The Comfort Book – meaningful book about life
The Comfort Book by writer Matt Haig , a book for anyone in search of hope, looking for a path to a more meaningful life, or in need of encouragement.
The life of the Comfort Book is a complicated one. Originally commissioned by a company to produce a series of books on the importance of comfort in design, author Matt Haig found himself haunted by his own past, and composed an entirely different book instead.
Instead, The Comfort Book becomes the story of how we’re all searching for someone or something to give us that sense of belonging and acceptance—whether that be through relationships, art, religion, or even our own families. In this honest exploration into both pain and joys in life we at last see what it takes to not just survive but thrive as human beings.
But, is there more to it than that?
In the opening pages, in simple black and white illustrations, an old man sits at his desk, flipping through a book. His body shakes with tension as though he is scared or sad. He is probably experiencing physical anguish. His face could be any one of us—young or old, smart or dumb, rich or poor. He’s your grandfather but also anyone else who feels disconnected from the world around them. Our other grandparents have seen the end of their world and want to avoid it for as long as possible. This is the universal desire for comfort.
But what does it mean? What makes us so comfortable?
At the heart of the story is a search. Through his near-death experience, Matt Haig had to face the fact that most people don’t live in peace: “I knew life wasn’t going to be comfortable,” he said. “It would be hard.” And yet, when we look around ourselves we see many people who seem to suffer from an inability to cope with discomfort—whether because they have a loss of where they belong or because they’ve been crippled by some kind of trauma (both physical and mental).
What’s our solution?
The Comfort Book searches to find answers through the eyes of different people, places, and cultures. “It’s a book that asks you to think for yourself rather than taking a point of view,” says Haig. “It leaves it up to you to make your own meaning.” It is a book that challenges us to not be afraid of change, but embrace it. We all know someone who has become too comfortable in their present lives—someone who refuses to grow or learn. They want everything in the world to stay the same, even if their methods are counter-productive.