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The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein The BookWalker

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Editor’s Note: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein’s

Now, after many years, the 'boy' comes back as an old man, and the tree despairs that he has nothing left to give. "I do not need much now, just a place to rest ." My voice always quavers each time I get to the last page; the idea that one could give so selflessly and get nothing in return is inspiring.

Someone said this beautifully: ‘We cannot open a book without learning something,’ indeed, I find the maxim to be true. Each time we pick a book and read, we improve our lives by living in the author’s world, on how the writer perceives the world, learning the lessons the author wants to impart. A book is not merely a collection of words bound together; it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Last Thanksgiving, I’ve been reading The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein’s classic children’s book, as an assignment—a family tradition, reading the book to my nephews and nieces. As you may remember, it’s about a tree and a young boy who loves to climb it and rest in its shade.

As the boy gets older, the tree gives him anything he wants―even the tree’s own trunk to be carved into a boat to sail away. Now, after many years, the ‘boy’ comes back as an old man, and the tree despairs that he has nothing left to give. “I do not need much now, just a place to rest .” My voice always quavers each time I get to the last page; the idea that one could give so selflessly and get nothing in return is inspiring.

Now, after many years, the ‘boy’ comes back as an old man, and the tree despairs that he has nothing left to give. “I do not need much now, just a place to rest .” My voice always quavers each time I get to the last page; the idea that one could give so selflessly and get nothing in return is inspiring.

We cannot open a book without learning something.’

The essence of The Giving Tree encapsulates the idea that a book is a gift that keeps giving. Like the tree, authors pour their hearts and souls into their work, sharing their wisdom, experiences, and perspectives with readers. When we immerse ourselves in their words, we partake in their unique journey through life, gaining insights and lessons along the way.

Every book offers something different: a gripping adventure, a profound philosophical discourse, or a heartwarming tale of love and sacrifice. Regardless of genre or subject matter, each book has the potential to touch our hearts, expand our horizons, and inspire us to be better versions of ourselves.

The Giving Tree teaches us the value of selflessness and the enduring power of love. It reminds us that in a world often driven by self-interest, there is profound beauty in giving without expecting anything in return. This timeless lesson, tucked within the pages of a children’s book, resonates with readers of all ages, inviting us to reflect on our own capacity to give and receive.

As we turn the pages of books, we not only gain knowledge and insight but also develop empathy, understanding, and a broader perspective of the world around us. We become participants in a never-ending conversation with authors, sharing in their joys and sorrows, victories and defeats, and ultimately enriching our own lives in the process.

So, the next time you open a book, remember that you are embarking on a journey of discovery that has the power to transform and inspire. A book is indeed a gift that keeps on giving, and the more we embrace this gift, the more we grow, learn, and become better individuals. 

  “And the tree was happy,” knowing its gift had made someone’s world better.  

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