Fifty Shades of Grey and E-Reading: Tied Together

fifty shades of grey, e-reading, erotica, romantica, handcuffs Photo: Jason Clapp, Flickr

According to The Wall Street Journal, the rise in e-reader sales is tied to the growing popularity of erotica. The particular genre of erotica they’re referring to is called “romantica,” because it appeals to women — many married and/or mommies — and always has a happy ending (not that kind).

It makes sense. The relative anonymity of downloading books digitally and reading them on a neatly wrapped electronic device is what makes e-reading devices like the Kindle and Nook the perfect platform for X-rated lit. One woman they interviewed claimed to have bought a Kindle just so she could read Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in an erotica series that the entire country (and my office) is buzzing about right now.

The Nest community boards are ablaze with talk of the racy reads too. Here’s some of what they’re saying: “I read the entire trilogy in one weekend.” “If you like erotica and dirty talk and have some time to kill it’s an engaging read.” “To be frank, if you’re looking for a way to spice up your relationship, a good place to get some tame as well as some really risqué ideas.”

Hmm. I would be lying if I said Fifty Shades of Grey (which has apparently already been optioned for a film) does not make me finally interested in buying an e-reader. I might be even more motivated if certain media outlets would stop referring to it as “mommy porn.” That’s a catchphrase I don’t need in my life.

And if women are secretly reading porn on their morning commutes, then what are men secretly reading? Harlequin romance novels? The Twilight series? The Knot? (Sorry, I had to.)

Fess up: Who’s reading “romantica” on their, ahem, handheld devices? Who’s already gotten their paws on a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey — and what do you think?

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