May
08

Fifty Shades Trilogy: Erotic Romance Books Banned from Some Libraries

Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. JamesI know, I know. You’re probably saying to yourself, gosh, not another article about erotic romance trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey? But really how could I not write something about how the books have been banned from some libraries?

I read in an article today that a number of Florida public libraries have either banned or declined to carry the popular erotic romance books. Some libraries say that they can’t bring in the books because of a limited budget. Another library has been more blunt, saying that it won’t buy erotic or pornographic books for the library. The Collier County library has declined to stock the book because of its “lack of literary merits including writing quality and lack of compelling plot.”

Now, we must remember that the Fifty Shades of Grey books are currently some of the most talked about novels in America. Everyday there’s an article or two about the books or the author E.L. James (who is currently on her U.S. book tour). They’re also selling like hotcakes.

Libraries are a public service, and the book there are intended for the use by those who cannot afford to – or choose not to – purchase books for themselves. The service is funded by taxpayers, by and large, and is for the public good. With this in mind, shouldn’t they be stocking books that are a big part of the current zeitgeist? Shouldn’t library members be able to choose not to buy the books that have been on the best-seller lists for months, but instead check out these books?

Let’s look also at the excuse that libraries won’t stock erotic romance books or pornography. Having read all three Fifty Shades of Grey books, I would certainly say that they are no more “smutty” than some of the steamy romances from “mainstream” romance book authors. All those bodice rippers that you see in your local library are just as much erotic romance as James’ books. The difference now is that the books have been portrayed in the media as “porn”. They’re not – if the powers-that-be would just read the books, they’d probably see that too.

Which brings me also to the excuse that the libraries can’t stock the books because of a “lack of literary merits”. If that was the reason, then libraries would only stock the literary greats – you know, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Hemingway, Hardy and so on. Oh no, wait, Hardy’s work was panned by the Victorian public as “obscene” (Jude The Obscure having been called Jude The Obscene). So we can’t be having any of those obscene Thomas Hardy books around at libraries as well. And oh, wasn’t Chaucer actually incredibly ribald? Let’s throw his works out too!

I know most library goers whose libraries don’t stock the erotic romance trilogy can go out and buy a copy for themselves. But it’s the principle of the thing you see. My point is, if you can stock Hardy and Chaucer, and if you can stock other romance books (some of which have sex scenes, gasp) then you can definitely stock the Fifty Shades of Grey books.

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