A full day of celebrations unfolded in the small Alabama town with parties, readings and tours. Sherman’s Books & Stationery in the Old Port had about 100 copies of the new novel on hand Tuesday.

Featured are the same characters of Scout and her father, Atticus Finch, 20 years after the events of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Amazon.com has called “Watchman” its most popular pre-order since the last Harry Potter book, which came out in 2007.

At the Loveland Barnes & Noble, there was a line out the door when the store opened at 9 a.m., something that happens a couple times a year for big releases, said Chris Foley, manager of the store.

Sales for “Mockingbird“, already a consistent favourite, have doubled at Barnes & Noble since “Watchman” was announced. I read TKM as a kid and absolutely loved it. I thought it hit the issues of growing up in that time and how the period felt.

It is a follow-up to her 1960 Pulitzer-Prize winning work, “To Kill a Mockingbird“.

It took 55 years, but Harper Lee is now the author of two books. It’s nearly as if there was a second version of Charlotte’s Web in which Charlotte’s messages about Wilbur the pig were of “TASTES FRESH” and “MAKES GOOD BACON”.

Anna Gibbs said she was just happy to be able to come to Monroeville on such a festive occasion. In Go Set a Watchman, the character of Scout – Atticus Finch’s daughter – is now an adult woman and visiting her hometown of Maycomb, Mississippi from New York City.

In Monroeville, which has long had an ambivalent relationship with Lee, about 20 people were in attendance as volunteers took turns reading from “Watchman“.

Previously she read Dan Brown’s Inferno in 41 minutes on Chris Evans’ radio show and also helped a group of protesters who were attempting to read a huge pile of government consultation documents about HS2.

“There’s such a buzz about this book because “Mockingbird” was such a wonderful book”.

“I think people are feeling uncomfortable with the racism in the book”, she said.

I’m sorry. I can’t bring myself to read Go Set a Watchman or even to purchase a copy of the text. “In too many spots, Go Set a Watchman is nearly unbearably clunky”, said The Chicago Tribune.

Keohane said that she’ll be hosting a special book club to discuss “Go Set a Watchman” in August. They served free coffee and gave away “To Kill a Mockingbird” gift bags, decorated with the iconic novel’s cover.

Those on the panel agreed that the book was more of a publicity stunt than a literary decision, but some said they’d read the book anyway despite their qualms.

“I don’t know, it was written in the 50s and should stay true to the opinion at that time”, Claire Sunday added.

Concerns linger in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala., over whether the publication is something Lee truly wanted.

Nancy Hauswald, publicist for Left Bank Books, said customers are curious about the new book.