Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James: An opinion

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James


Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James is inescapable, it’s in every newspaper, magazine, on every website and being read inside virtually every single commuter train carriage countrywide.


And what are the questions I get asked most at work? It’s ‘have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?’ then followed by ‘why is it so popular?’


Well, no I haven’t read it and I don’t plan to. Not for any literary reason but for the same reason I don’t watch sport on television. Because it’s the kind of thing, that if it’s interesting enough to read or watch, why aren’t you just doing it? Why not go get your football and hit the park or open up Microsoft Office to type up a contract and paint your basement ‘pain’ red (don’t forget your safety word!). Anyway, I digress…


Not reading Fifty Shades of Grey has not stopped me loving it though and I am truly confused as to why so many people in the book-loving community are turning their noses up at it. Ok, it’s not award-winning Julian Barnes or mind-bending Murakami but with the book industry the way it is right now, why complain?


In the bookshop I work in, we sold 101 copies of Fifty Shades of Grey in a single day. For a physical high street store, this is amazing. I have seen a few authors complain that it’s all the book community is talking about but with numbers like these, it’s hard not to!


The way I see it, this book is creating readers every single day. With over a million sales, even if 1% of those people get the bug for reading, that would make a massive difference to the industry overall and that can only mean positive things.


(I reserve the right to change my mind if my Mum asks me to get her a copy)


Check out my favourite books of all time for a story you won’t be able to put down.

Buy your copy of Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James 





  1. Anonymous
    July 6, 2012 / 10:44 am

    I work part time in a supermarket while I'm at uni and we have been selling hundreds of copies of this book. Sometimes we'll get a delivery in and be sold out before 6pm and we don't even specialise in books. Personally, like you, I'm not sure this book would be for me, but I'm happy to see so many people reading and enjoying it. From the publishers I've spoken too, it's been a great thing for the industry as a whole.

  2. DawnieP
    July 8, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    I couldn't agree more, I know it's very cool to turn up your nose and make fun of it, I see it constantly on Twitter. People talking about how rubbish it is when they haven't actually read it. I always have a problem with judgements based on trend and coolness factor. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but nor was Harry Potter, or Twilight but they both did wonderful things for reading.I dont object to anything that gets people reading. With literacy rates on the decline again, something which I find shocking, I think anything that encourages reading is a good thing. dp

    • Anonymous
      December 30, 2015 / 9:59 am

      Well said. I prefer well written books, ut I love to see people reading, as opposed to playing crazy fruit

  3. Anonymous
    July 8, 2012 / 6:54 pm

    I agree totally. If its getting people in to book shops, buying paper books what is not to love. I don't believe anyone has the right to criticise anyone else for their reading choices. I for example am an adult who reads predominately YA!

    • Tim Footman
      July 9, 2012 / 12:13 am

      "I don't believe anyone has the right to criticise anyone else for their reading choices."But do you believe people have the right to argue that something is a bad book; which is an *implicit* criticism of the people who choose to read and enjoy it?

  4. Anonymous
    July 12, 2012 / 3:24 pm

    I have read it and I think it is utterly crap. 1: It is nothing but a Harlequin novel, but with a BDSM theme. And not a very good one. Christian is the dangerous man that needs taming with love and devotion. No news here, battered women have been trying to live up to this ideal for ages.2: Anastasia is a virgin, but sucks like a godess at first try, and has no problem coming the very first time she has sex. Sorry, I don´t buy it. Especially since she have no clue about the internet and have not been doing any research until Christian tells her to. 3: She is signing a slave contract before even knowing what this means. 4: Of course she manages to negotiate the part about her eating properly. We all know that Ana (Yes, the irony) is never hungry and don´t like to eat. She is just thin, tender and delicious, and doesn´t need proper food. 5: She hates his guts but still can´t stop thinking about him. Yeah, that is a new take on it. Oh wait…Sorry ladies, this is nothing new, you get cheated just the same way you always do. You are just busy giggling about the whips to see it.

Leave a Reply