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‘Watchman’ requests piling up at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library

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If you were hoping to get a copy of “Go Set a Watchman” at the library – get in line.

Harper Lee’s new book went on sale Tuesday as one of the most anticipated novels of the decade. Clearly, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library patrons were anticipating it, too.

A total of 462 “hold” requests have been placed for the novel as of Tuesday morning. Another 333 people have requested an e-book version from the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and 208 people have requested the large print edition.

Even though “Watchman” is just being released now, it is being described as an early version of the 1960 “Mockingbird.” Atticus Finch, the wise and honorable character in “Mockingbird,” is portrayed as a racist in “Watchman,” according to a New York Times review.

The library system has already ordered 100 copies of the book for circulation, according to the collections management team. They’ll order another 25 copies this week.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will also have the book available in an electronic audio version, on CD and in Spanish. Only about 100 “hold” requests have been placed for those versions so far.

Believe it or not, “Go Set a Watchman” is not the most pre-requested book of the year. In March, Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train” had more than 700 hold requests on the print version and 235 holds on the e-book.

Library spokeswoman Cordelia Anderson speculated that the difference could be that more people have chosen to purchase copies of “Watchman” to own the book in print for their collections.

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