Fifty Shades of Grey book a turn-off for library users

Title drops out of 100 most-borrowed library books

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The Independent Culture

The Fifty Shades of Grey publicity machine may be in overdrive ahead of the film’s cinema release – but it appears readers have tired of the books.

The first instalment of the best-selling “mummy porn” trilogy by EL James has dropped out of the top 100 most-borrowed library books, plummeting from third place the previous year.

Judith Watts, senior lecturer of publishing at Kingston University and author of Writing Erotic Fiction, said the book had become so ubiquitous that it was no longer enticing to readers. “I think it’s to do with saturation, it became so widely available,” she said. “Certain charity shops won’t take it any more.”

Fifty Shades of Grey became the bestselling book in British history in 2012 when it sold more than 5.3 million copies, overtaking  Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. The official library borrowing figures in which it did not make the top 100 were registered between June 2013 and June 2014.

 

The latest library lending figures, released today by the Public Lending Right scheme, show that the American thriller writer James Patterson has remained the most-borrowed author for the eighth year in a row. He had 13 novels in the top 100, with Second Honeymoon the most borrowed of his work, at No 8.

The most-borrowed book of last year was Dan Brown’s Inferno, despite its critical mauling.

Six children’s authors made the top 10 including former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, the third-most-borrowed of the year, Daisy Meadows and Francesca Simon, who was behind the Horrid Henry books. 

Public Lending Right (PLR) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1979, giving authors the legal right to receive payment from government each time their book is loaned through the public library system.

This month the PLR will make £6m payments to 22,053 authors, with the rate at 6.66p per loan.

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