Book Corner 2021.12

by Matt Haig

“Every life contains millions of decisions. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations. The books are portals to all the lives you could be living.”

Thus the premise of THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY. Nora hovers between life & death, and is given the opportunity to explore the books in the eponymous library, and live bits of some of the other lives she could have lived.

“You do realize there are infinite possibilities here?” says a fellow traveler. “… It’s not about a million or a billion or a trillion universes. It’s about an infinite number of universes. Even with you in them… [T]his is an opportunity and it is rare and we can undo any mistake we made, live any life we want. Any life. Dream big… You can be anything you want to be. Because in one life, you are.”

But the real lesson:

“[M]aybe there are no easy paths. There are just paths… And we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people & other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good & bad…

There are patterns to life… Rhythms. It is so easy, while trapped in just the one life, to imagine that times of sadness or tragedy or failure or fear are a result of that particular existence. That it is a by-product of living a certain way, rather than simply living. I mean, it would have made things a lot easier if we understood there was no way of living that could immunise you against sadness. & that sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness… But there is no life where you can be in a state of sheer happiness forever.” (  )

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