50 Shades of Grey, author E. L. James’ erotic novel which began its life on a Twilight fanfiction website, was unceremoniously yanked from Florida’s Brevard County libraries after it was labeled by some as erotica. Don Walker, a spokesman for the country government, said that the book did not fit the criteria for the sort of fiction they wanted to place on their shelves. However, it’s impossibly unwise to underestimate the reading power of amorous suburban housewives who are looking to add a bit of spark to their daytime reading.
In a surprising reversal, libraries in the county have returned “50 Shades of Grey” to the shelves, giving those who are looking for a little literary BDSM an opportunity to see what all of the fuss is about. Cathy Schweinsberg, director of Library Services, stated she was against censorship, and, as a result of how James’ novel was handled, is currently revamping the library’s screening process. I wonder if this will include books that are proclaimed to be poorly written.
Although the novel has been called “semi-pornographic” by conservative types, this hasn’t lessened the public’s fascination with the story in the least. In addition to selling ten million copies and spawning two racy sequels, the book is being borrowed from libraries all across the country at a bizarre rate. In Denver, Colorado, every copy of the novel — including 185 print copies and 50 e-books — have been checked out. Presently, “50 Shades of Grey” holds the top spot over at Amazon. Note to budding authors: If you want your books to sell, toss in lots of sex and sadism aimed at bored, lonely, middle-aged women who like to drown their sorrows in the pages of trashy romance novels. Chances are you’ll go far.
If you haven’t heard of “50 Shades of Grey”, here’s the setup: Set in Seattle, the story follows young virgin Anastasia Steele as she embarks on a dangerous sexual relationship with a businessman named Christian Grey. Her partner is a troubled soul with a history of childhood abuse, which may help to explain why he’s into all sorts of depraved sexual activities. If the words “Red Room of Pain” don’t get your blood pumping, then this probably isn’t the book for you.