It was just a matter of time I guess. As the mommy porn book Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels gained notoriety through word of mouth from its satisfied customers and then whipped past the competition to the top of the best seller list, it was bound to come to the attention of some of the more prudish among us and their reaction was thoroughly predictable. "Ban that book!"
It was reported this week that libraries in at least three states have either refused to purchase the book or have removed it from circulation. Their excuse is that it is semi-pornographic and too poorly written. I guess they don't have any other books that are crappily written with steamy masturbation-inducing scenes in them on their shelves.
Anyway, several libraries in Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida have either declined to order the book or pulled it from their shelves. No doubt libraries in other states will follow. Who knows? It might even finally displace And Tango Makes Three as the most challenged book of the year. Although in this case, the book seems not to have been challenged by patrons of the libraries who are, in fact, clamoring for it. The decisions to pull it appear to have been made independently by the library officials without pressure from the public.
Meanwhile, Fifty Shades rolls on, gaining more and more readers. It even made at least one list of books that would make good gifts for mom on Mothers' Day! The compiler of the list wrote: "Is your Inner Goddess telling you to get this book for mom as a joke? It might be poorly written, but it’s so entertainingly poorly written that she’d burst out laughing, ' Holy Cow!'”
Reading it for laughs might, in fact, be the best reason of all for reading it, based on the excerpts I have seen. Still, although it might not be my cup of tea, I wouldn't try to deny the pleasures that a taste of it might give to other hot and thirsty women.
Saturday Night Live probably summed it up best in their sketch last week. And when a bit of "culture" has been portrayed in an SNL sketch, you know it has truly made it to the mainstream.