Shades of Grey mania ‘happened overnight’ on the North Fork


How popular is the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey?” among locals? Over 1,200 people are on a Suffolk County library system waiting list to take out the steamy story.

“This is a very high demand book,” said Caroline MacArthur, director of the Southold Free Library.

The erotic tale of college grad Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey is a #1 New York Times Best-seller with about 10 million copies sold worldwide. But not all libraries in the country stock the novel, some referring to it as “mommy porn” or “artless trash.”

Riverhead Free Library director Lisa Jacobs said she first started hearing about the fifty shades series when the e-books became available to their digital branch.

“All of a sudden there were thousands of holds on hundreds of copies,” she said. “It seemed like it happened overnight.”

Ms. MacArthur said the Southold Free Library has 11 people waiting for one of the four copies that library carries, including at least one electronic version. The Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport has the book in paperback, CD, mp3 format, as well as a kindle version and digital book.

“Peoples’ curiosities are piqued, probably for the same reason that many books that have pushed the envelope are initially popular,” said Mattituck-Laurel Free Library director, Kay Zegel.

Read more local reaction to Shades of Grey in the June 7 newspaper.