IT’S the publishing sensation that has been called everything from “mummy porn” to a “bonkbuster” but Ballarat’s readers are embracing
British author EL James’ breakthrough novel has already sold more than 50 million copies worldwide and with book stores around Ballarat struggling to keep up, that number is set to rise.
Released last year, the erotic novel is the first instalment in a trilogy which follows the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
Included in its pages are sexual taboos and controversial topics which have readers of both genders going back for more — while many question its messages about male domination and rape fantasy while others claim its pages are filled with outright pornography.
Ballarat Books manager Dianne Woodhouse said as many men as women had purchased the book, with the Armstrong Street store selling out yesterday.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I read it so it was enlightening,” she said.
“I had never read any erotic fiction before and this isn’t a literary work by any means. It is a chick flick, a light read, a holiday book — but it has certainly got people reading who might not have picked up a book in a long time.”
Ms Woodhouse said more books were already on order.
Ballarat television identity Gorgi Coghlan said she believed women and men were talking about
“It is certainly intimate and shocking at times, but it is refreshing for women to have something naughty to enjoy for themselves,” she said.
“It has added benefits happening in relationships around the world with a lot of couples can get something out of it and having a bit of fun and that can’t be a bad thing.”
Ms Coghlan said she noticed women of all ages reading the book on a recent holiday in Noosa, and encouraged men to pick up a copy.
Australian Christian Lobby chief of staff Lyle Shelton said while he had not read the book, it risked increasing sexualisation in contemporary society.
“There is no doubt that art influences life today and it is important to remember that unrealistic ideas about sexual activity have consequences in physical and emotion health issues,” he said.
With film rights to the book already being discussed and more instalments in the series due for release in coming months, the excitement of