I have never read J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.  There.  I said I said it.  All these years I think I’ve been assuming I read it in high school (translate: glanced at to pass the test).  I say “I think” because I have no recollection at all, absolutely zero, of this Holden Caufield, this icon of teenagers.

It’s on my mind now because Rex just came home from a trip, pulled this tiny book out of his briefcase — tiny, like you could slip in your hip pocket — and said, I still don’t know if I can say what it’s about.  But it was good.  There’s a lot of falling.  I’m going to have to think about it.  This is a pretty slim description for Rex.  If I read it, will I see what it’s about?

I pick the paperback up off the table.  This edition has a plain white cover.  No print at all, excepting the title and author’s name.  No synopsis on the back.  No blurb, not one, about its classic-ness.  Inside, there’s the story.  And that’s it.  No overwrought, cerebral introduction by a well-known academic or famous-writer-fan.  No afterword.  No reading guide.  Not even an epigraph.  What book these days doesn’t have all of this and more, classic or current?  I open to the first page and check out the first paragraph:  If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is ….  That’s it.  Now I’m going to have to read it too.

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