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 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!
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!
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.
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.