You may not have read it, but chances are you have at least heard of the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, which is one of the most controversial books that have recently hit bookshelves across the nation.
In addition to all of the hype, many are questioning whether or not the trilogy should be banned from libraries. In fact, for a lot of readers, it’s the vary controversy that has prompted them to dust off their library card and see just what is it about the novel that is “questionable.”
Although the trilogy is available at the Kirbyville Public Library, workers say there is a waiting list to check the book out. Since its release at the local public library the book has not hit the shelf because of it being in such high demand, and anyone who wants to be “in the know” of Grey, will have to get in line.
Fifty Shades of Grey, which was released in May of 2011, is an erotic novel by British author E.L. James in which the plot traces the relationship between a recent college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a manipulative billionaire, Christian Grey. Steele is required by Grey to sign a contract allowing him complete control over her life, as well as a “nondisclosure agreement.”
The trilogy, which is known for its explicitly erotic scenes, has been dubbed “mommy porn” to many activists across the world, prompting many libraries to remove the book from its selves. Others are asking why shouldn’t libraries supply readers when there is such a demand . . .and not just a small demand.
Fifty Shades of Grey, and its second and third volumes Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, has topped bestseller lists in the United Kingdom, United States and around the world. The series has sold nearly 20 million copies worldwide with book rights having been sold in 37 countries. The trilogy has even set the record as the fastest selling paperback of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series.
According to the workers inside the Kirbyville Public Library, local readers have fallen in love with the characters of the book, rather than the erotic nature of the plot. However, workers say they will not check the book out to a minor without a parent’s consent because of its maturity level in which it has been written.
When asked whether or not the book should be banned from libraries and bookstores, the majority of local readers share the same sentiment – as long as the book is being sold or checked out to age appropriate readers, it’s fine.
“I don’t think it should be banned, but I think there should definitely be an age limit on who can check them out,” says one Kirbyville citizen.
“It’s a public library – it should have restrictions maybe regarding age as to what’s appropriate, but I don’t see how they could ban it. Then they would have to reevaluate everything on their shelves if that were the case,” explained another local reader.
As for the Kirbyville Public Library, the book will continue to be available to local readers, with respect to the waiting list, giving people throughout the community the opportunity to decide on their own whether or not the book is “appropriate.”
Additionally, during the month of July, any donations being made to the library will go towards the purchasing of large print books, which are becoming more and more expensive to purchase.
For a complete schedule of events and programs being held at the Kirbyville Public Library, call 423-4653.