Libraries order extras of ‘Mummy porn’ bestseller

The Capital's libraries are struggling to meet demand for the steamy novel
The Capital's libraries are struggling to meet demand for the steamy novel
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YOU’D expect most women would turn a shade of scarlet when asking to borrow this summer’s hit book.

But instead libraries in the Capital have been forced to order more copies of the steamy novel Fifty Shades of Grey after scores of readers put their name down for one.

More than 150 people are vying to get their hands on the UK’s fastest selling adult paperback.

Since the council’s library service has just 28 copies of the book, there have been more than a few frustrated readers, with more than five people fighting over every copy.

So great is the demand that officials have had to place orders for more copies of the book, which has become notorious. Piershill library reported that, in its branch alone, 42 people had requested the 
EL James title.

A source within the council’s library department said: “You’re probably better off buying it.”

In West Lothian, librarians have been deluged with 59 requests for the region’s 11 copies, and the council has ordered more. East Lothian Council has reported similar problems, with 31 people in the queue for its two copies. The authority has ordered another six.

A source in the library service said there was no set type of reader, despite the novel being dubbed “Mummy porn”. She said: “It’s just anybody from all walks of life, I don’t think there’s any one kind of reader.”

Another source said people had not been embarrassed to be checking an erotic book out of the public library.

He said: “We had a woman come in and she was talking about what she thought about it, and she said it’s not as bad as people think it is.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, culture convener, said: “As with all bestsellers, we’re seeing a substantial demand for Fifty Shades of Grey and our libraries service will be ordering more copies to cater to this.”

Fifty Shades of Grey has shot to the top of the bestseller lists since it was first published in March. Written as fan-fiction, following the successful Twilight series by American author Stephanie Meyers, the novel was originally self-published. It forms part of a trilogy and is followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

It took just 11 weeks to sell more than a million paperback copies. The record was previously held by The Da Vinci Code, which took 36 weeks to reach the milestone.

Ron Howell of bookstore Waterstones put its popularity down to the fact that the demure cover made people less likely to be ashamed of being seen with it. “It’s quite sexually explicit on the inside,” he said. “But the covers are quite demure. It’s not like Black Lace or Nexus, where the covers are more explicit.”

But the book has been controversial, with feminists branding it “demeaning to women” and Christians calling it sinful. It has also sparked parodies, including a popular Twitter page, entitled 50 Sheds of Grey.