In the seventeen Brevard County, Florida Public Libraries, you can find Lolita and The Complete Kama Sutra, but not the number one book on USA Today’s top seller list, Fifty Shades of Grey. A spokesman for the Brevard County government, Don Walker said, “We view this as pornographic material,” but then admits he hasn’t read any of the three books in the Fifty Shades trilogy! The books are the work of British author, E.L. James, who was just in Florida in late April as part of her East Coast book tour.
The trilogy consists of Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. It earned its nickname of ‘Mommy Porn’ because of the many sex scenes between ‘dominant’ Christian Grey and supposedly ‘submissive’ college student, Anastasia Steele. Yes, the rumors are true, the books were originally Twilight fan fiction, but the story easily stands on its own. There is nothing in the story that resembles the Twilight books or movies other than, perhaps, the physical appearance of the lead characters. The real story is a very compelling tale of just how strong love can be, overcoming childhood abuse and a couple adapting to each other. And yes, the added benefit of some super hot sex scenes. It is, quite simply, mesmerizing.
Who in the Brevard County Library system made the decision to ban this book? No one person is named, however, one librarian made some interesting comments about the banning. When asked why books like Tropic of Cancer and Lady Chatterley’s Lover were available but not Fifty Shades, Cathy Schweinsberg, the library services director said, “…those other books were written years ago and became classics, because of the quality of the writing. This is not a classic.” Well! Who decides what is ‘quality writing’? Mr. Walker’s reasoning? The other books have “become part of the societal mainstream.”
One comment from a New York Times article on the banning calls out Mr. Walker. ‘Eric’ says, “The number one book the country, paper and electronic, would probably qualify as having “become part of the societal mainstream.”” Indeed! The books are clearly marked ‘For Mature Readers’. In 2012, why isn’t there a section of the library for adult readers? If Lolita, which is about a man who tries to seduce a 12-year-old girl, is available, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy should be as well!
Â© Margie Wilson-Mars 2012