Book review – The Midnight Library

I found out about this book through A Beautiful Mess podcast.  It resonated with me as about regrets. Plus of course the title! Choices we didn’t make (or made) from large to small throughout our lifetime.  Meeting a friend for a coffee. Going to a different university or going to university period. Taking or not taking a job.  Saying yes or no to an invitation.  Life is about different choices on our journey. The Midnight Library raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?

At one point life is compared to chess.  “In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living.”

The main character, Nora, gets to try out different lives than the one she is living now. It is about her regrets. She is full of them. Nora is giving the opportunity to live different lives where she made a different choice at a critical times. She realizes no life or choice is going to be perfect. Every life had ups and downs. No surprises there!

The book explores that it is not the lives we are not living that is the problem. It is the regret itself. We get so hung up with “what if” that we don’t appreciate and live our current existence.  If I had done this or that I would be this or that. Our regrets often stop us appreciating what we have right now in front of us.  It is what is happening right now we should be focusing on. Not our regrets (past choices not made).

Life is happening with or without us participating.  We shouldn’t assume life would have been better if we took X job. Or moved away from home or stayed in our home city. It doesn’t work like that. All regrets do is rob us of being happy now. 

We have choices now in our current life. Will we eliminate regrets? Never. Life is about possibilities which is thrilling. I have been trying to limit regrets for years now.  To just try things. Not wait for things to be perfect before sending them out there. They won’t be. Ever.

Yes, our lives could have been different if we made different choices. But we made the choices we did. So we live them now and move forward living and creating a life.  No life would have been perfect so take that idea off the regret plate.

You can always start now!

7 thoughts on “Book review – The Midnight Library

  1. I missed book club the month we discussed this one. Honestly, we make tons of choices every day, and each decision would result in a different path. I loved the concept of the story, but the main character was so unlikable!!!

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    1. I felt the same. Love the concept but could have done with a stronger character. It does make me think of even small choices I have made and continue to make. What other books are you reading in book club? Always looking for a good read.

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  2. I’ve seen this book about so much but still haven’t read it myself so thank you for your post – definitely going to pick up a copy so I can tick it off my list and see what the hype is about. Regret is painful, isn’t it? It’s also hard to deal with life without so many regrets when you get paralysed by indecision or fear or uncertainty.

    Caz xx

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    1. I agree about regrets and being paralysed by indecision/fear/uncertainity. I’m at the point now where failure is okay as long as I know I have tried. I enjoyed the book – the premise. Won’t say more until you have read.

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