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January 02, 2022

'50 Shades of Grey' driving Canada's e-reader biz

Though 2013 is here, the year’s early days are often a time for reflection, of looking back at the driving forces of a year ago.

50ShadesofGreyCoverArtFrom a pop culture standpoint, if you’re not talking about “Gangnam Style” as the hero of 2012, you’re probably going with 50 Shades of Grey, the erotic series that turned even the most soap opera-addicted housewife into an avid reader.

Yet the E.L. James series wasn’t just a sales smash, though a smash it certainly was.

According to a new report, the trilogy also helped drive Canada’s e-reader industry.

Last year, the 50 Shades  series rocketed to cultural relevancy after Random House picked up the books, which were written by a British woman inspired by the Twilight  novels.

*Bing: The best-selling books of all-time

By every metric, they were the books that sold like books used to, moving more than 60 million copies worldwide. Already, there’s a movie series in the works, too.

But be it for shame of going out and buying a hard copy or whatever it may be, 50 Shades of Grey  is most often consumed on an e-reader.

According to a Kobo survey last year, 70 per cent of respondents who read the erotic tome did so as an e-book.

Considering 50 Shades’  sales, that’s a big number, and it’s also creating a “halo effect on the entire e-book industry,” wrote one analyst of the e-book biz.

The 50 Shades  books and other erotic tales, one might surmise, are often read in secret, and that’s something you can do with an e-reader; in many cases, no one can tell just what you’re reading.

But there is also cost. The price of e-readers is coming down, and each individual e-book can go for a fraction of what the hardcover or paperback may sell at.

Add it all up and it’s no surprise that now, in Canada, one in six books are read on an e-reader.

Do you prefer your books in traditional form or on an e-reader?



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