Your moms' dirty little secret is out: she's reading Fifty Shades of Grey, an S&M-tinged trilogy of erotic fiction. The graphic prose in the series has caused some Florida library systems to ban the books, even as they're topping the New York Times' best sellers list, but don't worry, Miami-Dade's system has them. You probably won't be able to check them out anytime soon, though. They appear to be some of the most popular books in the entire catalog right now.
E. L. James's erotic trilogy literally started off as online Twilight fan fiction. The response to the amateur tales of Bella and Edward in bondage was so intense that the author decided to drop the vampire aspects and repackage them as original tales. The three books in the trilogy currently fill the top spots on most fiction best sellers lists.
Florida's Brevard County Public Libraries system, however, has decided to ban the books because of their sexual nature.
"Nobody asked us to take it off the shelves. But we bought some copies before we realized what it was," Cathy Schweinsberg, Brevard's library services director, tells the Palm Beach Post. "We looked at it, because it's been called 'mommy porn' and 'soft porn.' We don't collect porn."
A search of Miami-Dade's online library catalog however reveals that our local system does "collect porn," and good lordy is it in hot demand.
There are 31 copies in the system, with most branches carrying a single copy. Every single one of them is checked out. What's amazing is that there are currently 450 holds on the book, meaning there's a long line of moms waiting to get their hands on that sweet, sweet literary smut.
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Every copy of the sequels, Fifty Shades Freed and Fifty Shades Darker, are also all accounted for, and more than 100 holds have been placed on each book.
Lets put that in comparison. Stephen King's The Wind Through the Keyhole, is currently fourth on the New York Times' best sellers list. All 12 copies in Miami-Dade are checked out, but there are only 26 holds. Nineteen of the system's 25 copies of Twilight are still sitting on shelves waiting for the attention of teen girls. Multiple copies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are ready for check out. There are only seven holds placed on the first book in the Harry Potter series. For a more high-brow comparison, 45 of the system's 63 copies of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom are on shelves.
The only book that rivals Fifty Shades in Miami-Dade Library's most popular list at the moment seems to be The Hunger Games. All 55 copies are checked out, and there are 497 people waiting for the book on hold.