My friend recently told me that she was reading a book called 50 Shades of Grey.
I had seen it in the shops before, but thinking it was a Twilight style book I didn’t bother with it. However, my friend assured me it was a good read, so I downloaded it and began to read.
Let’s just say here and now that this book is not great literature. It is not H G Wells or F Scott Fitzgerald. The main character is what can only be described as confusing and the love interest is – in my opinion – creepy. But maybe that’s just me.
Since reading the book, it seems to be everywhere. The trilogy is number one, two and three in the UK and the USA.
It is all over the newspapers and they’ve even been discussing it on the radio.
I did a book signing in Waterstones recently and during the two hours I was there, I counted 30 women buying this book and the shop assistant said they’d sold 120 copies last week and had 80 on order.
So if it’s not great literature, why is it such a success?
Well I think the simple answer to that would be the scenes between the main character and her boyfriend.
This is a family paper so I can’t go into detail, but let’s just say that I’m pretty sure even Jackie Collins would blush reading the scenes in this book.
Apparently it was first self-published on theinternet by author E L James and then released by a small publisher.
However, blogs and word of mouth soon propelled the book into a higher orbit and Vintage Books republished the entire trilogy.
My friend finished the first book, and expressed an interest in getting the second.
Being the kind friend I am, I thought I’d surprise her by buying it as a gift. Unfortunately, the second volume is so popular that everywhere is sold out. I gawped at the large, empty space in Asda and asked the lady who was stocking the shelves, if she had any more copies.
“Oh no,” she replied. “That book comes in a delivery every single night, and by morning it has completely sold out.”
It was 9.10 am. I guess if I’m going to get a copy, I’ll need to be up with the birds to catch it.