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Sonoma County Readers Lining Up for Fifty Shades of Grey

Best-selling novel has been credited with lighting a fire in relationships AND criticized for its terrible prose and weak plot. Where do you stand?

Sonoma County residents are lining up to read Fifty Shades of Grey, a best-selling novel by British author E.L. James that some credit with improving couples’ sex lives and others deplore for its terrible writing, weak plot and over-the-top similarities to the Twilight series.

Wherever you stand on the love-hate spectrum, the title is flying off the shelves at local libraries, with 370 hold requests around the county and 70 copies in circulation, according to Doug Cisney, head librarian at the Petaluma Regional Library.

“What’s interesting about it is that it’s really been publicized by word-of-mouth,” Cisney said. “A lot of people come in to request it because someone told them to read it, but they don’t know what it’s about.”

The same thing is true over at  Books.

“It’s been on our Top 10 list the whole summer, actually since it’s come out in April,” said Grace Bogart, an events manager for the store. “They’re tapping into the same vein as the Twilight series...30-something women. There’s a market for this.”

The trilogy, which started out as fan fiction, tells the story of a college student who embarks on an affair with a wealthy, mysterious and sexy older man. The novel includes S&M scenes and has been described as soft porn and full of suspense that keeps readers engaged until the very end.

Have you read “Fifty Shades of Grey?”

What do you think?

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