J.D. Salinger novels will finally be released as e-books

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Don’t expect audiobook versions. Although Matt had considered them, his father didn’t like the thought of his books being adapted to other formats.

This is part of a broader attempt to explore J.D. Salinger’s life in the nine years since his death, including the first public exhibition of his personal archives (due this fall in the New York Public Library) and, eventually, the publication of the work that Salinger finished but never released.

It’s a watershed moment for digital books. Salinger has an almost mythological status (in part due to Catcher in the Rye‘s controversies), and now that legacy is more likely to carry on. There’s also simple economic reality at work. Much like The Beatles, the Salinger family was faced with either going where the customers are or risking the possibility that whole generations might forget (or at least, not pay for) their work.

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