FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Is it obscenity or censorship, and who decides?
Fifty Shades of Grey is the first installment of an erotic trilogy by British author E.L. James. The steamy storyline follows a young college girl's relationship with a billionaire, Christian Grey.
Critics of the novel have called it obscene and void of any true literary or artistic value. They have a growing number of women who disagree, however, as the novel continues to fly off bookshelves in record numbers.
Some libraries in Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin have banned the book, taken it off the shelves, or refused to order copies. The book's publisher has called this an act of censorship, but all the publicity hasn't hurt demand.
At the Allen County Public Library, the Collection Development staff makes all purchasing decisions. They ordered 60 paperback copies, and more than 300 people have already signed up for their chance to check it out.
In addition, the library has 15 copies of the e-book version. Adult Bibliographer Kathy Whitwer says more people than ever have signed up for the online option. More than 2,200 have put their name on the e-book wait list and several more have downloaded the audio file.
Whitwer says, if people request a specific book the library will almost almost order it for them. "We respond to patron requests extremely well. There aren't many titles we won't get and there's got to be a certain criteria why we won't get them and it's not because of the subject matter."
She says it's up to parents to screen what their children are reading.
"We always tell parents, 'If your child is interested in a book, please read it before you give it to your child or your teenager,' because they're the censors. The library is not. The book is going to be available to them if they want it, and they can put it on hold just like everybody else."
If you would prefer to purchase the novel or trilogy, there are several places available online as well.
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