11 Ways to Celebrate the Release of Go Set a Watchman

Ever since the announcement that a new book by Harper Lee would hit shelves in July, readers everywhere have been holding their collective breath, white-knuckling their beloved copies of To Kill a Mockingbird, and nearly passing out from the sheer anticipation.

Now the long-awaited day is here! With Go Set a Watchman finally on sale, we’re bubbling over with excitement and marking this momentous literary occasion in style. Here are 11 ideas for how to celebrate Go Set a Watchman release day.

1. Head to Barnes & Noble.
On July 14, all Barnes & Noble stores will open early! Visit our Cafe stores from 7am to 10am and get a free tall coffee with your purchase of Go Set a WatchmanPlus, the first 20 customers to buy the book will receive a free exclusive To Kill a Mockingbird reusable tote.

2. Clear your schedule.
Call in sick. Very sick. The kind of sick where you can’t possibly be expected to work from home, reply to emails, or take calls. Too conscientious to fake being sick? Fine, take a vacation day.

3. Call in reinforcements.
Bring in the dog sitter, cat sitter, babysitter, or the neighbor who waters your plants. You’re going to need them all on this day of celebration, because you will not be doing anything but reading.

4. Throw a reading party!
If your friends, family, and book club members are all excited about Go Set Watchman’s release, why not throw a reading party? Fluff up some pillows, round up some comfy chairs, and serve refreshments to your guests. When everyone’s finally done reading the novel from cover to cover, let the discussion begin.

4. Pack a picnic.
Feel like enjoying your book outdoors? Location is key. Be sure to pick somewhere with some shade, away from errant Frisbees and distracting noises. Pack yourself a picnic, spread out on a blanket, and slather on the sunscreen. You’ll enjoy your book and the summer weather at the same time.

5. Build a reading nook for the Big Day.
You want to be comfortable and cozy for all the reading you’re going to do. String up a hammock, rig a cozy blanket fort, or rearrange your furniture so that your favorite armchair is in just the right place. Heck, you can even build yourself a reading treehouse just for the big event.

6. Make yourself your favorite meal to eat while reading.
Fingers foods are a great option while reading, because you never have to put down the book. For the more dexterous multi-tasker, almost anything can be consumed while buried nose-deep in a book if you make it bite-sized—tea sandwiches, chopped salads, spoonfuls of soups, one piece of pasta at a time… Make your favorite snack ahead of time and keep it on hand in your reading nook. You’re going to be there for several hours, so you’ll need the sustenance.

8. Unplug everything
You think you couldn’t possibly unplug, but it’s gonna be OK. It’s just one day. You deserve it. No calls, no tweets, no texts, no pings, no rings, no buzzes. Just think of the sweet sound of silence, interrupted only by the soft rustling of paper as you turn a page. Beautiful, isn’t it?

9. Take yourself and your copy of the book on a date.
Feel like celebrating but don’t feel like staying at home? Take yourself and your new copy of Go Set a Watchman out around town. Get a mani/pedi while reading your book, take yourself out to a fancy three-course meal with your book, or cuddle on the boardwalk with your book and watch the sunset. You’ll be the envy of every reader who sees you.

10. Set a reading record for Go Set a Watchman.
Be the first person to read it at the top of a mountain you hiked up. Or the first person to read it in a kayak, the first person to read it while planking, or the first person to read it while hula-hooping. Make your moment with the new novel fun, unique, and memorable. Then tell everyone you were the first person to read Go Set a Watchman on a trampoline.

11. Share the literary love.
Volunteer at a community center or a senior center and read Go Set a Watchman aloud to the elderly or to those in need. You’ll be sharing your excitement for this new novel and making it possible for someone else to enjoy the experience as well.

How will you be spending Go Set a Watchman Day?

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