The Giver by Lois Lowry

I am so overwhelmed with emotion right now. I just sped through The Giver and I already want to read it again. I’m disappointed it took me this long to finally read it. I spent my childhood summer on Lake Ontario at my family’s cottage, as we called it ‘camp.’ We had an old TV without cable and a small bookshelf. We would rotate between our three VHS tapes – Hook, Harriet the Spy, and The Pagemaster if I recall correctly. Perhaps one more. When we weren’t watching one of these movies, we would often read. I remember always seeing The Giver on that shelf. My brother told me numerous times to read it, but for some reason I never did. It sat on the shelf with A Tale of Two Cities, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, the LOTR trilogy, a bunch of random books I bought one summer and never read, and a handful of others. Harry Potter books were always there too, but strangely they don’t stand out in my memory as sitting on the shelf. They were always on the coffee table, my brother or myself reading one of them. It’s funny what you remember from your childhood. The books and the movies really stand out in my mind. If you ask my mom, though, we probably spent the majority of our time outside playing. But those memories are not nearly as vivid. That bookshelf, though. Clear as day.

That memory of my childhood made me enjoy this book even more. I can’t really put my finger on why, but I’m very full of warmth and love? Maybe? Emotions are soarin’ right now.

Unfortunately, I did not have the version of The Giver that I looked at so often in my childhood. I’m sure it is in a box somewhere in my sister’s attic. As always, I read on my Kindle. While I lose any sentimental value, it does give me the value of seeing what other readers highlight. “1,371 passages have been highlighted 40,302 times.” I see the passages that are highlighted by multiple users, not all of them. This is great, but I found that the quote that stuck with me the most had not been highlighted. I suppose different things stick with different people. Unique.

Here is the quote,

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

This hit me like a brick. If you know me, I am an open book. I will literally tell you my whole life story if you are willing to listen. I love sharing my memories. I have never understood (not that I judge) people who keep everything bottled up. I feel infinitely closer to someone who I can share my memories with. Even this post began with a story about my childhood. I enjoy talking about my memories. I am sure this can come off as selfish as I probably don’t reciprocate the interest in hearing other people’s stories. Something I need to work on, I do love hearing others’ stories too.

I’m rambling. I haven’t quite put all my thoughts together on this book yet. It’s hard to put it all on paper (read: the internet) right now. My poor mother is going to have to withstand a prolonged discussion about this next time we chat. Maybe I will post more after that.

If you’ve noticed, my last few books have been very short – 200 pages or less. I have been really ADD lately and needed something quick to get through. The Giver gave me a renewed interest in reading. Thank you, Lois Lowry!

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