Shabby Sunday is a weekly meme created by my dear friend, Mischenko, at ReadRantRockandRoll to highlight cherished vintage books in her own collection. Please check out a recent Shabby Sunday post of hers here: Shabby Sunday.
I moved frequently, especially during childhood and college/grad school, and it was only recently that I found a stash of vintage books from my collection.
My next Shabby Sunday share is the first book I remember reading about the Holocaust, Night by Elie Wiesel. While first published in 1960, my copy is the 1986 edition from Bantam Books. I first read the book several years after that. 😉
Night was required “summer reading” before my 9th grade year of high school. I was “that kid,” and I am sure many of us were, who looked forward to the summer reading choices. I had no idea what I would learn within the pages of this slim book.
The pages are deeply yellow now from years of storage in a cardboard box in various humid places.
I re-read this copy in college, and one more time since then, but my memory for the first time reading is what stands out most. I viscerally remember the experience of holding this book in my trembling hands in my bedroom with my mauve bedspread and posters on the walls, feeling utter horror and disbelief that humanity had not only been forgotten, there was no humanity whatsoever.
We all know our reading shapes us. Night is not only an important book, it is a pivotal book for the time in which it was written and for the time right now.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of a people from a survivor’s perspective, Night is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. A compelling consideration of the darkest side of human nature and the enduring power of hope, it remains one of the most important works of the twentieth century.
Thanks for reading my Shabby Sunday post inspired by Mischenko! Do you hold on to shabby, vintage books? Do you have any favorites from your childhood? Have you read Night, and if you have, what did you think? Happy Reading! Jennifer THR