I follow many book review blogs. Over the last few months, one book kept appearing on several of them. It was ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig. I had read his other books before and I loved his style. So when I saw his book on sale, I wasted no time in picking it up.
When I read the tagline – One Library, Infinite Lives, I knew this book was right for me.
I am a self-confessed overthinker and like any respectable overthinker; I have spent more time than I should have in thinking about my life choices. My favourite overthinking game is ‘What if’. I keep thinking about what if I had chosen a different field of studies? Or what if I joined a different company? Or what if my childhood was a little different?
I know these thoughts are not particularly helpful and I would always feel guilty about it until I read this book.
I know it’s a fictional story, but this book reassured me that I am not alone in my wishful overthinking. I mean, now I am almost certain that each and every person on this planet must have indulged in at least one such thinking session. It doesn’t really change anything for me, but sometimes just knowing that I am not alone on my journey is very comforting.
I finished this book in less than 24 hours. It’s a wonderfully fast-paced and easy-to-read book. It was easy for me to finish reading this book. But it’s not so easy to move on from this book. Even after several weeks, I find myself thinking about the story and particularly the lesson I learnt from it.
It’s not exactly a new lesson. I mean, I have come across it many times in different formats. But somehow, the way this book presents the core lesson makes it difficult for me to forget it.
I learnt that different life choices would have led me to a different life, but different doesn’t always mean better.
When we imagine a different life, we do not imagine a worse life than we are currently living. The life we imagine is perfect and free of every sorrow. But a different life would come with its own unique set of struggles and sorrows. Even if we get to live a different life, we would just be exchanging one set of problems with another, and in most of the cases, we would regret doing that.
As I read this book, I kept travelling with the protagonist to different versions of her lives. I was feeling excited when she would like some aspect of her new life. I would feel the longing that she felt for a perfect life, and I believe I learnt the lesson along with her.
The Midnight Library is a really good book and a must-read for anyone who had any regret in their life. This fictional book teaches us more about life than most of the self-help books combined.