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Interview With Health Food Store Owner Who Presold "Harry Potter" Book
Aired June 19, 2003 - 19:54 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Although the new Harry Potter book isn't supposed to go on sale until 12:01 Saturday morning, a Brooklyn health food store put it's four copies on sale earlier this week. "The New York Daily News" bought one, printed a couple of pages days before the official release. So now the book's publisher and it's author are suing the paper for, get this, $100 million.
Tonight they've got the guy who started this whole mess, Carlos Aguila, owner of the Karrot Health Food Store. He joins us now. Carlos, thanks for being with us. You're holding I guess the last remaining copy of the Harry Potter book. This is like those Willie Wonka golden ticket things. How is it possible you did not know you weren't supposed to sell this?
CARLOS AGUILA, OWNER, KARROT HEALTH FOOD STORE: You know, Anderson, I'm a health food store owner. I'm not in the business of selling books and I really had no idea. I wasn't paying attention to the whole hoopla surrounding the Harry Potter...
COOPER: Why'd you order the -- you ordered four books. Why did you order them in the first place?
AGUILA: Well you know I ordered them four months ago. I just thought it would be a nice positive flow item to just throw up on the shelves. You know I've got a small book section here. I just thought it would fit in well.
COOPER: So who was the first one to buy the book and what kind of reaction did you get from them? Were they just stunned that they could get it.
AGUILA: Well you know when we received the carton of books, we just threw them up on the window. We didn't do any promotion, we didn't do advertising, we didn't go around the neighborhood telling everyone we had the Harry Potter book. We had no idea it was a big deal.
And you know a couple of people walked by the window and they were getting very excited about it. And then a lady with her two kids came in and she was very surprised that we had the book. So we sold it to her, but again, it wasn't a big deal.
And then the following day, I believe it was her husband that came in to purchase a second copy of the book and he said that, you know, that we may be the only store in the city selling it which really surprised the heck out of him.
COOPER: Well, it was true. Let me just interrupt you because we don't have much time. "The Daily News" basically got in tons of trouble. They're being sued now for a hundred million dollars. Are you afraid you may get in trouble?
AGUILA: Absolutely. I'm a health food store owner. I've just sort of been hurled into this whole, you know, typhoon. I mean, I -- I quite frankly, I'm just an innocent in this whole situation. We just put the book out in the window. We really didn't think it was a big deal. But obviously it has. I really feel bad for the publisher.
COOPER: Have you read the book? I got to ask.
AGUILA: No, I haven't read it, but right after the release date I am going to run over to Barnes and Noble and read it cover to cover. Obviously, I've got a lot of interest in it. It's a great book. Without a doubt. It's going to do extremely well.
COOPER: And you've sold -- I guess you have your one copy left. Carlos Aguila, thank you very much for joining us.
AGUILA: Hey, thank you very much, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, take care.
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