Every spring, local residents have staged a play based on To Kill a Mockingbird in this courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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Harper Lee, seen here receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, actually wrote Go Set a Watchman first. But she set it aside when her editor suggested focusing on Scout's flashbacks instead — and she did, in what became To Kill a Mockingbird. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Author James Patterson, pictured in 2011 in New York City, says independent bookstores are "vital to our future as a country." Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Disney Publishing hide caption

itoggle caption Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images for Disney Publishing