J.D. Salinger's books are finally going digital

J.D. Salinger's books are finally going digital

J. D. Salinger's classic "The Catcher in the Rye" and other books by the author will soon be available as an e-book, publisher Little, Brown and Company said.

Little, Brown this week published e-book editions of the influential author's four texts: "The Catcher In the Rye", "Nine Stories", "Franny and Zooey," and "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction".

While the books will be published digitally this week, they won't be accompanied by an audio edition - Salinger "abhorred the idea of his books being performed or interpreted in any way in another medium", according to his son. Then, on a trip to China, Matt Salinger witnessed how the country's young people - The Catcher in the Rye's target demographic - nearly exclusively read on digital devices.

That is partly because of his son, Matt Salinger, who helps run the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust and is a vigilant guardian of his father's legacy and privacy.

Salinger, who died in 2010, lived a reclusive life in Cornish, New Hampshire, and rarely spoke to the media. Salinger's works were considered literature's biggest e-book holdout.

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Matt Salinger and the estate's reluctance isn't surprising, given his father's notorious reluctance to publicly communicate. Things began to change around 2014, when he received a letter from a woman who explained she had a disability that made reading printed books hard. "I hear his voice really clearly in my head, and there's no doubt in my mind about 96 percent of the decisions I have to make, because I know what he would have wanted", Matt Salinger told the New York Times.

However, in an interview with the Associated Press, Salinger described how despite his father's love of "the full tactile experience of reading a printed book", he loved his readers and would have wanted them to be able to read his work.

The release is part of a centennial celebration of the author's birth.

And before long, decades worth of J.D. Salinger's unpublished writing will be released, a project Matt Salinger estimated will take another five to seven years to complete.

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