Teachers' blog


【Pivotal Texts and Life-Long Reading (Part 2)】

(Contributed by Sylwia)

While reading has always been a part of my life and I’ve had many favourite texts, I’ll talk about one novel that I read at just the right time and changed my relationship to stories, indefinitely. Actually, it’s a bit embarrassing to mention this book as it is the stereotypical teen angst novel and I feel like a cliché talking about how I read this book at fifteen and how it totally got me. But, nonetheless, it did. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger put words to my teenage experience and I’ll always remember how I felt when I began to read it. I walked into the library afterschool one day looking for a book to read. This library had a really small collection, but it was enough for my limited experience in literature. I grabbed the book and decided to read a couple of pages before I checked it out. It began, “if you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like…”, and, just like how the sentence didn’t stop, I couldn’t stop reading for the next hour or so. I was completely transfixed by this long stream-of-consciousness passage, the word choices, the voice and the tone. This was the first time I had really noticed the stylistic choices of the author.

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