E. L. James’s blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has sold over 50M copies in six weeks. If you don’t work in publishing, this would be the equivalent of The Avengers and Avatar combined. With way more genitals.
So it’s safe to say the books have permeated the culture. Are you taking advantage of this
brave kinky new world?
Herewith, a few tips for all walks of life:
- Single gentlemen: Find the patterned silver-blue silk tie from the book’s now iconic jacket (with its subtle allusion to sexily-restrictive chain mail) and wear it in a half-windsor knot with a crisp white shirt to your local T.G.I. Friday’s happy hour. Your sartorial flair will signal to a certain kind of female patron several things at once: you’re DTF, you’re DTF with some light bondage, you’re DTF using a wealth of awkward synonyms for penis and vagina, and you appreciate a delicious Jack Daniel’s© Salmon & Grilled Shrimp Scampi.
- Amish teens on rumspringa: Everyone in “the devil’s playground” uses these books as instructional manuals. You’re welcome.
- Wealthy businessmen: When people meet you, they now assume you lead a private life much like Christian Grey’s. Can’t be avoided.
- Middle-class businessmen: This is what you have to look forward to. Better hire a contractor for that “Red Room of Pain.”
- Flailing Contemporary American Literature PhD candidates: Don’t even bother. Your adviser will end up rejecting the proposal. Might I suggest an Jungian analysis of cinema in the later work of DeLillo? …Oh, that’s already been done? Eight times? Jesus. Ok, go ahead with “Fifty Shades of Repression: Puritans on America’s Nightstand.”
- Precocious 12 year old girls: Adults don’t always act like they do in the books. In fact, they often speak in much longer sentences. As a palette cleanser, please pick up some Jane Austen.
- All of my relatives: Yes, they are popular books. Yes, I know what they are about. No, my company did not publish them. No, I do not want a copy for my birthday.
- Confused color theorists: It’s a misleading title. You’re really looking for Tim Grey’s Color Management.
- Etsy retailers: Now is the time to knit ebook sleeves with highbrow literature designs. Is that guy on the F train reading E. L. James? Probably. But look! His Kindle is wrapped in a beautiful bit of crochet with Moby-Dick on the front.
- Harold Bloom: I don’t understand it either. Try to calm down. Breathe in, breathe out.