A women’s group in the UK plans to burn the novel [easyazon-link asin=”0345803485″ locale=”us”]Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy[/easyazon-link] because they believe that the novels “encourage domestic violence and send the wrong message to women.” (Click link for Globe and Mail article). I haven’t read the novels. I have heard that they’re a story of redemption for a controlling man who falls in love with “vanilla” and so beautifully written that the love story can’t help but shine through. I have also heard that they’re poorly written, entry level erotica. What I don’t get is buying a book to burn it. How does that hurt the author? She’s now sold a book she wouldn’t have sold otherwise just for a demonstration of displeasure. They are asking for book donations from women who have read the series but now see the light—I can’t imagine that getting them more than a book or two. Indie authors must be lining up everywhere to read and see what that author did to not only get the publicity of the burning but to also sell a book to each and every protestor who wants to burn one. Marketing score!
All of you who have read my “About” page know I’ve burned a book, but I didn’t actually buy it to burn. I read it, was mad at myself for reading all the way through when the main character started a mega-douche waffle and stayed a mega-douche waffle, and next thing I knew there were flames in the sink and curling paper and I was running water. Perfectly logical basis to burn a book in one’s sink, wouldn’t you say? I never wrote a review, and though I remember the publisher, I don’t now even remember the author. Really, who are these people hurting by buying a book and burning it? Not E.L. James, certainly. I say that if this makes them feel better than what’s the harm? It’s better than them burning down a bookstore, publishing house or E.L. James home. Live and let live.
Here’s what I find shocking about these novels—that Stephanie Meyer has not sued the ruffled panties off of E.L. James. We all know that these novels started out as the Twilight fan fiction (or I thought it did, but see below), “Master of the Deal” on fanfiction.net. In actual fact, Stephanie Meyer herself has weathered accusations of encouraging controlling relationships and women to be submissive (see above article). Meyer has publicly congratulated James on her success, so litigation seems unlikely which again, shocking in today’s litigious society when someone actually has a basis for action. Tell me, if someone took your intellectual property and made millions, wouldn’t you sue? I know I would!
Our local talk radio host is addressing the issue today and asked on her Facebook Page if her listeners found the book burning shocking. I, as I’ve been dying to do for a month, finally had a chance to say that what I really found shocking was that Meyer had yet to sue. The comments that followed made for my second big shock—fans of the series don’t seem to know its history! I couldn’t help but chuckle as well, when people started to suspect that the burning was due to [easyazon-link asin=”0345803485″ locale=”us”]Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy[/easyazon-link] outselling [easyazon-link asin=”0316038377″ locale=”us”]Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)[/easyazon-link]. Selective reading? Is that perhaps a topic for another ramble?
If you want to burn a book for whatever reason, go right ahead. I’m sure if you’re buying it just to do so, drop the author a line and I’m sure he or she will thank you for the sale they would have otherwise not made.
I should point out that domestic violence is never okay and if you’re being abused there are people who can help. In the US, you can call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233).