Because of the possibility, however remote in the near term, of somebody besides me getting their hands on them: at that point, they’ll “share” (=make publicly available forever) them. To me personally the publication of people’s work posthumously without their explicit permission is horrifying – obviously, there are plenty of social evils worse, I don’t think people who read Kafka are monsters, it’s human to want to read stuff by people whose writing you like. But I personally don’t read Kafka: he explicitly asked his friend to destroy his stuff. (Some people like to assert that there’s an ambiguity here but I don’t find the case at all persuasive and consider it a self-serving argument: “I want to read it, so I choose the reading that suits me,” essentially.) I won’t read any Salinger that gets published in the coming years unless he left explicit consent for publication. I am pretty hardcore about this. For myself, although I never expect to be Salinger or Kafka level famous/important, I know there’s enough people who, while fine people, would do math that said “at the end of the day, I don’t care what JD thought, I want to read these, and what does he care now anyway, he is either in the grave or the afterlife and this stuff doesn’t concern him any more.” Which is a totally tenable position by the way, just one I don’t share. For me it’s a personal autonomy issue, which I think survives the grave, so destroy I must! I am a chicken about it though, because I’m sentimental, so, for example, I still have the Tallahassee notebook and most of the WSABH ones and if I get raptured today then whoever loots my office will “share” the stuff that wasn’t good enough to for me to personally share, and if I catch wind of it in Valhalla, then my soul will grieve, but no-one will care, because most people don’t care anyway and besides that the living can’t hear the moans of those that grieve in Valhalla.