Thirteen copies of Grey

Denise Sparrowhawk devours Fifty Shades Freed, the third book in the series by E L James
Denise Sparrowhawk devours Fifty Shades Freed, the third book in the series by E L James

A RACY book is proving to be such hot property for readers that library chiefs have had to order more copies.

Steamy novel Fifty Shades of Grey is such a hit among readers in Hartlepool that bosses have had to order more copies and slash the length of time they are loaned out.

The book, by EL James, has seen dozens of people joining the waiting list to loan a copy of the novel which has become a national phenomenon for its erotic content.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s library service has nine copies of the first novel in the bestselling series and has ordered a further four.

That is due to the huge interest in the novel, which traces the relationship between recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and manipulative billionaire Christian Grey, with 23 people currently on the waiting list wanting to get their hands on it.

Library chiefs have also taken the decision to only hand out the book on short term, two-week loans instead of the usual four-week periods so they can get through the waiting list quicker.

Bosses say there has also been similar interest in the two follow-up novels in the series.

The town’s library service has six copies of the second book Fifty Shades Darker and there are three in the waiting list, while they have four copies of the final book in the series, called Fifty Shades Freed, and there are four people on the waiting list.

Denise Sparrowhawk, stock and reader development librarian for the service, said: “We don’t normally get such interest for someone’s first book, for the established books we do get it where fans are waiting for it to come out.

“The most comparable thing to it is Harry Potter. All the bestsellers we put on short-term loan, so instead of getting them for four weeks they get them for two.

“People generally read them in a week or two, but if they don’t have to bring them back they don’t. It is because the turnover is faster.”

Fifty Shades of Grey has proved to be a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and even attracted interest from film companies looking into turning it into a big-screen blockbuster.

Ms Sparrowhawk added: “It has been on television and radio a lot and I understand the author has been on breakfast TV and on chat shows so it has caught peoples’ attention.

“It is popular because it has been pushed into the limelight and it has got people reading who didn’t normally read, so that must be a good thing.”