Local libraries have weeks-long waiting lists for the book, which was written before “To Kill a Mockingbird” but never published until July 14.
According to publisher HarperCollins, “Watchman” was written first and contained flashbacks to Scout’s childhood. An editor asked Lee to write a novel based on the flashbacks. That novel became the classic and well-loved “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“Go Set a Watchman” unfolds when Scout, now grown-up and known by her given name, Jean Louise, returns to Alabama from New York City to visit her ailing father, attorney Atticus Finch.
While Atticus was viewed as an open-minded hero in the first book, many readers of the justreleased novel have been stunned to learn that he is portrayed as a bigot.
Barnes & Noble said in a statement that first-day sales of “Go Set a Watchman” surpassed sales of all other adult trade fiction books in the bookseller’s history.
Based on current sales, the company said that “Go Set a Watchman” is expected to be its best selling book of 2015
Harper Collins printed over 2 million copies of “Watchman,” and said in a statement that the book has spurred the strongest presales in the company’s history.