Winner of the 2020 (Goodreads) Best Fiction Award, THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY BY MATT HAIG is one book you should definitely read once in your lifetime (no pun intended). Here are the top 5 lessons I learnt after completing this beautiful novel. 

P.S: Contains spoilers!

1. Do not regret over what did not happen!


We all at some point regret certain decisions that we made and think about how life would have been different if we did not make them. But what is the guarantee that not making those decisions would lead to a more satisfactory outcome? 

When Nora selected instances from her Book of Regrets, trying to fix those decisions (her marriage with Dan, being a responsible cat owner, chasing her dreams and so on), she realized that she was still not ‘happy’. Dan was not the ideal husband, Volts was not the fittest cat any way and its death was inevitable, and her dreams costed lives of her loved ones. Fame and success came with a heavy price too. 


So, just go with the flow and do not cry over what did not happen because chances are you are living your best life already (with just some tweaking required)!

2. There is no ‘perfect’ life!


The final life that Nora entered made her believe that it is the life she yearned. A loving husband, gorgeous daughter, no financial pressure – a dream come true!

However, she still found herself returning back to the midnight library (which meant she was disappointed with that life, deep down). But why?

That was the life Nora had borrowed or stolen from her other self in this multiverse not the one she created by herself, for herself. We cannot be handed a utopian life rather, we take our existing one and make it beautiful through our efforts!


3. Don’t judge and react to quickly!

Nora thought her long lost friend, Izzy was ignoring her, Leo no longer required her piano lessons, and her brother still blamed her for leaving the band. All this bottled up and compelled her to overdose and take her own life. 

When her experience with her other lives made her appreciate life, she realized she was too quick to judge. Izzy was just caught up with ‘thesis antithesis synthesis’ but was delighted to see her text and wanted to catch up, Doreen was guilty for not letting Leo have piano lessons and wanted Nora to continue, and her brother had no grudges against her, after all. 

So do not make rushed decisions based on temporary emotions! Give people and life a chance – you never know in what ways you are surprised!


4. Kindness is what the world needs!

Kindness multiplies. Nora imagined Mrs. Elm in the midnight library because she was the only one who was kind to her (as far as she remembers) and comforted Nora when her father died. 

Nora reciprocated that little act of kindness by reassuring Mrs. Elm, later in life when she had given up after a failed marriage. So be kind to someone and you never know when that kindness returns and spreads!


5. Do not give up (no matter what)!

Instead of giving up try to amend! If Nora had given up she would have missed out on love, friendship, family, career and so much more. Her willingness to simply live fixed everything that went wrong. Gave her the confidence that there is nothing that cannot be amended with a little effort – conversing and acting upon. Live your life as per this mantra and you shall never give up on life!


If you have read this book, let us know your thoughts @femmerang on Instagram!

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Sanya Mithani is a content writer at Femmerang. She’s a lifestyle Instagram blogger passionate about books. Follow her on Instagram @bookshelf.and.closet.


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