READERS are flocking to Limerick City Library in the hope of bagging a free copy of the erotic novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, which is sold out in the city.
But while people are queuing up to buy it when it returns to the shelves in city bookstores, there is also a lengthy delay for it in libraries across Limerick.
“We have only a handful of the books in the library, and they’re all out. So far we’ve had 19 people putting their names down on the reservations list, but many other people who enquire wouldn’t put their names down. The interest in the book is huge and it’s definitely grown in the past week,” said a spokesperson for the city library.
As library card holders may only keep a book for two weeks, unless they renew it, it appears it won’t be available again for several months.
In the county library in Dooradoyle, they have only one copy in stock, with 26 people and counting waiting to get their hands on the book.
“It’s very popular at the moment. There’s 13 people from the Dooradoyle area waiting to get the book, and the rest would be from county Limerick. We’ve a few men looking for it, but mostly women,” said a spokesperson.
Libraries in Dublin are also at a standstill, with 44 additional copies ordered for 22 branches in April, and they still can’t meet demand.
Eason’s and O’Mahony’s booksellers in the city are waiting to have another order delivered this week, but fear that they won’t be able to meet growing demand, which they said is “frustrating”.
Eason’s on O’Connell Street estimates that they have sold more than 3,000 copies of the trilogy series, while Collette Cotter of O’Mahony’s booksellers said sales “have completely out-performed all expectations.”
“It is just flying out the store. We can’t get it, and especially can’t get full orders. We might be given 100 copies at a time, but they’re gone within a few hours. The availability is a bit of a nightmare - we have five stockists and none of them have it,” said Ms Cotter.
O’Mahony’s have now entered their third week with no availability of the book, which she said is “unprecedented”, and their reservations list is growing from readers, both male and female.
“We’ve had a good few men in buying it as presents for people. It’s great that the book is getting people into town to buy the book, as the city is quiet. It’s very positive for book-selling in general. It’s out-sold the Harry Potter series and the Da Vinci Code. Publishers are more cautious about printing at the moment, but this book is going to continue selling well into the autumn and be on many people’s Christmas list,” she said.