Speaking to Express.co.uk, locals described chance encounters with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – though said these were few and far between as the private couple “may as well live in Iowa”.
Spare hit shelves on January 10, selling 1.43 million in the US, UK and Canada on the first day – though it appears to have made less of an impact where they live in California.
Mike Moore, 83, is the owner of Book Den bookshop in sandy Santa Barbara, located six miles from the Sussex residence in exclusive Montecito.
He says Spare is on sale in his store for $36 (£29) – which is “sort of high” for a biography generally retailing at $28-$32.
He said: “We have it, we’ve had it since opening day. Our sales are decent with it but they’re not exceptional.”
The long-time Santa Barbara resident noted that the local bookstores haven’t discounted the book – like Amazon or larger chain bookstores – which may have made a difference in sales.
“We did decent sales the first week or so but now it has slowed down quite a bit,” Mr Moore added.
When asked about Meghan and Harry living just down the road he said that locals “didn’t notice it much”.
“They’re in an exclusive part of town, they’ve never – to my knowledge – been seen in town. They might as well live in Iowa,” he quipped.
Another local, named Jerry, believes he and his partner have encountered Harry and Meghan on separate occasions – once when the Duchess was pregnant with her daughter, Lilibet.
He also offered an indifferent tone when asked about headlines that come with the couple, saying he wished it would “die down”, though did speak fondly of Princess Diana’s “good work”.
“[My partner] saw them across the street on their bicycles resting for a minute but that’s when [Meghan] was pregnant,” long-term resident Jerry recalled.
He added that he ran into a man with a British accent with a woman who had “dark hair and dark eyes” but he couldn’t be sure it was the Duke and Duchess as they had face masks on.
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Owner of bookshop Tecolote Mary Sheldon, who lives less than half a mile from the Sussexes, said the 34 copies of Spare she has sold so far show the book is doing “quite well”.
The Montecito resident of 70 years echoed Mr Moore’s comments about the Sussexes being very private, describing them as “not accessible”.
She told Express.co.uk people are coming in to buy the book in part because “people are interested in just how people in the United Kingdom live”.
Ms Sheldon has never seen the couple, though lives “less than half a mile” from their gated $14.7 million mansion.
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