Fifty Shades of Tablets

I don’t normally jump on bandwagons…

I have never read (or watched) Twilight, I’ve never watched TOWIE, I have no idea what Gossip Girl is, and I am yet to sit down to an episode of Mad Men (I know crazy, right?!?!)

But I do love a good book, and so, after having the it recommended to me by numerous people, I decided to read the 50 Shades Trilogy

My partner, the lovely and conveniently employed man that he is (he is a Librarian) managed to snap me up the first book so that I didn’t have to trudge round the supermarkets looking for one that still had some in stock. And so, after a long evening, I finally opened up Fifty Shades of Grey at 10pm on a Monday night (less than 2 weeks ago). By 7pm the following day I had finished it (and within 2 weeks I had finished the trilogy)

Now I can skim read, and do probably read a bit faster than most people, but even for me this was quite a feat, especially as I was out at meetings all day. I think in total it took me 6 hours to read the first book.

You may have sussed out (by my speedy reading and by the shear volume of women across the world that have read this book) it is not a challenging book (well on your intellect, that is) neither is it a literary masterpiece.

So why have these books become so popular?

Back when I was a wee lass (well, 16) I was introduced by a friend to the marvel that is Jackie Collins, and subsequently then became familiar with a fair few Mills and Boon classics – and I can assure you, the Fifty Shades books are no more explicit, and as far as characters go, Mr Grey is a rather delightful hybrid of the already well established characters of Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, and Christian Bale in American Psycho.

So why have these books become so popular?

Yes, yes, I know the so called ‘Mummy-Porn’ books do create a fantasy that is rather easy to get lost in – but this has been done before in many a book – so what is it that makes these books different?

I’ll tell you… it’s not the books… it’s the way we read them.

Conveniently, these books which, let’s face it are actually porn, are the first of their kind that can be read in private; be it at home, on the bus, on the tube, in your office and no one has to know because it’s hidden away on your Kindle/iPad/iPhone (delete as appropriate)

I for one, would not like to be reading one of the books sat on the tube or bus, with sniggering glances, suggestive sneers and slightly too long stares being made towards me – but hidden in the safety of my iPad, no one has to know that I am currently reading about flogging, whipping and slapping.

I can pretend I am reading intellectual material, The Guardian, an encyclopedia, hell! even War and Peace and no one would know. I don’t have to be embarrased by my choice of reading material! I (and the millions of other who have read the books) can lose myself in Chritian Grey fantasy land and no one could even tell…unless my face gives something away that is 😉

Jane Eyre it’s not, but E. L. James sure has managed to deliver the goods right into the readers’ hands, and I (plus men across the world)  have to applaud her for fusing fantasy, literature and tablet technology so eloquently and for providing me with a great conversation starter (just perhaps not at the dining table with my Grandmother)




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