HOUSTON—The best-seller “50 Shades of Grey” is technically considered erotic literature, but some have simply nicknamed it “mommy porn.”
Either way, it is flying off store shelves.
The trilogy holds the number one, two and three spots on the New York Times Best Seller List for adult indie fiction. Fans are doing more than just reading the books, they’re also acting on them. There’s evidence that it’s spicing up marriages across the country.
In the series, a young heroine meets a darkly handsome billionaire with S & M and Bondage issues. It started as an e-book so women could read it discretely. It became wildly popular and went to print. It’s banned in some Brevard County, Florida public libraries because it’s considered pornographic.
In the Houston Public Library system, 291 readers are on the waiting list to borrow the book. The Harris County system has two dozen libraries which have ordered the series. At the Blue Willow Bookshop on Memorial at Dairy Ashford, moms are buying it.
“They’re talking about it at dinner parties, or in the line to pick up their kids from school,” said store clerk Jordan McPhail.
For one school teacher, it’s still an undercover topic in public. She didn’t want to be identified, but said the book is all the rage with fellow teachers at her campus. She says one of her friends, “when her kids are in the back seat when she’s driving at the red light, she’ll get the book out.”
The trilogy isn’t just being sold book stores. They’re sold out at Cindie’s Lingerie Shop on Westheimer. Clerk Britney Brinlee said she figures the book has contributed, “a good 20, 30, if not more percent customers coming in asking for the products.”
She said the hot items are “crops, whips, a lot of bondage stuff.” She qualifies that to say, “it is beginner bondage, not hardcore bondage.”
Buyers are also not Cindie’s typical customer: single, young, no kids.
Britney, who is 21, struggles to be politically correct.
“It’s definitely a book for an....older generation,” she said, adding “I think it spices up a different generation.”