The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a powerful fiction story, packed with unforgettable quotes about life, love, and being human. Here are my favorite quotes from The Midnight Library!
What is The Midnight Library about?
This popular novel follows a woman named Nora Seed who’s dealing with severe depression. When she finds herself between life and death, she’s surprised to find a library. But this isn’t an ordinary library.
It’s filled with an endless number of Nora’s concurrent lives where she made different decisions. Some of these lives only differ slightly from her current one, and some are completely different. She’s given the chance to jump into any of these lives and actually experience them.
But will she find what she’s looking for? And what will she discover along the way?
Who wrote it?
Matt Haig wrote The Midnight Library. He’s a popular fiction author who writes a wide variety of stories – both fiction and non-fiction – for all ages (from children’s books to adult books). Here are all of Matt Haig’s books in order.
In addition to being on the New York Times bestseller list for over 97 weeks, The Midnight Library won the 2020 Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction.
Best Quotes from The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This story is about life, love, regret, mental health, and the human condition. So of course, it’s full of insightful and beautiful quotes.
Below, I’m sharing the ones that stuck with me the most – many of which are uplifting and inspiring (and all of them touch on what it’s like to be human).
(Please be aware that there may be possible spoilers if you have not yet read the book.)
“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices…Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”(Page 0)
“The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.”(Page 12)
“We’d have been a meteor shower. Over before we started.”(Page 15)
“It was a familiar feeling. This feeling of being incomplete in just about every sense. An unfinished jigsaw of a human.”(Page 29)
“Because […] sometimes the only way to learn is to live.”(Page 67)
“[…] she was feeling something new here. Or something old that she had long buried. [It] reminded her that she was, first and foremost, a human living on a planet. Almost everything she had done in her life […] – almost everything she had bought and worked for and consumed – had taken her further away from understanding that she and all humans were really just one of nine million species.”(Page 126)
“When you stay too long in a place, you forget just how big an expanse the world is. You get no sense of the length of those longitudes and latitudes. Just as […] it is hard to have a sense of the vastness inside any one person.”(Page 134)
“She imagined accepting it all. The way she accepted nature. The way she accepted a glacier or a puffin or the breach of a whale.
She imagined seeing herself as just another brilliant freak of nature. Just another sentient animal, trying their best.
And in doing so, she imagined what is was like to be free.”(Page 143)
“[…] maybe there are no easy paths. Maybe there are just paths. […] we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people and other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good and degrees of bad.
[…] it would have made things a lot easier if we understood there was no way of living that can immunize you against sadness. And that sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness. You can’t have one without the other.
Of course, they come in different degrees and quantities. But there is no life where you can be in a state of sheer happiness for ever. And imagining there is just breeds more unhappiness in the life you’re in.”(Page 179)
“And even if you were a pawn – maybe we all are – then you should remember that a pawn is the most magical piece of all. It might look small and ordinary but it isn’t. Because a pawn is never just a pawn. A pawn is a queen-in-waiting. All you need to do is find a way to keep moving forward. One square after another. And you can get to the other side and unlock all kinds of power.”(Page 188)
“You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live it.”(Page 218)
“You could eat in the finest restaurants, […] soak up whole thunderstorms of applause, you could travel to the ends of the Earth, you could be followed by millions on the internet, you could win Olympic medals, but this was all meaningless without love.”(Page 248)
“Three simple words containing the power and potential of a multiverse. I am alive.”(Page 271)
“Love and laughter and fear and pain are universal currencies.”(Page 277)
“It was interesting […] how life sometimes simply gave you a whole new perspective by waiting around long enough for you to see it.”(Page 280-281)
And there you have it: The Midnight Library quotes that I found the most powerful! There’s such a range of emotions, and I think they really capture some of the essential truths about life.
For more from this author, be sure to check out this list of Matt Haig books in order!