Goodreads Blog

Readers' Favorite Quotes from The Catcher in the Rye

Posted by Hayley on September 07, 2017


This post is brought to you by Rebel in the Rye, in select theaters September 8.

Holden Caulfield gets us…or the us we used to be. The protagonist of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is an icon, a literary champion of teen rebellion and angst. Many of us first met him in school, as part of our required reading, and we were pleasantly surprised to find a kindred spirit there, a fellow reader, dreamer, and cynic.

With Salinger's own story about to come to the big screen in Rebel in the Rye, we took a look at the most beloved quotes from his classic novel, as selected by Goodreads members. (And check out ten interesting facts about The Catcher in the Rye here!)


1. "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."

2. "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."



3. "Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry."


4. "I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot."

5. "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around—nobody big, I mean—except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."


6. "I am always saying 'Glad to've met you' to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though."

7. "I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice."




What's your favorite quote from The Catcher in the Rye? Share it with us in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
Growing Up Into Goodreads
Five Stories of Friendship and Favorite Books Found on Goodreads
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Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by Beverly~Lady B (last edited Sep 07, 2017 08:31AM) (new)

Beverly~Lady B One of my favorite quotes is "People never notice anything".Truer words were never spoken and this is so freaking true...This is my top favorite book EVER.♡♡♡. I am completely surprised that Hollywood found a loophole in which they utilized to make the "writing" of this book into a movie.J.D. Salinger would not approve as he firmly and flatly rejected all attempts from some of Hollywood bigwigs offer to turn this gem of a book into a movie. He wanted people to read it.


message 2: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Here's mine: "Goddamn money. It always ends up making you blue as hell."


message 3: by Alanah (new)

Alanah I think it's time to give this book a re-read!


message 4: by Piyush (new)

Piyush Gupta One of my all time favorites.


message 5: by Breslin (new)

Breslin White Alanah wrote: "I think it's time to give this book a re-read!"

My thoughts exactly


message 6: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Alanah wrote: "I think it's time to give this book a re-read!"

I give it one every year. This year will be the tenth time! :)


message 7: by Juonithz (new)

Juonithz "You're a real Prince," and "I'm the God-dammed governor's son."


DNF with Jack Mack Phonys


message 9: by Marwan (new)

Marwan Asmar This book is definitely over-rated


message 10: by Ethar (new)

Ethar "All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to."


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda "I don't want to scare you, but I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause."


message 12: by Philip (new)

Philip I think every person has an obligation to mature past a love for "Catcher in the Rye".


message 13: by Mellissa (new)

Mellissa Beverly~Lady B wrote: "One of my favorite quotes is "People never notice anything".Truer words were never spoken and this is so freaking true...This is my top favorite book EVER.♡♡♡. I am completely surprised that Hollyw..."

What? They made a movie about writing this book? What is it called? Have you seen it? Is it terrible?


message 14: by Beverly~Lady B (new)

Beverly~Lady B Mellissa wrote: "Beverly~Lady B wrote: "One of my favorite quotes is "People never notice anything".Truer words were never spoken and this is so freaking true...This is my top favorite book EVER.♡♡♡. I am completel..."

Yes. It's called"Rebel in the Rye". The advertisement graphic for the movie is listed on this page above.


message 15: by Timothy J Jones (new)

Timothy J Jones “Well. He's a very sensitive boy. He's really never been a terribly good mixer with other boys...'

Sensitive. That killed me. That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a goddamn toilet seat.”


message 16: by Aristotle (new)

Aristotle Holden Caulfield was a whiny cry baby. I was cheering when his roommate Ward and the pimp Maurice beat him up. So Holden crying was my favorite quote.


message 17: by Jasi (new)

Jasi Alanah wrote: "I think it's time to give this book a re-read!"

I just thought the exactly same thing.


message 18: by The Bibliophage (new)

The Bibliophage I've read this 14 years ago and I think I should re-read it soon. Wait, there's a movie adaptation?! And Kevin Spacey is one of the casts?Much to my disappointment, it will not be shown here in my country.


Natasha (Diarist) Holme The Catcher in the Rye was the first book I read twice.


message 20: by Richard (new)

Richard Campbell Too great!


message 21: by Only (new)

Only Reader My always best. I think This is the also useful for you... baholicdotcom


message 22: by Samir (last edited Sep 11, 2017 02:33PM) (new)

Samir My always best. I think This is the also useful for you
صفحه آرایی


message 23: by Juliet (last edited Sep 11, 2017 09:48PM) (new)

Juliet “There wouldn't be marvelous places to go to after I went to college and all. It'd be entirely different. We'd have to go downstairs in elevators with suitcases and stuff. We'd have to phone everybody and tell em goodbye and send em postcards from hotels and all.”


message 24: by Cruz Lorenzo (last edited Sep 13, 2017 05:35AM) (new)

Cruz Lorenzo it seems to be really great book


message 25: by Marie (new)

Marie The Bibliophage wrote: "I've read this 14 years ago and I think I should re-read it soon. Wait, there's a movie adaptation?! And Kevin Spacey is one of the casts?Much to my disappointment, it will not be shown here in my ..."

It's not a movie adaptation, it's the life story of the author.


message 26: by Çağatay (new)

Çağatay Boz "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

Yeah, well...


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