Unless you’ve been living in a yurt overseas you’re probably aware that ebooks are flying off whatever the digital equivalent of shelves are. I bet even people in yurts are aware of this fact. What you may not know is that there is a revolution inside this digital revolution and it has a naughty side. Much the same way personal stereos made it easier to listen to music without judgement, people have figured out that ebook readers are like brown paper wrappers for books — no one need know what you are reading. The result? As most of the major ebook sellers will tell you, barely a week goes by without erotica titles in the top ten.
One of those titles (now a series) has made quite a splash. Fifty Shades of Grey made the leap from online fan-fiction to ebook and print-on-demand title to full-fledged print run. The first book was followed by two more titles, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. The trilogy has sold enough copies to take the three top spots on the New York Times Trade Fiction Bestseller list and several film studios have bid on the rights.
Before you think society is well on its way down the proverbial slippery slope, it’s not only erotica that is benefiting from the anonymity revolution. More people than ever are reading in public, everything from diet books to business tutorials to well, every shade of fiction and non-fiction you can conjure. When Harry Potter became a hit, adults didn’t want to be seen reading kid-lit so the publishers released the same book in a more adult binding. It sold like hotcakes. Now, I would bet you that many of those same adults would have no problem downloading kid-lit into their e-reader. Or how about a teen boy who doesn’t want to be seen reading Pride and Prejudice? Or the grandmotherly type who always wanted to read American Psycho. The anonymity of the e-reader allows people to transcend what they “should” be reading and just read what they want. Incidentally, Amazon just announced that the Harry Potter series is being released to the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library so J.K. Rowling can expect even more royalties soon!
My brown-wrapper secret is self-help books. Motivational volumes on simplifying life, organizing your home, finding a spiritual centre, starting a new career, shifting gears, and basically moving toward a better life. Self-help is something I’d long scoffed at and still can’t bring myself to browse in public but downloading? I can do that. I have dozens of books that I never would have bought otherwise sitting in my reading applications.
In an ideal world, no one should be judged by their choice in reading materials and I suspect most of the time the harshest judge is ourself. If you’ve hesitated to pick up an e-reader, perhaps this will convince you that it’s time. Free your mind, they say, and the rest will follow. And next time you see someone engrossed in their e-reader, don’t assume you can guess what they’re reading.
iRiver Story eBook – Creative Commons By Andrew Mason, Flickr
eBook reader – Creative Commons By Aitor Calero, Flickr
Guest Author Bio
Cheryl DeWolfe is a West Coast girl through and through, born and raised in Victoria BC. She has a habit of composing haiku about everything from traditional captured moments in nature to coffee, zombies and even movie reviews. Cheryl works in an academic library but in her spare time pursues many different creative interests from arts and crafts to gardening to photography and writing. Cheryl lives with her equally creative husband, daughter and two cats.
Blog / Website: http://www.cheryl.dewolfe.bc.ca/flotsam/
Did you enjoy this article?
Please let the author know by leaving them a comment below!
And, subscribe to our free weekly digest!
Simply add your email below. A confirmation email will be sent to you.