J.D. Salinger’s works to finally go digital

MANILA, Philippines – Renowned writer J.D. Salinger's estate has agreed to go digital, releasing 4 of Salinger's classic works in e-book format – The Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.

According to a New York Times report, his son Matt Salinger, who also runs the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust, was hesitant to do so for many years, holding dear his father's wish for privacy and control, as well as respecting his aversion to technology.

But in August 2019, Matt announced the move to finally go digital as an effort to introduce his father’s stories to a new and younger generation of "digital-savvy" readers.

Matt shared to The New York Times that the decision actually stemmed from a letter he received in 2014 from a woman in Michigan. She suffered a “permanent right-hand disability” and reached out because of the difficulty she had reading physical books.

"Making his books accessible to a new generation, many of whom seem to prefer reading on their electronic devices, and – specifically – people with health conditions or impairments that mean they’re unable to read physical books, is a very exciting development, and totally in keeping with his wishes even if he greatly preferred the full tactile experience of a physical book," Matt said.

"Would he prefer and encourage readers to stick with the printed books? Absolutely. But not exclusively if it means some not being able to read him at all.”

This makes Salinger one of the last 20th century writers to finally join the e-book revolution. “This is the last chip to fall in terms of the classic works,” Terry Adams of Little, Brown and Company, the author's publishing company, said.

“All of the other estates of major 20th century writers have made the move to e-books, but Matt has been very cautious.”

However, Matt is quick to clarify that an audiobook version is not in the cards, saying that his father rejected any other adaptations of his works beyond its written form. 

J.D. Salinger, born Jerome David Salinger, was born in New York, USA, in 1919. He died at the age of 91 on January 2010. – Rappler.com