A Goodreads user
A Goodreads user asked:

Why was this trash published? every copy ever printed needs to be burned

To answer questions about Fifty Shades of Grey, please sign up.
Jorge please don't burn it! Be green and put it on the recycling bin! :D
Reborn This trash was published because there is no longer any integrity in publishing. They saw dollar signs and didn't even bother to give it a good edit. The editor in charge of it was told not to change anything from the fanfic crap it started as. I have a passionate hatred for this book and no respect for anyone who thinks it's well-written. I can understand liking it on a superficial, there-was-sex-in-it kind of way. But there is NOTHING ELSE about it that's worth time or paper. (And even the sex is dull.)
Dorsaf Bali I actually love this book. If you don't like it don't read it, simple as that. People say it's humiliating and takes from the image of women. I am a girl and I don't find it in any way offensive. That life style exists, people do that daily so why not write about it? Plus christian Grey did not force Anastasia into anything. SHE signed the contract and she knew what was waiting for her. Try to see beyond the whole sex thing. It's about a man who changed in order to keep the girl he loved. It's about the passion and the honesty of their love. Sometimes we need a brutal love to actually feel it.
Hannah This book is about abuse. Plain and simply. The fact that people are getting off to the same nightmares that abuse victims have to deal with every day is disgusting and shameful. This story masquerades abuse as BDSM. This is not about BDSM. There is nothing wrong with BDSM, but there is everything wrong with abuse.

In BDSM (Bondage/discipline, Dominance/ submission, Sadism/Masochism), safety is the #1 concern. SSC- Safe, Sane, Consensual- is a pillar of the practice. Christian has no regard what so ever for Ana's well-being, and repeatedly does not get her consent. He takes her to a motel for sex when she is too drunk to consent (chapter 5) and point-blank rapes her after she says no (chapter 12). As a general rule in BDSM, the Sub sets the limits. The person being acted upon decides what they will and won't accept. The "Sex contract" he makes her sign in chapter 11 is not a real thing. Real people in a healthy relationship would never have that, I fail to see how that contract would have any legal standing, and that's not how consent works. Consent must be continual, freely given, enthusiastic, and informed.

This book is extraordinarily damaging. It demonizes something harmless and romanticizes abuse. In case you're not familiar, here are some warning signs of abusive relationships:
Constant belittling
Extreme jealousy and insecurity
Coercion into sexual acts
Controlling your actions
Physically hurting you
Attempts to isolate you from family and friends
Victim Blaming
Strong belief in and enforcement of traditional gender roles
Refusal to let you end the relationship
Going through your phone or computer without permission
Too serious about the relationship too quickly

ALL of these appear at least once in the 50 shades books. There is no denying this book is about abuse. And there is nothing sexy about abuse. Can we take a moment to address the immediate power imbalance in the relationship? Christian is a substantially older wealthy executive and Ana is a student. Christian then solidifies this power imbalance by demanding to be called "Sir" while Ana is just "Ana".

Another thing about this book that is particularly distressing is that Christian explains he's into BDSM because he was abused as a child. Rather, this explains why he is abusive. Abuse victims are less likely to be into BDSM because they associate bondage, discipline, pain, or violence with traumatic experiences.

Michigan State University did a study on the effects of this book. They surveyed 650 women between the ages of 16 and 24 and found that women who read the first book were more likely to have a partner that yell or swore at them, 34% more likely to have a partner that exhibits stalking behaviors, 75% more likely to misuse diet aids, and 65% more likely to binge drink. All of these things are associated with being in an abusive relationship. I'm not saying this means reading 50 Shades made them want an abusive relationship, I'm saying reading 50 Shades made them more likely to tolerate abuse. The popularity of 50 Shades has made abusive behaviors seem normal, and that is very dangerous.

Please. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of intimate partner violence this year. Can we please, for their sake, stop romanticizing the abuse, trauma, and suffering they have to endure? This kind of book invalidates their pain. Speaking as someone who escaped and abusive relationship, it makes me physically ill to know that people are getting off to the things I used to endure.

BDSM is perfectly alright. Abuse will never be alright.

Please. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please know that there is help, and there are so many people that want to help you. Here are some sites Loveisrespect.org, Breakthecycle.org, Datingabusestopshere.org, Newhopeforwomen.org.

It's one thing to have a book about abuse, it's another thing entirely to sell a book about abuse as though it is sexy in any manner. I hope that I have convinced you that this book is utterly unacceptable. Please, do not buy this book. Do not in any way support this book.
Jane Smith It's a dam book if you don't like it don't read it....that's what's wrong with you get out the box nd read something new u might learn from it get over it she is richer then u
Gidget 50 I threw mine in the recycling bin... at least it could be used for something else... WORST BOOK EVER..
Jules Burn the damn book. this book was a horrendous mindfuckery... Its a shame we cut down trees to print this monstrosity...
Missvodka i will never understand either.... I have a darker side than Mr. Grey now after having forced myself to read this crap.
Andreea Good point Kassandra . Sometimes is nice to read another type of books that we are used to ... It was a surprise to me to see that i actually LOVE this book ...
Hannah I've seriously never wanted to burn a book. You know who burned books? Fuckin Nazis. But when a book is damging to society? Burn Mother Fucker!
Neil Mostly consoling comments. I am against burning books for any reason as it evokes bad memories of evil people. Personal recycling is ok especially if it becomes loo paper.
We need the rubbish to compare. It is only a tragic indictment against people of the modern world that this woman could become one of the super rich with such tripe.
I found the books online, I'd have never paid a cent for them but was very curious after seeing all the hype about the film and Jamie Dornan on a popular British interview show. I tortured myself through the first book and went on to read the other two. They are not difficult to get through being so infantile and badly written. Why you might ask? Because I cannot justifiably argue or debate something without a full knowledge of the subject. Just my quirky nature.
For those who defend it on the grounds of sexuality that is nonsense. There is little here that is truly erotic, sensual or sexually arousing. Certainly nothing revealing or educational.
Without all the accouterments I had more interesting sex at the age of 17 and I had little experience.
The writer reveals several things about herself however. She has not ever had really made love or been made love to or had fulfilling, passionate sex. She has little to no imagination or writing skill and she is an abomination to the English language.
True English women authors like George Eliot and Virginia Woolf certainly turned in their graves.
Additionally I will add to those who condemn publishers, I won't argue. However this began as a project of the Digital Age. From what I read she began writing this tripe online in a Blog which attracted an audience. An insight to the level of intelligence and mentality in Cyberspace.
Ian i don't think it's trash. everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
Dhamar Toledo This book is definetly not trash its a REALLY good book depending n what type of genre your into :)
Jamie Rose If you go on pinterest there are so many cute things to make out of old books. That's what happened to my copy.
Emily The sad thing about society is that anything can be a bestseller these days, no matter how badly written. All I know about this book is that she didn't sign the contract but he carried on anyway as if she did. Many people, including myself believe this glamorizes abuse and violence against women because she didn't want to do that kind of stuff with him but when he did it to her anyway, she didn't get assertive and say stop.

I hate this kind of stuff. I will never read this garbage even if you pay me ten million dollars.
Aya Yes! I wrote something similar a few days ago and apparently alot of users "flagged" it. Finally someone who understands!
Hamish Goodreads used to be my go-to site for opinions on books, quotes, etc. But now that I see that over a MILLION people have rated this piece of drivel, and given it an overall score of 3.7, I feel that I must re-evaluate. I'm disappointed.
Pedro Laia Can you tell me why do you think this book is trash? I read it and I loved it, but I'm not much of a critic and this one was my first erotic Book. So, I was a virgin :)
Could you care to explain better your feelings towards this book?
Thank you.
Diana (Bever) Barber They need another button called "Want to Avoid Like the Plague."
Ben It was published because the Publishers saw $$$.... For no other reason. This so-called "book" is the worst piece of XXXX I ever had the unpleasure of reading. But for some reason many people like it, I'll never get why. There are loads of better erotic/bdsm/love novels out there, I don't understand why FSOG is successful.
Clare Mitchell If this is your opinion then fine. But I do not think you gave it a chance. I love this book because of the depth of charecter
M i tried to recycle it by using it as liner for my guinea pigs house. the next day my guinea pigs died.
Jorie Because the world revolves around sex....You're here because two people have what I assume was great sex....
so lighten up...read the damn book or don't read it...do not judge the ones who did and loved it....
Era You can't actually burn it, because the glue in the binding releases toxic fumes if set on fire. Might I suggest a shredder instead? Much more satisfying.
Michele Ceron AGREED! I still cant believe a publishing house actually published this....thing. I can't even call it a novel the writing is so bad
Ana Banana This book is certainly not trash! It is a unique love story that captures many audiences. The movie was also amazing!
Angel-Laura Monteagudo You do realize that there's a movie of it, too, don't you?
Diane This book reflects the society we are living in. Greed is the name of that game. But just remember that despite anyone's review the author is laughing all the way to the bank!!!! And now there will be renewed interest because of the current movie BOOK CLUB which centers around four old farts reading the book and then trying to spice up their devastated love lives.
Kristi Leigh I loved the series...was disappointed it was only three books. The movie on the other hand, yikes, I REFUSED to watch it since the individuals portraying Ana and Christian were anything but sexy.
Amy Newsome I'm not really sure how this is relevant to the book. If you don't like then don't read it. Simple as that. Even though this is such a good book.
Zunayed Not judgemental, but the movie made and the book written in such a way to divert the minds of the people into disgusting thinking. What 'genre' would it be put into? It might encourage abusive relationships? It would degrade women in their confidence and self-esteem. No age-group would fit nicely unless they are cracked-up. #TotalTrash

P.S. Don't burn ! Recycle ;)
Pranjal ginde well I believe the story behind the publication went something like this...
publishing company guy (pcg): man there are so many books about man and woman romance! we need something else!

pcg2: how about girl and girl or boy and boy! we have the power of ink... make waves for LGBT

pcg1: Booooring! too thought inspiring!

pcg2: I know! romance between two people of different ethnicity or religions.

pcg1: Or species.... man and sheep! the love between man and sheep! oh how profound that idea is, good work jack.

pcg2: I'm not jack.

pcg1: whatever jack, scour the internet even fanfics there must be something somewhere.

few hours later....
pcg1: found anything?

pcg2: not yet...

pcg1: ok then I guess I must fi...

pcg2: I know what if the sheep is a girl.

pcg1: I don't understand.

pcg2: well, here is a story where the girl is a girl but a sheep... stupid, spineless, unaware of her rights, without much of a say in matters pertaining to her own relationship. who comes back to her master even if he hits her with a belt! and since she's a sheep who's a human she can also give blow jobs.

pcg1: why dear james that is brilliant! that will do! just make sure there is a lot of sex.

pcg2: I'm not james and yes there is sex, it will take a bit of editing though.

pcg1: Oh no one has the time for that! print it Julia by the end of the day. just print it.

pcg2: I'm Jace.

pcg1: And I'm careless! now do as your told Jessica.

sammy swanson shut up , this shits sexy
Rayne I haven’t a clue.. a five year old is more innovative with words...
Megan Waterman I thought our society was way past the days of burning books? If its not your taste you have every right not to read it.....
Gabriel I have only ever abandoned one book in the middle....before this one. I am so happy to say that I abandoned this one. Garbage.
Izzzy Emu What?? If you didn't like it, don't read it. I'm a girl and I liked the book and so did tons of other people. You didn't need to read. And it could of been offensive to women but it was Anastasia's choice to sign the contract. She wasn't forced into it. It's true the book was odd, and that's an understatement, but it's how some people live. And you're dissing their life. If you didn't enjoy it, then forget about.
Ieatdogsoaddmeonsnapchatvqnce Um quite frankly this is a masterpiece in moderrn lit
like you obviously don't understand how
Mistake (Yes WELL goodreads user,
do you appreciate pornographic literature like this? I, a 48 year old male highly apprecite this book the pages have been read thousands of times and splattered with smething ;). this book is incredible. HOW FICKIN DARE YOU.
Arthur Pewtey Fascinating, this comments section. As I understand it, this was the fastest book ever to sell a million copies, most of which I assume were sold to women. That's a truly staggering achievement. Yet still people who didn't like it ask why it was published. Presumably, they think they know better than the million people? As I say, fascinating.

For the record, my other half read it thought it was "OK". I got halfway through it and gave up. But, just as in the world of music (where someone might not like an artist who's sold 100 million albums in his/her lifetime so seems to genuinely believe that said artist must be rubbish) it amazes me that people have such high regard for their own opinions.
pro at imperfections it's a mystery lol
Anelson this is a good book if u have a problem with it don't read it get over it there are some books you like and some you dont
Sarah It got 3.68 stars. I think "trash" is a little strong.
Ieatdogsoaddmeonsnapchatvqnce Um quite frankly this is a masterpiece in moderrn lit
like you obviously don't understand how
Maria Clarke I wasn't sure after seeing reviews and hearing all the hype, but actually found I liked the storyline in this book. I even went on to find out more about Anastasia and Mr.Grey.
Kelly Haha my boyfriend said the exact same thing when we were at our local bookstore!
Aman Aftab The book is badly written but there is no harm in reading if its read by the proper age group...its totally their choice..no book deserves to be burnt....not that I like it of course...no ones forcing any 1 to read...
since I have started it...
Shalva Sultanishvili Low price book about nothing. Now I see what Marketing can do.
Dharmesh Yadav This is insane!!!
Sam this is the worst written fanfiction i have ever read. even just from a technical standpoint. it was written so poorly i had to listen to it on audio to tolerate it. i have no idea why it was published. it 100% does not deserve it.
Miracle Grogan I hate this book and your right it needs to be burned and the put the ash in a grave
Chris Because there's an audience for it. And as terrible as this book is, burning books is even more disgusting.
Yasmeen I've never read it. My mom won't let me read it because it contains sexual content, and to be honest, I really don't want to read it. I am OBSESSED with romance, but a love story doesn't need to have sex in it in order for it to be good. From what my mom has told me, the storyline is intriguing, but there is way too much sexual content in the novel for it to be readable. Sure, it's okay if there's a little bit, but nearly the entire book is just sex! All in all, I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
Aaron Gray Do I need to tell you about the greenhouse effect? It affects us all bro, even the polar bears... they're swimming their way to Alaska to live with the skimos and Sarah Palin... Imagine Sarah Palin trying to gasp for air cause she's drowning y'all with all the bears on top of her... it's kinda troubling, but no sexual behavior intended #goodvibes
Ifan Fauzi
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Juanita Fleming Why did YOU read it if you felt this way? Just asking. . .
Mary The book just points out why the sexual revolution has failed. Women were supposed to be liberated not having to prove to men that they loved being dominated. These ladies must have bought Donald Trump's tripe too.
Shomeli Dey this book was published because it had a large readership independently on fan-fiction website "snowqueen icedragon" before publishers decided to publish it on their own so they could make profit.if the book is a phenomenon of what it is , it is because of those readers who bought it and raved about it and gave it the unwarranted and unsolicited "romance" reputation for which no one asked. just like e l james never talks back at those who hate it she never clarifies her stance on this too( but i think she herself is confused or unwilling on this)
Lori Check out my blog. I'm making fun of the book a bit, by profiling the types of men a woman might actually meet. http://www.fiftyshadesofrey.org/#!blo...

Since there are less than 2,000 billionaires in the world and many of these billionaires are old, married, or women. I start with the 15% of men in poverty and work my way up to the one or two millionaires you might meet in the dating pool.
Image for Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more