These thought-provoking The Midnight Library book club questions will help you foster life-affirming discussions about the popular philosophical novel by Matt Haig about the meaning of life. Plus, get a free printable PDF of the questions to take with you!
The Midnight Library is a #1 New York Times bestseller, the winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction, a Good Morning America Book Club pick, and one of Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year.
It’s one of those books I am still thinking about years later. Not only is it beautifully written with lyrical prose and fantastical elements, but it also makes you feel deeply about the meaning of one’s life.
These The Midnight Library discussion questions help you deeply explore the major themes of life and death that have made the novel so famous and ripe for discussion with legions of readers.
The Midnight Library Book Club Questions
Below are book club questions for The Midnight Library that I crafted for you to discuss based on my notes from the thought-provoking novel:
Describe Nora at the beginning of The Midnight Library.
What does the library symbolize in The Midnight Library?
What emotions does The Midnight Library evoke?
How did Nora’s thoughts affect her real life?
Discuss the theme of regret in The Midnight Library.
Is possibility a good or bad thing in The Midnight Library?
Discuss the use of magical realism in The Midnight Library.
Discuss how the bittersweet nature of life is presented in The Midnight Library.
Life was described as a “beautiful messy struggle.” Do you agree with this oxymoron?
How, if at all, is your life a “beautiful messy struggle”?
How are the elements presented in The Midnight Library and why (i.e., earth, air, water, fire)?
Discuss the symbolism in the characters’ names.
What were your thoughts on Nora’s alternate realities?
What did Nora learn in The Midnight Library?
How does Nora’s perspective change over the course of the story?
How does the novel present the concept of time?
What role does kindness play in The Midnight Library?
How does the possibility of death affect Nora?
What, and who, made the biggest impact in Nora’s life to date?
Discuss the “books” in your own “midnight library.”
Would you like to visit your own “midnight library” or leave it unknown?
The books in The Midnight Library are described as potential escapes, as opposed to the feeling of being trapped. Do you agree or disagree?
How would you personally answer the question posed in this quote: “Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”
Discuss the role of libraries in your life.
Discuss whether you agree or disagree with this quote: “But you will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
Discuss whether you agree or disagree with this quote: “The only way to learn is to live.”
How does The Midnight Library characterize the future?
It was said to “[n]ever underestimate the big importance of small things.” What small things had big importance in your life?
What is the point of life, according to The Midnight Library?
What lesson(s) did The Midnight Library impart upon you?
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NOTE: This summary of The Midnight Library includes spoilers.
In The Midnight Library, thirty-five-year-old Nora finds out from a handsome young surgeon, Ash, that her beloved cat has been killed. Then, she is fired from her job of twelve years. These, and additional, sad occurrences leave Nora feeling unneeded in the world.
She takes a bottle, hoping to die, but wakes up at midnight in a massive library. The librarian explains that “between life and death there is a library… Every book provides a chance to choose another life you could have lived.” Nora may choose from books to see the array of alternative lives she may have lived.
One other book, The Book of Regrets, is different. She can pick a regret and then match it to the alternate life to see how things may have been different. She lives various alternative lives, only to realize she no longer wants to die.
The more alternate lives Nora lives, the more perspective she gains and the easier it is for her to imagine a better life for herself. Through The Midnight Library, she has learned both to envision the life she wants and to live it with less fear.
She returns to The Midnight Library, but it is self-destructing. She is barely able to write, “I AM ALIVE,” before it disappears, and she awakens in real life.
Nora reconnects with important people and contemplates her future.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a good book club book. It’s one of the most popular Good Morning America Book Club picks, as well as a #1 New York Times bestseller and the winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction. It thoughtfully and philosophically explores major themes of life and death that are ripe for group discussion, including regret, hope, and the purpose of life.
The main message of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is that life’s value is determined by our actual experiences and the connections we have made, not “what could have been.” Ultimately, the book is a celebration of life, urging readers to be content in the present and understand that life’s imperfections and challenges contribute to its beauty.
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These The Midnight Library book club questions offer a thought-provoking exploration of choices, regrets, and the myriad paths a life can take. As your book club delves into Nora Seed’s journey across her many lives, these questions will guide and enrich your discussions. It’s a unique opportunity to reflect on choices and the infinite possibilities of existence. May your discussion be as enlightening as the pages of this captivating story!
Keep the discussion going! Share your thoughts on The Midnight Library or any remaining questions you may have in the comments below.