Interview – “Never Read Any Harry Potter”

Bookworm manager makes a sensational confession.

[Interview and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Ms. Shalini Rose is managing The Bookworm, Connaught Place’s venerable bookshop, since last twenty years. This interview was taken on July 21, the day of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Ms. Rose, welcome to The Delhi Walla. How did your day start?
Our opening time is around 11 am. But today Mr. Arora, our boss, sent his Mitsubishi Lancer to my home at Jangpura at half past five. We reached the distributor’s office in Gole Market at 6, just in time for the release. We were here twenty minutes later.

When did your first Potter buyer check in?
We found him standing outside just as we reached. You want to know which car he came in?

Yes, please.

Impressive. How has been the sale?
We have sold 115 copies so far. This is an unprecedented number; more than the the Booker prize winners.

Are you offering discounts?
We do not want to but since everyone is doing it, we are forced to give 15%. Discounts are usually given to books which are not expected to do well. In case of Harry Potter, people would buy it no matter how expensive it is. I just do not understand this loss-making logic.

How many kids came to buy the Potter?
Only one so far. She must be a fifth standard girl. The rest were adults.

Have you ever read a Harry Potter?
Tried reading the first series but could not go beyond page 14.

It is 8 pm. Tired?
No, exhausted. Tomorrow is Sunday, chutti ka din, but we have to come because of the Deathly Hallows.

Thanks for talking, Ms. Rose.
You’re welcome, Mayank.