That book with the shades of grey? It's everywhere- including this column from contracts blogger Ken Adams on his impressions of the contract written into the story: "Grey is a telecommunications mogul, and he has evidently absorbed the semi-literate contract verbiage regurgitated by his high-priced lawyers."
50 Shades of Grey [Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo] released in paperback to massive bookstore orders - over 400,000 copies according to this article from Rachael Deahl at PW. Deahl and I were guests on WPIX's morning news show to talk about the success of the book, immediately before a segment featuring two husbands whose wives had read the book, discussing how the book had changed their sex lives.
When I read Deahl's article last night, my jaw dropped a bit at the idea that there would be lines at a bookstore to get a copy, but given that the book was on the cover of half the Entertainment Weeklys sent out this past Friday (I got that cover, and the rest of the EW-verse got a cover with Katniss, over which I am very jealous), there's going to be a lot of curious people wanting to read the new hot thing.
Whether or not people line up at the bookstore, I learn on Twitter last night that the holds for this book at different libraries are amazing: over 275 in Brooklyn, over 500 at the LA Public Library, and over 1000 holds in one county on Long Island. Stacey Agdern said last night that she believes a lot of people asking for the book are "trend readers," who read Hunger Games, the Larsson books, and now want to read the next big thing."
She's likely right about that.
From Vulture's snarky take on it to PW's list of alternates to 50 Shades for those curious (I would recommend Cerise Sinclair or Lorelei James' books first and foremost for those craving erotica that explores power balance), there is no shortage of press coverage.
(Thank you to Rakisha and many others for the links).
From librarian of awesome, Jennifer Lohmann comes her library branch's entry in their Peeps diorama contest: Peepton Abbey. Among the other awesome: Diary of a Wimpy Peep. It makes me want to go hang out at the Durham library all the time. Seriously.
Gry forwarded me this link to a New Statesman article by Helen Lewis about book covers - specifically book covers for works about female sexuality:
Naomi Wolf has written a book about vaginas (or should that be vaginae, Latin nerds?) which comes out this autumn. It's sure to be much talked about, particularly as it promises to "radically reframe how we understand the vagina".
There's only one problem, and if your eye has already started to stray down this page, you'll know what it is. Books about female sexuality obviously can't put a picture of what they're about on the cover; there would be carnage at WH Smith's. So instead they rely on pictures of buds, flowers or figs, or suggestive ovals filled with stuff.
Clearly we need more than flowers, figs, and candy bows. This dress, sent to me as "the perfect dress for confereces" by Zoe Archer (the picture, not the actual dress) would make a GREAT book cover for a tome about vaginas, right?
Speaking of things perfect for conferences, I've said many times that the most funnest sessions at Romantic Times are the games (which is why I'm hosting Boner Donor Bingo).
Tessa Dare, Zoe Archer, Nico Rosso, Vivian Arend, and Louisa Edwards are putting together Romance Family Feud, and they need… survey respondents!
The survey is online here, and it takes about 8 minutes, 10 if you think really hard. This is one session I will totally try to attend because I bet it will be hilarious.
From o'Reilly comes this interesting story about attempting to recreate psychometry, a talent that appears in many a romance novel: The Reading Glove engages senses and objects to tell a story:
We also wanted to explore wearable technology with the glove; the goal there was to invoke the idea of "psychometry," or the psychic power of object reading. When you pick up the objects, you hear the echoes of the past, what these objects experienced, and then you use this power to piece the story back together. I developed a guidance system that helped to navigate the non-linear narrative, adding an adaptive or intelligent component to the experience. We've gotten some really interesting results out of it, such as how people talk about a system that has intelligent components, how much they anthropomorphize it and how accurate their estimates of its "intelligence" are.
From Kimberley N. comes this research article from the Center for Media Research on a recent Harris poll report that says the more people that own digital reading devices, including tablets, the more likely those people are to buy digital books:
The rise of eReaders may actually be a positive for publishing companies who are embracing electronic books. Among those who are currently using an eReader, three in ten (29%) say they typically read more than 20 books in an average year, while one in five (21%) say they read between 11 and 20 books and one-quarter (24%) read between 6 and 10 books. So, almost three-quarters of eReader users are reading 6 or more books in an average year.
So, what articles have you read recently that were interesting? Share share!