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

Salinger is displayed at the University of New Hampshire in Durham N.H. on Jan. 22 2019

Salinger is displayed at the University of New Hampshire in Durham N.H. on Jan. 22 2019

J.D. Salinger's small-but-influential oeuvre is now available as a digital download.

A recluse famous for his obsessively private life, Salinger's aversion to technology kept his work offline for decades.

Longtime Salinger publisher Little, Brown and Company said all four of his works, including "The Catcher and the Rye", will be made available as e-books Tuesday, marking the first time that the entirety of his published work will be available in digital format.

Then in the fall, with Matt Salinger's help, the New York Public Library will host the first public exhibition from J.D. Salinger's personal archives, which will feature letters, family photographs and the typescript for "The Catcher in the Rye" with the author's handwritten edits, along with about 160 other items. While there is no date set for these releases, Matt Salinger assured that they will be made available. He also tempered expectations for the unreleased work, saying the eventual publication "will definitely disappoint people that he wouldn't care about, but for real readers ..."

Hence why you'll probably never seen a big-screen adaptation of Holden Caulfield, or a tote bag emblazoned with the "Nine Stories" logo.

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He began to reconsider the idea, though, about five years ago, when a woman wrote to him about a disability that makes it hard for her to read printed books. 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.

In February, Matt Salinger said unpublished works by the author "will at some point be shared".

"He would want people to come to it with no preconceptions", Matt Salinger said.

The author's son, Matt Salinger, wants to make the books more accessible to a younger generation of readers and for those with disabilities that prevent them from reading printed material, according to The Times, which interviewed the younger Salinger.

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