40+ Best The Midnight Library Quotes by Matt Haig

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We have compiled a list of quotes from The Midnight Library by Matt Haig for you to read.


The Man at the Door

“It’s good to see you, she said, smiling. It’s good to see you, Ash. “

“As she stared at Voltaire’s still and peaceful expression – that total absence of pain – there was an inescapable feeling brewing in the darkness. “

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String Theory

“I’m feeling much better, generally,’ she lied. ‘It’s not clinical. The doctor says it’s situational depression. It’s just that I keep on having new. . situations. “

“I didn’t have much of a choice. “


“The world’s smallest violin is playing. We had a deal with Universal. Right. There. Album, singles, tour, promo. We could be Coldplay now. I don’t think your problem was stage fright. Or wedding fright. “

“Still in Bedford, then. “

How to Be a Black Hole

“It might never happen, she thought to herself. That was the whole problem. “


“To be honest, Nora, he’s been thinking about giving up altogether. But he’s so good. “

“It’s terrible out, isn’t it. Yes, mumbled Nora. The irises are out, though. Yes, Nora said, looking at the clusters of purple flowers. I wonder what possible consolation they could offer. “

“I love you, Joe. I just wanted you to know that. There’s nothing you could have done. This is about me. Thank you for being my brother. I love you. Bye. “

The Librarian

“Please. You have to be careful. The woman had arrived seemingly from nowhere. Smartly dressed, with short grey hair and a turtle-green polo neck jumper. About sixty, if Nora had to pin it down. Who are you. “

The Moving Shelves

“It is time, my dear, to begin. “

“This is crackers, said Nora. Except one. This one. Nora tilted the stone-grey book towards Mrs Elm. Mrs Elm raised an eyebrow. Yes. That one. It’s something you have written without ever having to type a word. What. . “

The Book of Regrets

“Regrets ignore chronology. They float around. The sequence of these lists changes all the time. “

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Regret Overload

“When her mum died three months before the wedding Nora’s grief was immense. Though she had suggested that the date should be put back, it somehow never was, and Nora’s grief fused with depression and anxiety and the feeling that her life was out of her own control. “

Every Life Begins Now

“The point is there is a strong possibility that your old life is over. You wanted to die and maybe you will. And you will need somewhere to go to. Somewhere to land. Another life. “

The Three Horseshoes

“Where am I. Nora whispered to herself. There was a small row of quaint stone terraced houses on the other side of the gently curving road. Quiet, old houses, with all their lights off, nestled at the edge of a village before fading into the stillness of the countryside. “

“This is so very weird, she said into the night. So. Very. Weird. “

“We did it, she whispered into the country air. We actually did it. “

“To be fair, it was a tricky one tonight. Might take them from another website next time. I mean, who actually knows the name of the highest mountain in the Kara-whatsit range. “

“So that was what she had been outside for. “

“When Nora returned to the pub, carrying the sign this time, Dan was nowhere to be seen so she locked the back door and waited a while, in the pub hallway, working out where the stairs were, and unsure if she actually wanted to follow her tipsy sort-of husband up there. “

“It was difficult to see their faces properly but they were both laughing and it was a shared laugh, and they seemed – as far as a photograph can tell you anything – to be in love. “

“He collapsed heavily on the bed, a whale into the ocean. Picked up Zero to Hero. Tried to focus. Put it down. Picked up a laptop by the bed, shoved an earphone into his ear. Maybe he was going to listen to a podcast. “

“Since when did he speak like this. Did he always speak like this. He was hardly listening. Or trying to look like he wasn’t. “

“The quiz. Earlier. The twenty-sided polygon. Well, a twenty-sided polygon is called an icosagon. I knew the answer but didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to mock me. “

The Penultimate Update Nora Had Posted Before She Found Herself Between Life and Death

“Sometimes you get a glimpse of them through the hedge. A fleeting shape through the leaves. And they seem so damn happy to have made it and you don’t resent them, but you do resent yourself for not having their ability to work it all out. “

The Chessboard

“Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. “

“Every possible life I could live has me in it. So, it’s not really every possible life. “

The Only Way to Learn Is to Live

“In your root life Voltaire lived longer than almost any other life, except the one you’ve just encountered, where he died only three hours ago. Although he had a tough few early years, the year you had him was the best of his life. “

“You see, cats know. They understand when their time is up. He went outside because he was going to die, and he knew it. “

“So, you could open a book and just die. “


“Once upon a time she had been the best fourteen-year-old female swimmer in Bedfordshire. “

“It was hard to stay focused when Nora noticed her arms and chest ached. She sensed it had been a long swim and was probably time to get out of the pool. She saw a sign. Bronte Beach Swimming Pool. “

“Bright enough to see for ever. “

“Something was rotten. The tone of vague, distant perkiness, as if writing to a long-lost aunt. The Lots of neighbourhood cafes and charm, as though it was a TripAdvisor review. She didn’t speak to Charlotte – or indeed anyone – like that. “

“Isabel Hirsh, car crash victim and flatmate of Nora, has died in a car crash. “

“Before she could properly process anything, the mobile rang. It said ‘Work’. “

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Fish Tank

“For someone who has read a lot of books, you aren’t very specific with your choice of words. “

“From an early age you were encouraged to swim, said Mrs Elm. Your dad was always happy to take you to the pool. But you could make a success of your life, he had said. Yes. She remembered it now. “

“For a moment it seemed as though Mrs Elm hadn’t been taking any notice of Nora’s mini-speech, as she kept frowning at the chessboard, working out how to out-manoeuvre herself. “

The Successful Life

“She had been asleep. A deep, dreamless nothing, and now – thanks to the ring of a phone alarm – she was awake and didn’t know where she was. “

“In this life had terrible taste in nightwear (pyjamas, mustard-and-green, plaid). “

“Since retiring from professional sport, she had swum the Channel twice. “

“It was too late to respond because the next thing she heard was Nadia saying: ‘Here he is. . ‘Nora nearly hung up the phone. Maybe she should have. But she didn’t. Now she knew it was a possibility, she needed to hear his voice again. “

“It felt so empowering, to be that fit and strong and to have such mastery of the water, that she momentarily stopped worrying about her father and having to give a speech she really wasn’t prepared for. “

“When she eventually got out of the pool and went back to her room she dressed in the only clean clothes in her hotel room (smart navy trouser suit) and stared at the inside of her suitcase. She felt the profound loneliness emanating from it. There was a copy of her own book. “

Peppermint Tea

“It’s a lot of money. I upped it from ten. “

“Oh, you know Ewan. Ewan’s Ewan. . Yeah. He’s great. I’m so happy for you both. We’ve been married five years now. You’re talking as if me and him have just got together. “

“Ha! God, no. Haven’t been there for years. No. It was at Blackfriars station. Totally random. Like, I haven’t seen him in over a decade. At least. He wanted to go to the pub. “

The Tree That Is Our Life

“Hello, my name is Nora Seed. “

“Life is strange. How we live it all at once. In a straight line. But really that’s not the whole picture. Because life isn’t simply made of the things we do, but the things we don’t do too. “

“Success is a delusion. It’s all a delusion. “

System Error

“Something had happened in Portugal. I’d probably tried to kill myself or something. . Are there any other lives at all or is it just the furnishings that change. “

“You need to think about something else, Nora. What was good about the last life. “


“I don’t know, Ingrid. I just like glaciers, I suppose. I want to understand them. Why they are. . melting. “

Hugo Lefèvre

“The never-ending light, he said, before taking a bite of a dry cracker. From April on. It’s like living one interminable day. . I hate that feeling. “

“The spotter. Hugo’s eyes widened with shock. “

Walking in Circles

“Soon as you’ve fired the flare,’ said the eldest of the group, a beardless, sharp-featured man called Peter who was the field leader, and who spoke in a state of permanent fortissimo, ‘bang the pan with the ladle. Bang it like mad and scream. “

“If one advances confidently, in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. “

“I’m from Kent. We have anti-social DNA. “


“To be part of nature was to be part of the will to live. “


“Back on the main boat, Nora sat quietly in the dining area as everyone offered sympathy for the bear encounter. She felt unable to tell them she was grateful for the experience. “

“Maybe that’s what all lives were, though. Maybe even the most seemingly perfectly intense or worthwhile lives ultimately felt the same. “

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One Night in Longyearbyen

“It took two hours to get back to the tiny port at Longyearbyen. It was Norway’s – and the world’s – most northern town, with a population of around two thousand people. “

“I am like you, Nora. I visit lives that aren’t mine. I have been in this one for five days. But I have been in many others. “


“She imagined, now, what it would be like to accept herself completely. Every mistake she had ever made. Every mark on her body. Every dream she hadn’t reached or pain she had felt. Every lust or longing she had suppressed. She imagined accepting it all. The way she accepted nature. “

Life and Death and the Quantum Wave Function

“It is always something different. A library, a video store, an art gallery, a casino, a restaurant. . What does that tell you. “

“The universal wave function is real, Nora. That’s what Professor Bisset said. “

“It’s possible of course, but I think we’re rare. One thing I’ve noticed is that the other people I’ve met – the dozen or so – have all been around our age. All thirties or forties or fifties. One was twenty-nine, en fait. “

“But you will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. “

“In one life we have known each other for years and are married. . In most lives I don’t know you at all,’ she countered, now staring straight at him. “

If Something Is Happening to Me, I Want to Be There

“It was a very pleasant sensation. Both the kiss, and the knowledge she could be this forward. Being aware that everything that could possibly happen happened to her somewhere, in some life, kind of absolved her a little from decisions. “

God and Other Librarians

“You need to choose carefully, continued the librarian. One day the library may not be here and you’ll be gone for ever. “


“She was sweating. That was the first observation. Her body was coursing with adrenaline and her clothes were clinging to her. There were people around her, a couple of whom had guitars. She could hear noise. Vast, powerful human noise – a roar of life slowly finding rhythm and shape. “

“We have to do ‘Howl,’ said the other band member. A turquoise lead guitar strapped around her. ‘We always do ‘Howl. ‘Nora had never heard of ‘Howl’ in her life. “

Milky Way

“At first she couldn’t see the faces, because the lights were pointing towards her, and beyond that glare everything seemed like darkness. Except for a mesmerising milky way of camera flashes and phone torches. “

Wild and Free

“It’s a song that means a lot to me and my brother. “

“She must have known about the tattoo. Another message came through now from her. ‘Hope Brazil was a blast. Am sure you rocked it! And thanks ten million for sorting out the tix for Brisbane. Am totally stoked. As we Gold Coasters say. “

“So she did, even though she had no idea who this Ryan was, and the image on the screen seemed too blurry to recognise. “

Ryan Bailey

“I miss you, Nora. We had great times. But there is more to life than fantastic sex. “

A Silver Tray of Honey Cakes

“It was wild to think of this life co-existing with her others in the multiverse, like just another note in a chord. “

“It works better this way, I feel. . “

The Podcast of Revelations

“It was such a betrayal. “

“I was a big Labyrinths fan before ‘Howl’. But that was the one for me. That and ‘Lighthouse Girl’. ‘Howl’ was where I was like, Nora Seed is a genius. “

“It was such a powerful statement. It was saying: I am strong. It felt like you were telling us, your fans, that you were okay. “


“The pressure rises to the top. “

Love and Pain

“In one life, my brother is dead. “

“The game is never over until it is over. “

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“But you did commit, said Mrs Elm, evidently having heard Nora’s thoughts. And you survived. “

Someone Else’s Dream

“Life is always an act, Mrs Elm said, as they watched her brother being pulled back from the water’s edge by his friends. As he then watched a girl whose name she’d long forgotten make an emergency call. “

“It’s an easy game to play, but a hard one to master. Every move you make opens a whole new world of possibility. “

A Gentle Life

“It turned out that this particular existence was quite easy to slip into. “

Why Want Another Universe If This One Has Dogs?

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right. You Can Go Your Own Way. “

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. “

Dinner with Dylan

“I used to see you in the library during breaks, he said, smiling at the memory. I remember seeing you playing chess with that librarian we used to have. . what was her name. Mrs Elm, Nora said. “

Last Chance Saloon

“When we were first married we always dreamed of opening our own vineyard one day. And now we have made that dream a reality. “

Buena Vista Vineyard

“It was easy to fake wine knowledge in this life. It was easy to fake everything, which could have been a sign that the key to her apparently successful union with Eduardo was that he wasn’t really paying attention. “

“We’re happy, aren’t we. Why the question. I just like to hear you say it sometimes. We’re happy, Nora. “

The Many Lives of Nora Seed

“In one life she had a teenage son called Henry, who she never met properly because he kept slamming doors in her face. “

“In one life she was a travel vlogger who had 1,750,000 YouTube subscribers and almost as many people following her on Instagram, and her most popular video was one where she fell off a gondola in Venice. She also had one about Rome called ‘A Roma Therapy’. “

“The more lives she lived, the harder it was to feel at home anywhere. “

Lost in the Library

“There always needs to be some. . variation on a theme. In the Midnight Library, you can’t take the same book out twice. “

“You are right to think of these lives like a piano where you’re playing tunes that aren’t really you. You are forgetting who you are. In becoming everyone, you are becoming no one. You are forgetting your root life. You are forgetting what worked for you and what didn’t. “

“Where would that have taken me. I’d like to have a go at that life. “

A Pearl in the Shell

“It’s not real, though. It was just a dream. “

“Right. Yes. The story. Come on, get back in your bed. . ’ This sounded harsh, she realised. ‘Sweetheart,’ she added, wondering what she – her daughter in this universe – was called. ‘There are no bears here. “

“When you have worries about things you don’t know about, like the future, it’s a very good idea to remind yourself of things you do know. “

The Game

“Well. That was a really successful coffee date. “

“And do we have any pets. “

The Perfect Life

“This is cool, she told the dog. Isn’t this cool. Plato yawned indifference. “

“You’re impressed by me, she told the dog. You can admit it. “

“This is a nice life, yeah. “

A Spiritual Quest for a Deeper Connection with the Universe

“Things turned out pretty good, and every time I wondered if I would wake up back in the library, I didn’t. “

“It’s just. . I don’t know. You forgot our anniversary was coming up. You think you haven’t seen films you’ve seen. And vice versa. You forgot you had a bike. You forget where the plates are. You’ve been wearing my slippers. “

“I have had many lives. “


“It’s Puglian, apparently,’ he told Nora. ‘Getting a bit of our heritage in there. “

“It wasn’t just the panic attacks. It just felt wrong. I don’t know. . For what it’s worth, I think you’re happier in this life than the one where you’re – she nearly said dead – in the band. “


“Whereas in every other life she had been continually grasping for clues and feeling like she was acting, in this one she increasingly found that the more she relaxed into it, the more things came to her. “

“Everything is right, and yet she hadn’t earned this. “

No Longer Here

“I just want to sit on the bench. And read the newspaper. “

“She died very peacefully,’ he said, ‘literally in her sleep. “

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An Incident With the Police

“I just feel complete. I could show you some pictures. . “

“She headed into town. Walked down the high street. “

“She felt herself weaken. Not just tingles and fuzziness but something stronger, a sense of plunging into nothingness, accompanied by a brief darkening of her vision. A feeling of another Nora right there in the wings, ready to pick up where this one left off. “

The Flowers Have Water

“Whatever happens, they will be looked after. They will be loved. And they have each other and they will be happy. “

Nowhere to Land

“It’s more than that. There was always a strong possibility that your old life would end. “

“It still wasn’t enough. Look! At your watch. “

“This library exists because of you. Remember what Hugo said. He told you that this is the simplest way your brain translates the strange and multifarious reality of the universe. “

“I don’t want to die, said Nora, her voice suddenly raised but also fragile. She was shaking from her very core. I don’t want to die. Mrs Elm looked at her with wide eyes. Eyes shining with the small flame of an idea. “

“Don’t you get it, Nora. It all makes sense. You came back here this time not because you wanted to die, but because you want to live. This library isn’t falling down because it wants to kill you. It’s falling down because it is giving you a chance to return. “

Don’t You Dare Give Up, Nora Seed!

“It was hard to breathe, and to see, but she had just about managed to keep count of the aisles. “

“It was all over. She was certain of it once more. She was going to die here, as all her possible lives were ravished all around her. But then she saw it, amid a brief clearing in the clouds. There, on the eleventh aisle that way. Third shelf from the bottom. “


“It was hard, near impossible, to pull herself off the bed but she knew she had to get vertical. “

The Other Side of Despair

“Life begins,’ Sartre once wrote, ‘on the other side of despair. “

A Thing I Have Learned

“It is easy to mourn the lives we aren’t living. Easy to wish we’d developed other talents, said yes to different offers. “

Living Versus Understanding

“When I earn some money, I will donate. “

“You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live it. “

“And he smiled broader, and his eyes were full of kindness and concern, and Nora remembered what it was to care and be cared for. “

The Volcano

“It is quite a revelation to discover that the place you wanted to escape to is the exact same place you escaped from. That the prison wasn’t the place, but the perspective. “

“As she played, she glanced over and saw her magazine – the one Joe had bought her – open at a picture of the Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia. “

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