The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon

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Fifty Shades of WTF?! VOL. "Have You Read...

Fifty Shades of … (Photo credit: Instant Vantage)

When did you first become aware of “Fifty Shades of Grey”? Perhaps if you are a man rather later than if you are a woman… about six weeks ago I noticed that this book – which I had heard of (possibly because I had seen someone reading it on the Tube) was being talked about in social networks and since then the volume of chatter has risen and risen and risen.

On Saturday the BBC reported that last week alone it sold over 200,000 copies in just the UK. But today they also reported that the book is not good news for book shops.

The book is certainly cheap to buy online – but I suspect embarrassment is also a big factor in wanting to buy an electronic copy. Hopefully that means this is just a blip and not a decisive moment in the decline of bookshop sales in Britain.