9 times the Catcher in the Rye knocked my damn socks off.

Written by Cole Schafer


I’m embarrassed to admit the first time I picked up The Catcher in the Rye was last week-ish, at the ripe age of twenty-six.

(I know. I know. For whatever reason, this “required reading” missed my 6th grade class.)

Naturally, upon completing what many consider to be J.D. Salinger’s greatest novel, I found my fingertips welling up with words and material.

You may consider this article me doing the clunky work of unwelling.

The Catcher in the Rye is your classic coming-of-age story filled with countless insightful gems from the perspective of a young, unambitious teenager named Holden.

On the surface he’s a cigarette smoking, heavy drinking rich kid that likes women and hates school but as you thumb through the pages of this classic text you see another more sensitive and deep-thinking side of him.

Something Salinger portrays brilliantly with masterfully crafted dialogue and the heavy use of slang –– the latter being yet another lesson to all writers and copywriters that stunning writing doesn’t need to read like the Magna Carta.

9 quotes worth re-reading in the Catcher in the Rye.

(Psst… if the following lines don’t do enough to back up this sentiment, read what advertising extraordinaire, David Ogilvy, had to say on the matter.)

1. On saying good-bye…

“I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”

2. On falling in love with a book…

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

3. On feeling loneliness…

“New York’s terrible when somebody laughs on the street very late at night. You can hear it for miles. It makes you feel so lonesome and depressed.”

4. On the absurdity of popularity…

“People always clap for the wrong things.”

5. On arrogant masculinity…

“He was one of those guys that think they’re being a pansy if they don’t break around forty of your fingers when they shake hands with you.”

6. On gunning for the end…

“I have a feeling that you’re riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall.”

7. On dying for something unworthy…

“But I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause.”

8. On depression…

“So I went in this very cheap restaurant and had donuts and coffee. Only, I didn’t eat the donuts. I couldn’t swallow them too well. The thing is, if you get very depressed about something, it’s hard as hell to swallow.”

9. On not falling in love with people…

(Warning: these might be my two favorite sentences of any novel, ever, in the history of novels.)

“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everyone."

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer (but mostly, J.D. Salinger).