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Burrell book fails to draw crowds

By CNN's Dylan Reynolds

Kelly and Mavis O'Leary
Kelly and Mavis O'Leary: We're going to take turns to read each chapter.

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Would you buy former butler Paul Burrell's book on Princess Diana?

LONDON, England (CNN) -- With just four copies of Paul Burrell's book sold in one central London bookstore in half an hour, they were not exactly going like hot cakes.

Publisher Penguin delivered up to 135,000 copies of the former royal butler's "A Royal Duty" to stores across the UK on Monday.

But a spot check by CNN revealed slow sales.

Jo Marino, spokesman for Waterstone's bookstores, however, said sales on the first day had been "encouraging."

"It's not exactly Harry Potter, we weren't expecting people to queue outside, but it's a solid start, especially for a Monday," she said.

A spokeswoman for Tesco, another store stocking the book on its shelves, said sales were expected to pick up nearer Christmas.

The book has been serialized in the Daily Mirror during the past week, revealing royal secrets and letters held by Burrell after the death of his employer the Princess of Wales in 1997.

The extracts revealed the princess having been worried about a plot to kill her in a car crash 10 months before the fatal accident in Paris, and words of support from the Duke of Edinburgh.

Princes William and Harry have branded the book a "betrayal," but those who bought a copy in Waterstone's in Oxford Street, London, Monday told CNN they were keen to make up their own minds.

Kelly O'Leary, 18, and her mother Mavis, 56, from London, agreed that Burrell's decision to publish the contents of the letters was "not nice."

But despite their disapproval, both were eager to digest the contents of the book. "We're going to take it in turns to read each chapter, and then discuss it," Kelly said.

Matthias Buss: I can't be bothered to read it all

John Simmons, a 54-year-old cameraman from London, was buying a copy for his mother. "She likes anything to do with the royals," he said.

"She's not upset by what Burrell has done -- she's not stupid and she wants to make up her own mind by reading the book," he added.

Karen Curtis, 32, in London on business from Plymouth, said she was also buying a copy for her mother. "She is fascinated by Diana, but I am totally against what Burrell has done," she said.

"I really think they should ban all employees and ex-employees from writing anything about the royal family. It should be classed as treason, and punished accordingly."

Yvonne Phillips, 48, of London, said: "I want to read it because of the large amount of publicity around it. I'm interested to make up my own mind about it."

Matthias Buss, 31, a teacher from Mainz in Germany, browsed through a copy in the shop before putting it firmly back on the shelf.

"I'm interested to know what the fuss is about, but I can't be bothered to read it all," he said.

"I realize that the monarchy and Princess Diana are very important for Britain, but it is still a little strange for me -- we have no monarchy in Germany."

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