“There were few things my father loved more than the full tactile experience of reading a printed book, but he may have loved his readers more — and not just the ‘ideal private reader’ he wrote about, but all his readers,” Salinger, who helps oversee the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust, told the Associated Press.
All four of Salinger’s works, including Nine Stories and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, will be available as e-books starting Tuesday through Little, Brown and Company, the author’s longtime publisher.
“This is the last chip to fall in terms of the classic works,” Terry Adams of Little, Brown and Company told The New York Times. “All of the other estates of major 20th century writers have made the move to e-books, but Matt has been very cautious.”
In a separate interview with The Times, Salinger said he makes “96 percent” of the decisions about his father’s library with him in mind. “Things like e-books and audiobooks are tough, because he clearly didn’t want them,” he said. Salinger changed his mind with the realization that some readers, including ones with disabilities, could only read his father’s work digitally. “[J.D.] was leery of many things, but he had a profound love for his readers,” Salinger said. “He wouldn’t want people to not be able to read his stuff.”
J.D., born Jerome David Salinger, died at the age of 91 in 2010. He lived in Cornish, New Hampshire and rarely spoke with media. Salinger wouldn’t get into specifics about all the unpublished work his father left behind, only that it’s a lot. With news of the upcoming e-books, Salinger also said he has plans to released these never-before-read writings.
“He would want people to come to it with no preconceptions,” he told The Times. “I wanted people to know that, yes, he did keep writing, there’s a lot of material, and yes, it will be published.”