Publishing: Rude bits in disguise


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

According to new research by discount website, people have been buying e-readers to disguise the embarrassing books they're reading. The poll of 1,863 e-reader owners found that 58 per cent had acquired the device partly so as to disguise their taste in erotic and/or children's fiction.

E-book sales have skyrocketed thanks, in large part, to genre fiction: horror, crime, sci-fi and so on. Half of all erotic fiction sold is in e-book format, compared with just 20 per cent of general fiction. Romance publisher Mills & Boon releases around 100 digital titles a month, but just 55 physical titles.

Erotic novelist EL James recently sold more than 250,000 download copies of her debut, Fifty Shades of Grey, before it was published as a physical book. The title and its sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, presently occupy the top three spots in the Amazon UK best-seller list.

While the rise of the e-reader allows people to lose themselves in erotica or Harry Potter without fear of public humiliation, it does have at least one unfortunate side effect. How are sensitive young chaps supposed to impress girls on public transport without conspicuously perusing a Penguin Classic?