Thursday 18 January 2018

Shh... library waiting lists stack up for erotic novel

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

SAUCY publishing sensation 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is in such demand at libraries that there are waiting lists of between three and four weeks to get the book.

Up to six people a day are hitting the 'reserve' button in their local libraries to turn the pages on the book dubbed 'mommy porn'.

In Dublin City Public Libraries, there are 140 reserve requests on the 44 copies of the first title in the raunchy 'Fifty Shades' trilogy, by British author EL James.

A Dublin city librarian confirmed it was the "most requested" book of the moment. "Interestingly, this does not follow through to the next two titles, where there are only 22 reserves on each," she said.

It is rivalling the demand recently witnessed for the highly publicised 'Hunger Games' trilogy, which was given the Hollywood treatment.


Annette Kelly, acting director at the Library Council, said half of the country's libraries have the book in stock. Requests logged for the book through the library exchange service reveal the interest is nationwide.

The library network in Kerry has just got three more copies while, in Limerick, five copies have been checked out and two new ones will soon be on the shelves.

The novel, featuring fictional entrepreneur Christian Grey, has overtaken 'The Da Vinci Code' as the fastest-selling book of all time, with more than 20 million copies sold so far, of which 180,000 were sold here.

Eason has confirmed it has sold tens of thousands of copies. Head of marketing David Field said: "It rarely happens that a book comes along and just captures the imagination of the readers. The biggest challenge we have is just making sure we have it."

Cathy Kelly, whose 13th novel 'The House on Willow Street', was recently released, said she may just be one of the "few people left in the northern hemisphere who hasn't read it". She said many top authors would sell 80,000 to 90,000 copies of a book in the same period.

"Maybe it is a positive that women are saying we are being open about what we like. This is a book appealing to us and maybe they might then broaden their reading. I'd say people who haven't read for 20 years are now reading, so maybe it will make them read other stuff," she said.

About 15 million books were borrowed from the 348 public libraries and 30 mobile libraries last year. About 800,000 people signed up to use the libraries in 2010 -- up 6pc on 2008, according to Library Council figures.

Irish Independent

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