'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Book Now Banned By Libraries In 3 States
TAMARA LUSH 05/09/12 04:29 PM ET
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Public libraries in several states are pulling the racy romance trilogy "Fifty Shades of Grey" from shelves or deciding not to order the best-seller at all, saying it's too steamy or too poorly written.
"Fifty Shades of Grey," a novel about bondage, wild sex and yes, love, has been called "mommy porn" because of its popularity among middle-aged women. It has become so well-known that "Saturday Night Live" performed a skit about it, joking that a Kindle with "Fifty Shades" uploaded on it was the perfect Mother's Day gift.
This week, the steamy books hold the top three spots on the New York Times best-seller list.
Libraries in Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida have all either declined to order the book or pulled it from shelves. Other states may soon follow.
"It's semi-pornographic," said Don Walker, a spokesman for Brevard County, Fla., where the library put 19 copies of the book on the shelves then pulled the novel after reading reviews about it. Some 200 notices had to go out to people on a waiting list to read it.
Librarians in at least four Florida counties have declined to buy the book – even though hundreds of people have requested it. Reasons range from not having the money to poor reviews.
"It doesn't suit our community standards," said Cay Hohmeister, director of libraries for Leon County – where Florida's capital, Tallahassee, is located.
In Gwinnett County, Ga., a suburb northeast of Atlanta, all 15 library branches will not carry the book.
"We do not collect erotica at Gwinnett County Public Library. That's part of our materials management collection policy. So, E L James' three books in the trilogy fit that description," said Deborah George, the county library's director of materials management.
Grey shows Steele his "playroom," full of whips, ropes and sex toys, and asks her to sign a contract to be his "submissive" sex partner. Before Steele signs, the pair romp mostly around Seattle – where the novel is set – performing a stunning array of erotic activities. As the sex gets more daring and Steele's emotions more tangled, drama ensues.
Associated Press writer Ron Harris contributed to this report from Lawrenceville, Ga.