Banned in some states, erotic novel hugely popular in Utah

Posted at 10:29 PM, May 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-25 00:47:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" is a hit, especially among 30-something mothers. The best-selling book has waiting lists at libraries across Utah. The book, often likened to the "Twilight" series, is sweeping the country.

So what is it about Fifty Shades that is different from other romance novels?

"Romance novels, all of them are pretty racy, but they probably don't have spanking in them," says Lisa Curt, a manager at Salt Lake City Library.

The erotic novel has had some librarians thinking twice about stocking it on their shelves. The book has been banned or pulled from bookshelves in Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida. But in Utah, there seems to be plenty of interest.

The City Library says 14 copies are on backorder because all 12 of the books they have in stock are already checked out. It may still be a while for some since 152 people are on the waiting list. Also, 245 copies at the county libraries are checked out with 698 people on their waiting list.

"As I understand it, it's married woman over the age of 30 who are reading the novel," says Curt.

Keisha Haberman, a hairdresser at Malmstrom Salon, says it may be a way to get the excitement back into the relationship.

"If it can bring some spice back into your marriage, then awesome why not right? Let's bring some spice back into our marriage," says Haberman.

But not everyone is a fan.

"I'm not a prude, but it just didn't sound very good," says Emily Nelson.

Curt says it may not be high-brow material, but it still a good read for some people.

"They say it's not great literary fiction; it's not written very well, but it's a page turner they say."

Some consider it an adult version of "Twilight."

"Ive just heard that it's kind of raunchy and sexual. I've heard that it's kind of like 'Twilight' but just more adult," says Madison Rossi.

The author, E.L. James, says she is a big fan of the "Twilight" series, so some of her inspiration may have been drawn from within those pages.