'50 Shades of Grey' won't be coming to some libraries

'We do not collect erotica,' says one staff member at a library where the books will not be stocked.

  • close
    Library director of materials management Deborah George, who works in Gwinett County, Ga., was one of the library staff members who chose not to stock the erotic trilogy by E L James.
    Ron Harris/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

The erotic novels by E L James, a trilogy collectively titled “Fifty Shades of Grey,” may be topping bestseller lists, but you won't necessarily be able to find them at your local library.

Libraries in a few states in the US are choosing not to stock the books or pulling them from shelves, with many citing what they say is inappropriate content.

“We do not collect erotica at Gwinnett County Public Library,” the library director of materials management Deborah George told the Associated Press of the policy at the Gwinnett, Ga. library. “That’s part of our materials management collection policy.”

The libraries that have decided against stocking the books so far are in Georgia, Florida, and Wisconsin.

Random House spokesperson Paul Bogaards told the AP that he objected strongly to Brevard County, Fla.’s decision to take the trilogy off their shelves.

“We believe the Brevard County Public Library System is indulging in an act of censorship, and essentially is saying to library patrons: ‘We will judge what you can read,’” Bogaards said in an e-mail.

Some libraries that are not stocking the book cite financial reasons or bad reviews for the trilogy.

“It has not received what we would consider good reviews,” Cay Hohmeister, the director of libraries in Florida’s Leon County, said in an interview with the AP. “It doesn’t meet our selection criteria.”

In other areas, the demand for the trilogy has only increased. In Florida’s Pinellas County library system, there are 30 copies available but more than 650 people on the waiting list for them.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.


We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.