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Pottermania grips Kathmandu

Kathmandu, August 3, 2016: With the release of the latest edition of the Harry Potter series—Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—Pottermania has gripped Kathmandu as well. With the book slowly filtering into the Capital from India, booksellers have confirmed that the pre-orders for the book have gone through the roof, far exceeding any of their expectations.

Sasto Book, an online bookstore, have been swamped with pre-order requests by fans of the series. Speaking to the Post, Subal Chitrakar, CEO of the company, said, “Originally we had aimed to take just 50 pre-orders for the book. But currently we have over 300 requests already.” According to him, the first lot of the books has already been sold-out and the company is looking to bring in more books for distribution in the coming days.

Similarly, according to Siddhartha Maharjan, Mandala Book Point too has been overwhelmed with requests for the book. “The book remains very popular with fans and though we did not think that the new edition would sell well in the country, we have been pleasantly surprised with the requests coming in.” Maharjan added that the seventh edition of the book—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—had been immensely popular with Nepali readers and that the palpable excitement for the new book has been great to see. He confirmed that delivery of the books from India has been delayed but that they will be flying off the shelves when they arrive.

Avantika Jhunjhunwala, an 18-year-old self-professed Harry Potter fan, cannot contain her excitement for the new edition. According to her, after failing to find a copy of the book in stores in Kathmandu, she has asked her brother, who works in New Delhi, India, to mail the book to her.  She said that several of her friends have resorted to reading pirated PDF versions online, after failing to find a physical copy in Kathmandu.

Julian Rongong, floor in-charge at Ekta Books and Distributors, told the Post that despite the last book being published in 2007, the Potter series have remained popular with its fan-base. According to him, box-set collection of the seven-part series have remained extremely popular in Kathmandu over the last decade. “We have always run out of Harry Potter books. The series has remained ‘ever-green’ among the readers. We are confident that the new book will continue this trend,” he said.

The first edition of the Harry Potter series was released in 1997 and since then author JK Rowling’s creation has become a global sensation. The movie spin-off of the series is one of the highest grossing in cinematic history. The books have shot Rowling to global fame and her riches have turned as well. She currently has a net worth valued at USD 1 billion, with the Potter franchise estimated to be worth USD 15 billion. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set in a world 19 years after the events of the Deathly Hallows book.

By Alisha Sijapati