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Harper Lee’s "To Kill a Mockingbird" is Coming Soon to an eReader Near You

mockingbird[1]To Kill a Mockingbird became an instant classic when it was published in 1960, earning it a special place in libraries and classrooms everywhere. This title also had a unique status in ebooks; it was one of the few great titles there were not available to buy digitally (pirated copies are another matter), but that’s going to change soon.

HarperCollins announced on Monday that Harper Lee’s first and last novel will soon be available as an ebook. Starting 8 July, readers will be able to find this ebook in ebookstores. The audiobook, which is currently available on a CD with narration by Sissy Spacek, will also be re-released as a digital download.

Harper Lee had long been a digital holdout, but recently she changed her mind (I wonder if the contract was coming up for renewal). "I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries," Lee, who turned 88 on Monday, said through her publisher. "I am amazed and humbled that ‘Mockingbird’ has survived this long. This is ‘Mockingbird’ for a new generation."

Following Ray Bradbury and JK Rowling, Harper Lee is but the latest author to acquiesce to market pressure. With Mockingbird now set to be released as an ebook, the list of books that cannot be bought as ebooks is down to a handful of titles The Catcher In the Rye, The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. (edit: this last title is available digitally outside the US).

All of those works are available as a pirated copy only a Google search away, but of course we knew that already.



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Juli Monroe April 28, 2014 um 10:38 am

About time. I wanted to reread it a while back and was appalled to learn it wasn’t yet an ebook. Here’s hoping they do a good digital conversion.

Nate Hoffelder April 28, 2014 um 11:00 am


flyingtoastr April 28, 2014 um 10:47 am

Catcher in the Rye can stay away from my ereader, thanks.

Sturmund Drang April 28, 2014 um 5:56 pm

We agree on that!

Doug April 28, 2014 um 11:38 am

Just to be picky: Ray Bradbury didn’t "acquiesce to the wishes of readers." He acquiesced to the power of the publishers, after he couldn’t find a single one that would make another paper printing of "Fahrenheit 451" without also getting e-book rights. That was the only title that he agreed to have published as an e-book. He died not long afterward.

fjtorres April 28, 2014 um 12:12 pm

Uh, what Nate said was "acquiesce to market pressure" which is exactly what you said.

No publisher will do print only deals because the numbers don’t add up anymore. In today’s market, over 25% of sales go to ebooks and those sales are a lot more profitable than an equivalent volume of pbook sales. Take those sales away and the profit margin on the title goes way down and with it any incentive to do it.

Nate Hoffelder April 28, 2014 um 12:15 pm

I changed it because of his comment, but hadn’t gotten around to thanking him for pointing out the flaw.

CBRetriever April 28, 2014 um 12:30 pm

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is available in digital format, just not to US residents – I just purchased it from
for Kindle Price: $6.58 includes VAT* & free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

but I don’t live in the US and the publisher is Penguin which I’m presuming is the UK branch as i live in France. And that book was also available to someone in South Africa.

Nate Hoffelder April 28, 2014 um 12:36 pm


Anne April 28, 2014 um 12:41 pm

It looks like 100 Years of Solitude is available as an ebook in Europe. I suspect geographical restrictions prevent it being sold as such in the US and Canada. I find that very frustrating in this day and age.

Anyway, good news on the To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve been enjoying rereading Bradbury and I’m sure I’ll feel the same about this one.

Smoley April 29, 2014 um 1:45 am

I think I read this in 8th grade. They even took us on a field trip to watch the movie one afternoon in school.

I’ve never understood why people reread a novel. I’ve never done it and likely never will. Once I’ve read it I know how it ends. Why would I read it again? It’s the same with TV shows or movies with me – watch once then move on to something else.

For those of you that reread fiction, is it like listening to the same song again and again? Perhaps my brain is just wired differently.

Rich Taylor April 29, 2014 um 4:11 am

I’ve just re-read Asimov’s Stars Like Dust, original reading 1983 and you know what? I’d forgotten quite a lot of it.

Nate Hoffelder April 29, 2014 um 9:13 am

I read fiction to relax after a long day, and going back to a book I already know is a welcome event.

Il buio oltre la siepe di Harper Lee esce in ebook May 19, 2015 um 6:47 am

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