The 50 Shades Silver Lining

The 50 Shades Silver Lining

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Matty Says, Publishing | 11 comments

We hear about this book series everywhere we go. There’s articles abuzz stating that it’s now one of the bestselling books ever. It’s become a craze.

I’ve been fairly quiet about the subject so far, and I don’t have a lot to say. I have opinions that for now, will remain my own. However, I do want to point out one thing – there is a bit of a silver lining to all this.

I say a silver lining, because a lot of people hate the books. They think the writing is horrible, the sex is boring, or despise the fact it was started as Twilight Fan Fiction and now the authors has made millions, etc. So where is this glimmer of good news? People are reading.

Say what you will about 50 Shades of Grey, but it has people reading that never read. They don’t go to the library, they don’t visit bookstores, and they don’t read books. Period. But now they are. I don’t care what that book did or how it came to be, it sparked the reading bug into people that would never otherwise pick-up a book. My hope is that now those people continue to look for more stories. Whether they’re like 50 Shades, or something completely different. Just keep reading!

The original series, Twilight, has hundreds of negative reviews that criticize the writing. When the series blew up, elitist writers, aspiring authors, and outraged readers, were appalled that such horrible writing could make it through the gatekeepers and into the world of books. Some aspiring authors claimed their writing was ‘so much better’ how could Meyers possibly have made it instead of them? What a travesty. But that book had magic that went beyond what some considered good writing. A type of magic that got. people. reading.

If we sweep all the controversy surrounding either series – or any other for that matter – under the rug for just one minute, that’s what we’re left with.  I don’t care how it happens, but when people who don’t read, are suddenly reading, that’s a good thing. This could open up the world of books to countless others who would never have a passion for it otherwise, which only expands the world of storytelling we all love to be a part of.

In my opinion, if a book gets people reading, that’s an important detail that seems to get overlooked in a lot of ways. I’m not saying it’s the only detail, or that it trumps any other detail, but it’s important and it carries value nonetheless.