I picked up The Midnight Library without much information about the plot. Little did I know that it would be one of the most life-changing books I’ve ever read.
You know those books that just stick with you, long after you’ve finished reading them and moved on to other books? The Midnight Library has done that for me. It instantly became one of my favorite books of 2020, but it went deeper than that. This book really rearranged my perspective and made me appreciate my life.
I realized after reading this book that the author, Matt Haig, is quite well known for some of his other books, including Reasons to Stay Alive and the incredibly quotable How to Stop Time. Let me state right now that I have every intention of gobbling up the rest of his books as soon as I possibly can.
Let me tell you why The Midnight Library was so devastatingly life-changing.
Why You Should Read The Midnight Library
Below you can find my full and honest review. *TW for my own review: suicide/depression
“The only way to learn is to live”The Midnight Library
“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? 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.” (Goodreads Synopsis)
In high school, during what I believed to be the height of my depression, I read It’s Kind of a Funny Story. I had never felt so seen. It made what I was going through feel less bizarre and more normalized and it also gave me hope for what was to come. Little did I know that depression would follow me into adulthood and suicide would be something I wouldn’t just contemplate but I would also attempt more than once.
I’m entering my late twenties now, happily married, approaching six years of self-employment for a dream career. I could continue to list all the good in my life, but what I’m working towards saying is that I still struggle with depression. It hangs like a cloud above me and sometimes the littlest things feel like the worst things. I promise… this is leading up to something great!
I sobbed my way through The Midnight Library because it was like I was seen all over again, but from a new perspective. I had seen a few negative reviews of this book prior to actually getting it for myself, but after reading it, I realized that the negative reviewers must have never experienced a lick of depression in their life, because this book hit all of it right on the nose. It depicted the hopeless feelings and general lack of caring that many depressed individuals experience. However, it also did a phenomenal job walking the reader through just why it’s so important to continue actively working to live! My gosh, the redemption alone made me grateful that I read this book. I’ve never been so thankful for the way a book highlighted WHY and HOW living is the best choice.
I caution those who are depressed/experience suicidal thoughts before reading this. I only do so because it can be triggering, especially if you’re currently in a low state. Simultaneously, I also want to shove it in the face of every person who is depressed or having suicidal thoughts because my GOSH it made me cherish my life all over again and I think it can do the same for so many others.
This isn’t a self-help book, but it will help. It will help those who have walked under this dark cloud and it will help those who need to know how to walk through it with others.