I never had to read this in high school or college. I started to feel like the only on on the planet who had never read this book. So, I gave it a shot. In the beginning I thought it was boring, then I started to hate it, but slowly, I started to see what the author was doing. By the end, I was totally on board with this being brilliant.
This is one of those books that can tell you a lot about your own level of maturity and empathy. I am pretty sure if I had read this in high school all I would have heard was "phony" this and "crummy" that and would have been completely annoyed with Holden Caulfield. It takes some growing up to see him for who he really is and what he's going through.
Coincidentally, I finished this book a few days before J.D. Salinger died. Not that that means anything, it's just a coincidence. But I remember thinking how wonderful it was that a man could live to see his work become one of the most recognized and acclaimed pieces of literature.