reading The Midnight Library and want to share why I think everyone should read it!

I got the Midnight Library as a Christmas present and had been excited to read it having seen a fair few people talking about the book online.

The Midnight library is an easy read, the chapters are short, the margins wide and the story simple. Sometimes the elements of a really great book, but sometimes the elements of a non memorable one.

‘Easy read’ books often get a bad reputation. They have to be intense, with complex story lines and big words to truly be a great book.

Obvious endings and simple language just doesn’t cut it in the modern classic, ‘books of our time’ genres… but I disagree.

I love an easy read, hey we all love an easy read, we just don’t like to admit it!

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Why Everyone should read The Midnight Library

Why you should read The Midnight Library

Anyway I am digressing… back to the Midnight Library.

The ending was predictable, the writing simple, but oh did I love it! I finished it this morning, tears streaming down my face as I explained to Olly just why I loved the book and the lessons it taught me.

I really think we should all read this book. It’s a simple reminder of appreciating what we have, of not having regrets and so much more.

The Lessons The Midnight Library Teaches Us

Maybe The Midnight Library is a book that needs to come along at the right time for you. But I think wherever you are in your life, you probably have regrets. You probably wonder ‘what if?’ regularly. You probably replay things you did years ago and think how things could be different?

This doesn’t sound very motivating Jenny! Bare with me, The Midnight Library helps you think about life differently.

Here are some of the lessons I took from The Midnight Library. Most lessons we learn are a reminder of things we already know.

The quote below came up in my planner last week and I really liked it and the three lessons below are summed up in this quote.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily’

Zig Ziglar

Lesson 1 – We are all capable of incredible success

Without wanting to give too much away, the premise of the book is Nora Seed gets an opportunity to ‘try out’ a whole range of different parallel lives. In each one she made a different decision which led to a different life.

In comparison to her current life, in some of her parallel lives she had achieved incredible things, from Olympic medals, to sell out concert tours and everything inbetween.

The lesson for me here, was we are all capable of this kind of success. Our lives could go in any direction, but depending on the micro decisions we make each day, we have the ability to reach extreme levels of ‘traditional’ success! It inspired me to believe I really could achieve anything.

On the counter side of this… those things don’t necessarily make us happy though!

The happiest of pooches. Peak District Cookie

Lesson 2 – Appreciate what you have now

Despite the ability to reach incredible heights in our life and career, sometimes spending too much time wishing and hoping for more or different or better things means we forget about what we have.

Gratitude has become a regular topic of conversation on social media and with friends in recent months and years and with good reason.

It’s easy to focus on what we don’t have, when really we need to notice what we do have. Sometimes we are helping others in ways we don’t even realise. Have you had a friend who has recently helped you just by calling at the right moment or did your neighbour saying hello and waving put a smile on an otherwise pretty shit day?

If yes… tell them! You never know when someone has misread a situation, and not realised when something they did gave someone else what they needed.

Doing good is a two way street. It makes the person doing good feel good too. Just remember to thank them, show them, appreciate them. However small!

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Lesson 3 – I am Alive! – Time and Mindset changes everything

Many of Matt Haig’s books focus on depression and suicide and this one is no exception.

For me the ultimate lesson of The Midnight Library is that time and mindset change everything. I found the last few months of 2020 really tricky. My confidence was low and I just felt really sad. I know I wasn’t the only one, right?!

However, a mindset shift, due to a variety of reasons has really helped. Nothing major has really changed. We are still in a lockdown, I still haven’t seen my dad for months and miss my friends and family every day. Work is fine, but not what it was in terms of income.

But, on the grand scheme of things I’m feeling pretty good right now! Some time off over Christmas, a mindset shift, including picking my word of the year and goal of the year ‘to do a little bit‘ and getting outside for walks in nature every day, has done incredible things for my overall wellbeing.

On the dark days remember, this too shall pass. We all have good and bad times. For some people the bad are worse than many of us can ever imagine. But that doesn’t mean things can’t change for them/you too. There are better things ahead. You could wake up the next day and feel different!

If you’re feeling low, alone or close to suicide, here are a few numbers to call.

  • Samaritans – 116 123 (available 24 hours a day)
  • Shout – Text Shout to 85258
  • Mind – 0300 123 3393

Have I tempted you to read The Midnight Library? Have you already read it? I promise, despite the tears, some of my thoughts above and ending with suicide prevention lines this is a positive and uplifting book. I really do things everyone should read The Midnight Library.

Why Everyone Should read The Midnight Library

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  1. Lovely review! Just came up on your blog after googling Midnight Library reviews. Felt inspired by the book and thought I’d leave my feedback in your post, hopefully this makes a small difference in your day! 🙂 “Never underestimate the power of small things”, as Mrs. Elm said,

    1. Thanks so much Tathiana, always lovely to hear my blog has inspired something. I hope you enjoyed the book as much as I did.

  2. I don’t understand the positive comments this book has gotten. Could it be that readers have made seriously wrong decisions, are living in the past, have regrets that burden them? If so this is probably a good therapy book. As an elder citizen, if I had thought of my life in the terms the book explores I would have quit years ago. Not worth listening to. Extremely trite.

    1. Really interesting response. I didn’t feel this way at all and found it inspiring to just live the life I want to live. Thanks for your comment.

    2. Well, I have to admit that I think I love it because I have a lot of regrets. Some of us just do. I have never quit, but I have struggled with things I could have done. I guess the book is therapy for some, like me. If you don’t need the therapy, it would seem like a bore.

  3. I enjoyed the review because I really loved the book and don’t quite understand all the animosity about it. I guess it is what you said, that maybe you have to encounter the book at the right time and mindset. I think I do like it because of many feelings of regret in my life. It did make me feel like maybe different decisions would have resulted in different life outcomes, but really all I have is now. Like you said, these aren’t lessons we are just learning, but things we know but need to be reminded.

  4. It may just be that this book sorts people out into two camps. Either you are unhappy with your choices in life, or you are happy about them (or at least don’t let past decisions bother you). Some of the negative reviews I’ve seen complain that the book is more like a self-help than a fiction book, and has a painfully obvious message. I think it is kind of a self-help book, and that’s not a bad thing. Also, the people that love it are the ones that needed the message of the story! No matter what might have happened, you only have now and the future, which you might have some control over. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is a love it or hate it book, and maybe that is the answer.

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