A few weeks ago I read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I read over the course of two cold, rainy days, and honestly, I wasn't terribly impressed with it. I mean, I know that it's become iconic over the years and after reading it I can see why, but I found the whole book rather pointless, really. I couldn't identify with the main character, Holden Caulfield, very well--he was much too moody for my taste--and by the end of the book I just wanted to shake some sense into him.
Don't get me wrong, I don't regret reading it; I appreciate the themes woven throughout the book, especially this one...
"But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they're brilliant and creative to begin with--which, unfortunately, is rarely the case--tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And--most important--nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker.
"Something else an academic education will do for you. If you go along with it any considerable distance, it'll begin to give you an idea what size mind you have. What it'll fit and, maybe, what it won't. After a while, you'll have an idea what kind of thoughts your particular size mind should be wearing. For one thing, it may save you an extraordinary amount of time trying on ideas that don't suit you, aren't becoming to you. You'll being to know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly."
I confess I've been ready to be done with school for awhile now, but that passage really encourages me to keep on going. School can seem pointless, especially when you're in a creative field, but honestly, there's nothing bad that can come out of a good, well-rounded education.
If you've read it, what are your thoughts on The Catcher in the Rye?