Refund a Watchman

Refund a Watchman

No question…the publication of

Go Set a Watchman (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

has been complicated for fans (and they are legion) of

To Kill a Mockingbird (at AmazonSmile)

I’ve started re-reading TKaM, and I’ll follow that with Watchman.

I did have to think about that order a bit.

Watchman was written first…but takes place afterwards, as I understand it.

I’d rather have the (refreshed) experience of TKaM first.

I expect to think Watchman is not as good of a book, although I’m open to it being one.

I won’t be disappointed if I think that it was the right decision to rewrite it…which turned it into TKaM.

One bookstore recently offered customers refunds, saying that it wasn’t what their customers thought it was.

Well, Amazon always offers a return within seven days of purchase for Kindle books, so that’s not a big deal. 😉 I see a lot of people chastising people for returning a Kindle store book simply because they didn’t like it…but Amazon doesn’t say that’s not an okay reason. If you return too many things, they do make it a bit more difficult…you can’t return books yourself any more through

you have to contact Kindle Support.

If you abuse return policies generally at Amazon,  they do have the right to terminate your account…that’s going to be a very rare thing, though.

Entertainment Weekly (which I’ve read every week for many years) checked with independent bookstores, according to this

article by Christian Holub

Their take is that readers are generally not asking for refunds.

I considered polling you, my readers, to see how you felt about the book…but I’m guessing that not many people have finished it yet.

So,  I’ll just ask:  if you have read Go Set a  Watchman, was it worth the price? If you haven’t read it, is your expectation that GSaW is as good as TKaM? A good novel generally? Is the insight that it gives into TKaM a justifiable reason to buy it and read it? Are you going to skip it because you are worried about it tainting your memories of TKaM? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


11 Responses to “Refund a Watchman”

  1. Ann Von Hagel Says:

    I borrowed it, on Kindle, from my local library. I enjoyed it very much. TKaM is told from the point of view of a 6 year old. Of course her father is her hero! Of course she sees him as perfect! In GSaW, she’s 26 and realizing for the first time that he’s human after all. Plus . . . she’s not grown up in the town so is fairly oblivious to the overall situation as to racial tension, etc.

    I thought it was quite a good book, though I do think if it had been published when written, it wouldn’t have gotten the accolades TKaM did. Still, maybe that would have been good . . . maybe then she would have written more!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Ann!

      That’s a good observation. I’m looking forward to having read both of them, so I can see the evolution for myself.

      My guess is that, if the GSaW has been published first, that would have been the end of it. TKaM was a lightning strike, as perhaps most non-genre profitable books are: they are relatively rare and hard to predict. 😉

  2. danny63 Says:

    Just finished reading Go Set a Watchman yesterday–actually read it in two days, which is unusual for me. I don’t normally read fiction, but I was curious. It was money well spent. I don’t know for sure if I read the original book, although I remember having the paperback probably 50 years ago. I mostly liked the new book. Will probably re-read it one day.

    Would love to read your review if you publish one.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, danny63!

      I won’t get it done that quickly, I’m sure, but probably by the end of August. I might write a review, but things have been super busy. You might have noticed some shorter posts recently (although I’m still keeping up my average, I think). It’s been very busy at work, and we are having work done on the house (after a re-fi) which is taking more time out of my day. The dogs are typically going to “daycare” when we are both at work and there is construction/destruction work happening here. Driving them there and picking them up takes maybe another hour out of the day.

      Reviews are not high on my priority list…never gotten really great feedback on them, although I’ve gotten some. I know they can be helpful, but they are lower on my priority list than this blog, and I am trying to get some things done on The Measured Circle about the Echo…and then there are those books I’ve been wanting to write. 🙂

      I’m home today: my Significant Other is at jury duty (not selected yet) and one of us had to be here for a couple of contractor things. Our air conditioning completely failed (and it’s been in the high 30s/90s-100s) here. I think what happened is that they had a big hole in the wall, and the AC might have just given up the ghost trying to deal with that. Well, the unit was from the 1960s, and wouldn’t have been legal to install new…so getting everything up to code with a replacement includes new vents and that sort of thing…so, an inspector is coming today.

      • danny63 Says:

        Thanks for your entertaining reply–always like to read about a writer’s day. Nice you included your dogs. I may read the original book, or re-read it, as the case may be. 🙂

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, danny63!

        Your last comment calls out to me that a lot of people seem to be unsure if they have read TKaM before: I suspect that might have to with it having been required reading in schools…which may have made it a long time ago. Hm…I wonder if people retain required reading less well than reading they select…

  3. Karin Says:

    Personally, I really liked the book. Not as much as TKaM, but I thought it was worth reading. I would have liked to see the process the editor went through to go from GSaW to TKaM, because they are very different books. All I can say, if the had published GSaW first, we might not have had TKaM.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karin!

      I think your last statement is likely.

      My feeling (with no logic about it) is that there isn’t much documentation on it. I imagine that the editor made some suggestions about GSaW, and then Harper Lee went off and massively rewrote. Then, that draft went through the normal editorial process.

  4. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I think “Go Set a Watchman” is a perfect example of how a good editor can help transform an ordinary book into an extraordinary book. I also think it’s a case of what goes into the drawer should stay in the drawer.

  5. danny63 Says:

    Just finished reading (for the first time, I discovered) To Kill a Mockingbird. Found it to be a very emotional, rewarding experience. I then read your fine, insightful review of Go Set a Watchman. Very helpful–will want to read the book again in light of your observations. “The greatest example of editorial wisdom I have ever seen”–it does seem like a miracle that we have the original book.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, danny63!

      I’m glad you had a good experience with TKaM…and I really appreciate the kind words about the review! I moved reviews out of ILMK, based on reader input…I still think that was a good choice, and the feedback I get at Goodreads tends to confirm that.

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