Margin Notes



In the introduction to The Comfort Book, Matt Haig writes

It is a strange paradox, that many of the clearest, most comforting life lessons are learnt while we are at our lowest. But then we never think about food more than when we are hungry and we never think about life rafts more than when we are thrown overboard.

So, these are some of my life rafts. The thoughts have kept me afloat. I hope some of them might carry you to dry land as well.

This wonderful collection is a series of notes Haig wrote to himself to help him through hard times. Haig shares them in the hopes that readers will also find them helpful when things are bleak: “When times are hard, we need a deep kind of comfort. Something elemental. A solid support. A rock to hold onto. The kind we already have inside us. But which we sometimes need a bit of help to see.”

Entries range from a few words to a few pages. Some are presented as prose while others read like poems. Haig reflects on the truths the lowest points in his life have revealed: “Time disproves the lies depression tells. Time showed me that the things depression imagined for me were fallacies not prophecies.” He presents his thinking in a wide range of formats including quiet observations, thoughts to remember on a bad day, realizations, advice, a playlist, a book list, a list of don’ts, and recipes. As a whole, this collection works together to remind readers of one of the themes interwoven throughout the book, that “Nothing is stronger than a small hope that doesn’t give up.”

The Comfort Book is one of those fantastic texts that you can read straight through in one sitting read slowly, stopping to savor each selection; you can read it in order or dip in and out as you like. It is also filled with mentor texts and quickwrite opportunities.

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