Gransnet forums


Best-seller of all time

(38 Posts)
absentgrana Sat 01-Sep-12 09:59:12

I find it slightly unsettling that Fifty Shades of Grey is officially the best selling book in Britain of all time. EL James earns £850,000 in royalties per week ( a total of £20 million so far) and had been pad £3.2 million for the film rights.

I'm okay with someone earning a lot of money as a result of their own hard work and perhaps I am simply being an intellectual snob. However, I find it slightly alarming that so called mummy porn should be so popular and so lucrative.

Grannyknot Sat 01-Sep-12 10:12:23

absent I saw the author being interviewed recently (US telly) and she seemed quite embarrassed at all the fuss. Given that it was started out as 'fan fiction' which why would anyone take that seriously, she must be shocked to be in the limelight (but enjoying the money). I wonder how much of it being the best selling book has to do with it going 'viral' and just being in the right place at the right time. She simply got lucky, and wrote a book that became a fad. That's what I think, it's just the latest 'must have'. I couldn't care less about intellectual snobbery, I'm an avid and inveterate reader but have never understood why people hoard books and line their homes with shelves and shelves of books (to show the world how clever they are from what they read hmm unless of course for academic reasons or to do with job) when in fact books are a bind to keep, heavy to move, and dust collectors. I have a handful of books that I keep, they fill 3 tiny shelves. And I'm very thankful for my Kindle!

Ariadne Sat 01-Sep-12 10:22:09

Since I got my Kindle, and since we started to move, I have found it surprisingly easy to move books on. I took a lot to the local library, some to Oxfam and sent some to Africa to the schools we know. Even my academic books found a good home. Just one or two best friends remain, but I don't know why!

Like you, Grannyknot I am an avid reader, but now that I can find anything I want online I don't need the physical books. Even my dictionaries are redundant (I have dictionaries of everything!) because they are on my iPod and iPad.

absent I had a look at "Fifty Shades of Grey" and thought it was a trite and unpleasant book. And I am no prude!

Greatnan Sat 01-Sep-12 10:59:52

I thought it was very boring. I have had to cull my books several times as I have moved between countries, and I never keep 'airport' books, but I do re-read most of my classic novels every couple of years and I can't bear to part with them. They are mostly in quite handsome bindings, or in Orange Penguins. I find books furnish a room but I have become selective now.

Grannyknot Sat 01-Sep-12 11:06:26

For the record, I haven't read '50 shades' because it just didn't appeal ... and now of course we have a rash of similar books being pumped out - grr. ariadne good job your library took books of you, our library offloads books in the train station waiting room 'free for the taking' and now I see people are just adding their own to the pile, including magazines. Gets a bit messy in the waiting room sometimes but on the whole it works, so if I feel like literally reading a page turner I'll still snuffle around in there. I've a friend who doesn't even keep books on her Kindle - she deletes them once she's read them. greatnan my Kindle has a handsome cover! smile

vampirequeen Sat 01-Sep-12 11:22:13

Fifty Shades of Grey was a fad hyped up by the media and supermarkets who cashed in on it and made it a must have. Even my mum read it......incredibly embarassing when she wanted to discuss it and asked me what some things meant. Imagine having to describe sexual activities to your 78 year old mum lol.

Now she has read all three and thinks the story would have been just as good without the sex. She has also decided that some of the things were so strange that the author made them up as there is no way people would do such things in real life lol.

Anagram Sat 01-Sep-12 11:25:10

I always thought the Bible was the biggest-selling book of all time!
Has 50 Shades beaten it?

absentgrana Sat 01-Sep-12 11:29:24

Apparently, it's the best selling book in Britain so, presumably, has sold more copies than the Bible in Britain. I would think fewer Bibles are sold these days than were sold in the past.

Greatnan Sat 01-Sep-12 11:29:55

Ah, Grannyknot, but would a kindle furnish my rather sparse flat? I don't have many ornaments, just some pictures and photos. I like the look of books, but I suppose I will have to get a kindle before my next trip to New Zealand in February. I can't take all of Jane Austen's novels on the plane.

tanith Sat 01-Sep-12 11:33:16

I read the first chapter on my kindle and decided I could find a much more readable book , I thought it was badly written and shallow/rubbish.. as someone else said a fad hyped up by the media..

I've found myself weeding out my books slowly , keeping those I know I'll read again and slowly the shelves are emptying, I usually archive books I've read on my Kindle , I've been checking the 'free' books every few days and found loads of interesting ones..

baNANA Sat 01-Sep-12 12:44:02

Good luck to E L James, I personally wouldn't read the book as I hear it's complete drivel. I read the Crimson Petal and the White, before the t.v. series came out, and although it was liberally laced with a lot of sex, it nevertheless had a good plot which drove it along, I wish the author would write a sequel because he left it right up in the air. For me, I need a good well plotted story and I gather the Fifty Shades doesn't provide that.

Barrow Sat 01-Sep-12 12:52:24

Like others I downloaded a sample of this book to my Kindle - didn't even make it to the end of the sample! i thought it was absolute tosh. However I think it shows how influential the media is. This book was hyped by the publishers and advertised on social networking sites. Still, good luck to the writer - her book was in the right place at the right time. They say we all have a book in us so perhaps we all ought to start writing - next year we will be millionaires!

Grannyknot Sat 01-Sep-12 13:04:17

greatnan your flat sounds minimalistic. I agree that books trump a Kindle in your case smile.

Grannyknot Sat 01-Sep-12 13:06:31

... excepting of course when you're packing a (suit)case! Meant to add too that culling more than just books when moving countries as I did - is very liberating. Scary at first, but liberating.

Greatnan Sat 01-Sep-12 13:18:12

I didn't have any grand scheme of minimalistic interior design - I just bought the place fully furnished. I am not very interested in possessions - the flat is warm and comfortable and convenient and very cheap and easy to run.
I would be happy to spend the rest of my life in hotels.

Grannyknot Sat 01-Sep-12 13:33:33

I had a quick look at the reviews of 50 Shades in the Kindle shop - and the curious thing given that it's so popular is that it only rates 3 stars overall. So it's just average from thousands of reviews.

baNANA Sat 01-Sep-12 13:59:42

The De Vinci Code also sold amazingly well for a not very well written book about a subject that had already been put out in the public domain.

absentgrana Sat 01-Sep-12 14:03:16

baNANA That was a truly badly written book that needed a decent editor to try to knock the oh-so-obvious and frequently sign posted "twists" in the plot into shape. Even the geography was wrong and anyone could have got that right by looking at a map of Paris. And yes the Mary Magdalene theory has been around for over a hundred years, I think.

baNANA Sat 01-Sep-12 14:16:54

absentgrana, I do agree it was indeed a badly written book. I did however find the premise of Mary Magdalene being Jesus' wife very interesting and hadn't heard it before, but then I was raised a Catholic where one was taught that Mary Magdalene was a fallen woman only finding redemption through Jesus, but certainly not as a wife or partner. Having read that book it did inspire me to buy other, better written books, on the same theme.

harrigran Sat 01-Sep-12 19:55:38

I read fifty shades of grey whilst on holiday, I thought it was poor but I did finish it. The next book I picked up was Mother's milk by Edward St Aubyn, I could not continue reading it, it was possibly the worst book I have looked at. I know the author had a tragic life and it was semi-autobiographical but it was just so bad.
I keep reference books and classics but paperbacks go to friends and relatives and then the charity shop.

whenim64 Sat 01-Sep-12 20:39:49

I gave up on Mother's Milk last year. It was unbearable reading. My daughter read Fifty Shades of Grey and advised me not to bother. She loves trash fiction, but even she had found her limit! grin

petallus Sat 01-Sep-12 20:51:30

I liked 'Mother's Milk' so much I bought the other four books.

DD has got 50 shades but found it so boring she couldn't finish it.

Nanban Sun 02-Sep-12 11:29:37

We are a wall-to-wall book house but I never thought of it as intellectual snobbery! I just can't part with something given as a gift - mostly - and we have so many that I can go back and read them all again. Plus of course think of the industry for producing/selling books which will die if we all went over to screens.

Thank goodness no-one's thought to replace jigsaw puzzles .....

harrigran Sun 02-Sep-12 12:17:21

Oh but they have Nanban I do jigsaws online frequently at jigidi

janeainsworth Sun 02-Sep-12 12:26:30

I agree Nanban what can be snobbish about owning books and I certainly don't keep all mine to impress my friends.
I did go through them all when I retired and threw out the ones I was sure I would never read again.
I was still left with a large number and there are some, like my collection of Barbara Pym novels, that I love re-reading.
I'm particularly pleased when the DCs notice something they would like to read and borrow them.