Florida Libraries Lift Ban on 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Nelson Ayala

BREVARD COUNTY, Fl. — The Brevard County Library System has lifted its ban on E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the best selling erotic novel about a young billionaire’s sexual ownership over an inexperienced college coed.

Dubbed by the New York Times as “mommy porn” for its appeal to women over thirty, the book and its two sequels — “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Free” — were removed from Brevard County libraries for being too pornographic and too poorly written to merit a spot next to such erotically-charged works as “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” “Tropic of Cancer” and “Lolita.”

The ban, announced earlier this month by Library Services Director Cathy Schweinsberg, who explained the book’s removal with the declaration “we don’t collect porn,” was met with jeers and accusations of censorship from both the community and the book’s publisher, Random House.

In a statement released on Monday, the board announced that it had reconsidered its stand and would once again make its 19 copies of “Fifty Shades of Grey” available at its branches.

The statement read, “Earlier this month, a decision was made to pull ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from our libraries as a result of published reviews and our own initial analysis of the book and its controversial content. Since then, we have begun a review of our selection criteria and that review continues even as the decision has been made to supply the book in response to requests by county residents.”

“Fifty Shades of Grey” has sold over 10 million copies and remains on the New York Times Best Sellers List, along with its sequels. A movie is currently in the works from Focus Features/Universal.