I started to think about writing this post earlier in the week after an unexpected discussion with some colleagues about the notorious Fifty Shades of Grey series. After another chat arose in the lunchroom at work yesterday, I decided I really wanted to jot down some thoughts for the blog.
Firstly, I haven’t actually read FSoG but I am amazed by how many people ask me whether I have. It’s well known among friends, family and colleagues that I am a book buff but I’ve been surprised by those who have broached the subject about FSoG with me. Friends who haven’t picked up a book since high school to my sixty year old boss to my mum- all have struck up the conversation… “Hey have you heard of that book Fifty Shades of Grey?”
To be honest I can’t really say why I haven’t read the book. I can’t use the excuse that I don’t want to read it just because everyone else is- because that’s why I read the Twilight series and I can’t use the literary snob excuse either considering I read across almost every genre. But FSoG has certainly appealed to a broad market, mainly female. But what’s all the fuss? Kat at Book Thingo recently posted her thoughts on on why readers love FSoG.
It doesn’t matter whether FSoG is fantastic or a piece of crap, the fact is people are talking about it. Everywhere! And I know many people who have picked up the book based on word of mouth reviews who may not have picked up a book in many, many years. That’s got to count for something! These are people who don’t follow book blogs, who don’t use Goodreads and don’t browse bookstores religiously. But they are buying or borrowing FSoG like it’s going out of fashion (which likely won’t happen anytime soon).
It makes me think about my reaction to the Twilight series. There are times I remain tight-lipped when these books are discussed or hesitate to put my hand up as a fan. Twilight became so cool that it became uncool. But I do appreciate what this series did for my reading habits. It broke a reading draught following Uni when I was desperate to read something that wasn’t a text book or journal article. Twilight was a major catalyst for me in the realm of reading and writing. I discovered a world of books in genres I had never considered previously and it also had me tapping into the online community of book lovers in Australia and abroad.
These chats I had at work really made me reflect on the importance of word of mouth reviews and also the strong association with advertising. FSoG is bringing non-readers out of the closet and maybe it’ll be enough of a taster to tempt them to seek out other books in similar genres. Who knows?! All I know is that if it means I get to talk books with more people then I’m happy :-)
My question to you: Is there a particular book that got you out of a reading draught or do you know of one that got a non-reader reading again?