Go Set a Watchman Copy Sells for $1556

Ultimate Book Giveaway Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

When Harper Lee’s  Go Set a Watchman was finally published in February, it was the talk of the literary world.  Another book by the great and reclusive author who to that point had only ever published one work—the classic To Kill a Mockingbird–  Watchman was the edition that fans aplenty, worldwide, had been awaiting for months.

There was substantial buzz about everything from whether Miss Lee was mentally capable of giving permission to have the work published to whether or not the character of Atticus Finch had been tarnished by a few very important details that had every potential of changing the perception of the hero for readers.  People discussed the book around water coolers and in grocery stores.  People wrote to Ol’ Curiosities, enraged about Atticus.

Now, there is even more buzz about the book that turned the literary world upside down not so long ago:

The Guardian recently reported that the first 25,000 UK-printed copies of Go Set a Watchman were missing paragraphs and sentences from the final pages.  Readers were disturbed by the occurrence, but no one knows exactly how many of the misprinted versions were sold.

Penguin Random House explained that the misprinted copies were due to a printer error and that the affected copies were missing lines on six pages near the end of the work.  The publishing giant also promised to work swiftly to maintain customer satisfaction and replace such flawed copies.  How many were replaced?  How many misprinted copies remain in circulation?  We just don’t know.

Book buffs, of course, are hopping with excitement.  Misprinted copies are often treasures for those who collect written works.  In fact, a copy was recently sold for $1556 (£988) on the American AbeBooks Marketplace—and that may be a very small price to pay for such a literary oddity.  Only time will tell the value.

Rare books are beloved here at Ol’ Curiosities—and we’re always a little curious about how people find them and where.  Tell us your rare books stories in the comments below.

The Ultimate Book Giveaway

Ultimate Book Giveaway Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Alright, so last year we had an amazing time getting ready for the Go Set a Watchman book release  on July 14th. Well, this year we would like to do something else big to give back to our loyal followers. So we have decided to give away a signed Go Set a Watchman Special Edition!

How you can win the Ultimate Book Giveaway

All we want you to do is sign up for our newsletter and like us on Facebook and share this on Facebook and on July 14th of this year we will give away a signed copy of Go Set a Watchman. It really is the Ultimate Book Giveaway! These are very limited and worth upwards of $2,000 so this giveaway is going to be pretty sweet for the lucky winner, but that’s not all…  You see, I am a goal setter and I want our little book store to grow just like anyone wants their small business to grow. So, on top of the Go Set a Watchman giveaway we are going to give away a signed copy of To Kill a Mockingbird! That’s another $2,500 prize to a different winner. The books will be given to two separate people and all we want from  you is your help in getting the word out.

The Ultimate Book Giveaway: Our Goal

Now, the To Kill a Mockingbird giveaway comes with reaching a goal of  100k people subscribing to our newsletter, and 100k people liking us on Facebook. Now, I know this will be an easy task and we might do other giveaways if you blow it out of the water– so share this post with all your friends and family and don’t forget to join our newsletter by going to ocbookshoppe.com and signing up!

Also, please remember that we are a full service book store and if you cannot find something you’re looking for on our website, you can always give us a call and we can get it for you. If you do not have a local book store, we would love to be your local store no matter where you’re located. Our Shoppe is very small and each and everyone of our customers make a huge impact in our small community. Your orders from us have a very personal impact on our lives and the lives of our employees. You make a difference shopping with us and we appreciate you guys more than you can imagine.

Why the Ultimate Book Giveaway Means so much to us

When Go Set a Watchman came out last year, a lot of people thought we were a corporate-sized store with unlimited resources because we sold over 10,000 copies. The world soon found out the Book Shoppe is actually a 2,000 square foot house and each package was hand wrapped, stamped, and processed. We learned lot and we experienced some very real growing pains as a small business, but it was worth every moment.  Of course, it’s our desire to continue to serve you guys–to really be your hometown bookstore. So visit us online, in the store, or call us and let us know how we can help you today.

The Fan Art of To Kill a Mockingbird

The Fan Art of To Kill a Mockingbird

Fan Art of To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird is 54 years old.  That’s fifty-four years of influence that began with the novel, and perhaps grew to a pique with the movie, and was recently given a new face in the sequel (really an earlier draft of Mockingbird) that is Go Set a Watchman.  Through the years, both professional artists and novice fans have put art to story that Harper Lee brought to the world, and some of that artwork is simply exquisite.  As a writer and as a lover of good art, I could spend hours perusing the great pieces that came from the muse of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  It’s amazing how great art inspires, well, great art– thus, this blog post highlighting just some of the Fan Art of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Of course, this site is partial to Harper Lee, and because our store is based in her hometown, anything remotely Mockingbird captures our attention.  We’d like to share a few of the cool fan art and commercial art pieces we’ve discovered of late.  In that vein, we’ve created this online gallery– take a few minutes to check out some of the great artwork fans and students of one of the greatest American novels have created based on their love for the exceptional story that is beloved not only here in Monroeville, but around the world.  (Note that not every piece in the Gallery is fan art, we’ve added a few interesting professional pieces as well…) Of course, we’d love to add to the pieces in the slideshow below, so let us know if you stumble upon great  Mockingbird or Watchman fan art.


Fan Art of  To Kill a Mockingbird: Slideshow

Fan Art of To Kill a Mockingbird:  Open Call — Let us share your work!

Did you enjoy the Mockingbird  Fan Art slideshow?  Let us know your favorite pieces of Mockingbird-related artwork and why they appeal to you.  If you’re an artist, we’d love to share your  Mockingbird  art with our readers.  Please email ashley@ocbookshoppe.com to tell about your To Kill a Mockingbird  inspired creations.

Book Signing with Greg Neri, author of Tru and Nelle



We are so excited to announce that we will be having a book signing here at Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe next week. Greg Neri, author of several middle grade and young adult novels, will be signing his most recent book, Tru & Nelle,  here at OCBS next Thursday, March 31st from 6 PM to 8 PM. Tru & Nelle is a fictional tale based on the childhood friendship of our very own Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee.

61PJU-i+URLAbout Tru & Nelle

Long before they became well known writers, two children met one day in Monroeville, Alabama. One was the daughter of a local lawyer; the other, a young boy whose gypsy parents left him with his adult cousins.

The two became fast friends.

Their names were Nelle Harper Lee and Truman Capote, Tru for short.

In the fictionalized story of the real-life childhood companionship of these two famous writers, young Tru and Nelle go on a Sherlock and Watson style mystery hunt to track down who is vandalizing buildings in town. More importantly, we get a glimpse again of Monroeville, Alabama, in the 1930s. And we get an idea of what young Tru and Nelle were like as children, long before In Cold Blood or To Kill A Mockingbird were ever thought of.


When Truman first spotted Nelle, he thought she was a boy. She was watching him like a cat, perched on a crooked stone wall that separated their rambling wood homes. Barefoot and dressed in overalls with a boyish haircut, Nelle looked to be about his age, but it was hard for Truman to tell — he was trying to avoid her stare by pretending to read his book.

“Hey, you,” she finally said.

Truman gazed up from the pages. He was sitting quietly on a wicker chair on the side porch of his cousins’ house, dressed in a little white sailor suit.

“Are you . . . talking to me?” he said in a high wispy voice.

“Come here,” she commanded.

He straightened his little white suit and wandered slowly past the trellises of wisteria vines and japonica flowers until he came upon the stone wall.

Truman was taken aback. He scrunched up his face; he’d been confused by Nelle’s short hair and overalls. “You’re a . . . girl?”

Nelle stared back at him even harder. Truman’s high voice, white-blond hair, and sailor outfit had thrown her for a loop too.

“You’re a boy?” she asked, incredulous.

Photo by Edward Linsmier
Photo by Edward Linsmier

About Greg Neri

In addition to Tru & NelleGreg Neri is the author of several middle grade and young adult novels, including Ghetto Cowboy, and Hello, I’m Johnny Cash. Neri’s awards include a Coretta Scott King honor, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award. Besides writing, Neri has experience as a filmmaker, animator/illustrator, and a digital media producer. Neri is a founding member of The Truth anti-smoking campaign as well.

Neri presently writes full time and lives in Florida with his wife and daughter.


If you are able to come, we would love to have you attend this book signing! If you would like, you can call us at 251-494-9356 or come by OCBS and reserve a copy of Tru & Nelle today. Then come back and join us next week and have your book signed and chat with Mr. Neri!

Please note: Any books ordered directly through the website prior to the event will not be signed, unless it is specified.

Thank you so much for all that you do! We truly appreciate each and every one of you!

The Candlelight Vigil: Forged Connections

Candlelight Vigil for Harper Lee
Candlelight Vigil for Harper Lee
Rabun Williams prepares to speak at the Harper Lee Candlelight Vigil in Monroeville

A week ago today, I found myself driving a road that was extraordinarily familiar, headed for a place I’d never been for a simple candlelight vigil.  I dialed my dad, “You could pick up Beedeville off the globe and drop it in the middle of this place and nobody would be the wiser,” I told him.  He laughed, “My kinda town.”  It was true.  The road that approached our tiny Arkansas hometown was, in many ways, a dead ringer for the one that brings the world to Monroeville, Alabama.

The Candlelight Vigil:  My Connection

The preceding week had been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me.  Harper Lee, the beloved author of the American Classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird had passed away, and –in my capacity as a writer for the local bookstore in Monroeville– I had published the first the account to the world.  Now, I was approaching the town as a fan, come to pay my respects at a candlelight vigil to the Alabama writer that had changed my world in a hundred ways over the last twelve or so months.

Harper Lee was the reason I was writing again.  The articles I wrote about her, the publication of her latest book Go Set a Watchman, and even the town of Monroeville itself was part of the glue that held me together throughout some long and messy personal challenges during the previous year.  I was grateful not only for the books she’d written, but for the timeless messages that she gave all of us… messages I want my own children to read again and again: why honesty and integrity and justice matter more than prides and prejudices; how heroes fall and we must still love them in their humanity; that pen and paper can and will change the world.

Tonight, I would be a part of the candlelight vigil for this amazing woman.  I was grateful for the opportunity.

After changing at my hotel room into something I hoped was appropriate for such a memorial, I found Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe without incident, and walked through the front door into a haven of comfortable sofas and towering bookshelves filled to the brim with vintage volumes of familiar and not so familiar titles, and found the owners, Spencer Madrie and Ann Mote, welcoming me in as though I were the neighbor next door.  I could spend hours here.  From the weathered siding on the building, to the walls so beautifully papered with pages from old novels, this place struck a chord in me.

Candlelight Vigil for Harper Lee
Visitors to OCBS gather to pay tribute to Harper Lee

The Candlelight Vigil:  In the Words of Rabun Williams

The next person I met was Rabun Williams, who’d be the keynote speaker for the evening. Mr. Williams was cordial and a bastion of knowledge of about the Old South and Monroeville in particular.  He was preparing to speak about Harper Lee and was organizing his thoughts concerning Mockingbird. The result was a fascinating and sincere eulogy:

We are here tonight to honor Miss Lee, to especially remember her for her tremendous contributions to literature. It’s entirely appropriate that this memorial takes place at a book store…  I thank Spencer and Ann for hosting this occasion.  They asked me to make just a few remarks about To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a deservedly famous book.  It is deservedly on reading lists throughout this country.  You all are here because you love it, because you love those same things in it, which other people have mentioned on many occasions.  Many speakers and writers, more famous and insightful than I, remember it for its themes—the theme of justice and equality for all no matter who they may be in the courts of justice.  We remember it for the theme of tragedy, where there is injustice, when justice for all is forgotten… We honor it because it teaches us to have respect for others, others that may be very different… We remember it for what it teaches us about courage, that courage (as Atticus says) is not just a man with a gun…  Of course, we remember it for the theme that speaks to the time in which it was written—(that of) bigotry and prejudice, especially when bigotry and prejudice shows itself with regard to race…

Many other people have said these same things and yet we do not remember their books as lovingly…  It is so hard to call to mind a small town without falling into stereotypes, but Miss Lee did it…  In her hands… to use her own words from TKAM, it “ambles and shuffles” to life as a small Southern town in the depression and it does so without resorting to moonlight and magnolias, Southern Gothic melodrama, tobacco road trashiness… no without these things, she sets real people before us.  So many say, “I knew these people.”  That is part of her skill, that these characters are not cardboard characters…  She puts real words in their mouths.   Very few people have used Southern speech patterns with more clarity… or in a more masterly way than Ms. Lee.    From the pen of Miss Lee, (they all) become recognizable people.

One thing I really appreciate, is she trusts her readers… she does not over-explain.  She trusts her readers to work out what she means–even with historical figures now forgotten…

…and a truly overlooked part of her book: her wit.  This week, the local town historian, Mr. George Thomas Jones, recalls that Miss Lee said once that she simply wanted to be the Jane Austin of South Alabama.  In his column, he compares (Harper Lee) to her in various ways.  One thing (he overlooks) is what a witty writer Ms. Austin was, and so was Miss Lee.  I sometime laugh out loud, reading the familiar lines…she is witty not in a joking way… but in a truly subtle and remarkable way, her wit is woven into the story…

Mother and Son at Candlelight Vigil for Harper Lee
La Shannon Hollinger lights son Noah’s candle during the Harper Lee Candlelight vigil

It is also a book that we love to quote, and I’m sure that each one of you has his favorite quote of which I will mention only a very few of what occurred to me…

“Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall, they were like soft teacakes with frosting of sweat and sweet talc.”

“Remember, it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird.”

“Nothing is more deadly than a deserted, waking street.”

“Miss Jean Louise, stand up.  Your father’s passing.”    

… and last, but certainly not least,

“Hey, Boo.”

It was this vocalization of appreciation to Harper Lee for a life well-lived, and –more importantly—a book well written that was offered up to those who gathered a week ago tonight at the Book Shoppe, candles in hand, to pay their respects to Nelle Harper Lee, just after dark in Monroeville, AL.

The Candlelight Vigil:  Creating a Kindred

Once the memorial had ended, the guitar that so expertly rendered Amazing Grace was muted, and candles were extinguished, patrons filed from the Ol ‘Curiosities lawn, into the Book Shoppe to escape the noticeably cooled atmosphere outside and to converse like old friends about the woman who penned the book that had brought them—no, us—all together.  Even the elderly town historian, George Thomas Jones of the Monroe Journal, mentioned earlier by Williams, ambled in on his cane after the basketball game had finished on TV for the night, sorry to have missed the meat of the candlelight vigil.  He spoke in detail about the good works of Harper Lee, of knowing her so well since third grade, of her affinity for New York, and the industry her book had become.

The crowd would disperse eventually, going their separate ways: a local mother who brought her son, a traveling retiree who made Monroeville a part of her pilgrimage due to its literary history, and a few die-hard fans who’d traveled from their homes elsewhere in the country.  Each of them left knowing more about the author and about each other than when they gathered earlier, a connection forged that would certainly linger– all because of one book, written right here, about right here… in Monroeville, AL.

Update on Harper Lee Memorial



yay-5842472-digitalIt was announced last week that Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe would be holding a candlelight vigil in memory of Ms. Lee.

We now have a time and date for this event. It will be held on Saturday, February 27th, at 6pm on the lawn of Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe. All who are interested and able are encouraged to attend this memorial service.

And again, we sincerely thank  ALL of you for the kind words you have sent us through Facebook, emails and comments on our blog. We continue to be amazed at how much Ms. Lee was loved and appreciated.