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Racy Novel Raises Eyebrows At Local Library

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Fifty Shades of Grey
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a New York Times Best Seller, but you won’t find “Fifty Shades of Grey” in some Maryland libraries. The book series is causing some controversy with its “pornographic” content.

Kai Jackson has more on the controversy.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is a popular and steamy novel by female British author E.L. James. It’s been called “mommy porn” and centers around the sexual obsession between a female college student and a male business tycoon.

“I can’t put it down. It’s very entrancing,” said one reader.

The book and its two sequels have the top three spots on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list for combined print and e-fiction.

But the novels have also raised the eyebrows of some who think they’re too racy.

“The book is relatively pornographic,” said Dereck McCoy, Maryland Family Alliance.

The book is wildly popular. Baltimore County public libraries have 396 copies and more than 1,100 people on a waiting list to read it. Frederick County doesn’t have it on shelves because of the budget, and Harford County doesn’t stock it, saying it’s not appropriate.

“I think, you know, a case like Harford County, they have the right not to carry those items if they don’t want to carry those items,” McCoy said.

But some say banning equates to censorship.

“This attempt to tell people what they want to read really goes against what we stand for,” said Dr. Carla Hayden, Enoch Pratt Free Library.

E.L. James has sold more than 10 million copies of her books.

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