Fifty Shades of Grey has taken the nation by storm. It came from nowhere and then everyone wanted it.
One minute, I was browsing WHSmith with a friend when she picks it off the shelf, gives the back a read, and puts it back, then the next day it was sold out everywhere.
What was this book? And why did everyone suddenly want a piece of it?
To my surprise, I came home to find my mum reading a copy. She never reads, but she must have caught wind of the hype and there she was, flipping through the pages so fast I would have been forgiven for thinking some extra-terrestrial had come down a replaced my mother with one of their own.
At this point, I didn’t even know what the book was about, I’m not a massive reader myself, but I knew that it must have been good.
Now, however, I know why every woman in Britain wanted to get their hands on that book.
Erotic novels, or ‘mummy porn’ as it’s now been dubbed, is the new must have read for the women of Britain and E L James must be rubbing her hands together with a smug look on her face.
The mother of two from West London says that she wrote the bestselling trilogy to give women and break from their husbands, and she must have been doing something right as the book has sold more than half a million copies in the UK alone and has hit the number one on the New York bestsellers list.
Julie Peasgood, a sex and relationship expert with Britain's biggest online sex toy retailer Lovehoney.co.uk and author of The Greatest Guide To Sex, says, “Ultimately the book works for three good reasons: it is very sexy, it has a great plot and they are well-drawn characters.
“You quickly want to know more about the heroine Anastasia Steele, and Christian Grey, the manipulative billionaire who becomes her lover, is a hugely potent, charismatic leading man.
Julie said that she liked the book because the storyline drew her in and she added, “You get much more involved if there is a story rather than just people enjoying themselves horizontally.”
Lovehoney.co.uk has benefitted greatly from the books success, with Matthew Curry, ecommerce manager at Lovehoney, saying that it is easily the sites bestselling title of all time.
He says, “Fifty Shades of Grey, and its sequels, which describe a wide number of sexual activities in quite some detail, have piqued the interest of UK readers who want to push their bedroom play further.
“Not only has Lovehoney seen nearly a 400 per cent increase in sales of erotic fiction, but an increase in the sales of blindfolds, restraints, and intimately revealing lingerie as turned-on couples recreate some of the book's steamy chapters.”
If you’re reading the book simply for its mesmerising storyline, or for its erotica, it seems that Fifty Shades of Grey has sparked a new acceptance for this type of book and will be seen in bookshelves for years to come.