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‘Catcher in the Rye’ is finally going to be an e-book. Here’s why it took so long

‘Catcher in the Rye’ is finally going to be an e-book. Here’s why it took so long
[Photo: Flickr user Gayle Nicholson]

Disaffected youth can finally read Catcher in the Rye on their Kindle Paperwhites, just like J.D. Salinger intended.

The favorite book of alienated rich white prep school loners prone to rants about phonies (and, you know, this guy) is finally coming to the modern age. The New York Times reports that Catcher in the Rye along with three other Salinger books (including the far superior Nine Stories) will be available digitally for the first time ever later this week.

The new reading format comes courtesy of Salinger’s son, Matt Salinger, who helps run the JD Salinger Literary Trust and is a “vigilant guardian of his father’s legacy and privacy,” per the Times. While his father passed away in 2010, the younger Salinger has finally given in to modernity. The four works will be released as e-books by publisher Little, Brown and Company on Amazon, Apple Books, and wherever else you pick up e-books.

The younger Salinger’s hardened stance against e-books reportedly began to change back in 2014 when he realized that people with various disabilities can struggle to read the printed word and that others can only access books online, and thus had no way of reading Franny and Zooey or Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction unless the works were made available in digital format. Now, five years later, it’s finally happening. Don’t expect audiobooks anytime soon, though. Salinger reportedly “abhorred the idea of his books being performed or interpreted in any way in another medium,” and so his son is respecting that.

The e-book news comes before the New York Public Library is due to host the first public exhibition from Salinger’s archives, including letters, family photographs, and handwritten edits from The Catcher in the Rye. Additionally, in the next few years, Salinger’s unpublished writing will be released.

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