Some of you may be weeping into your bookmarks that the biggest-selling book of all time on Amazon isn't by Hilary Mantel or JK Rowling. But who can argue with the fact that sex - paddles, tassles and all - sells?
EL James' 50 Shades of Grey, with its red room of pain, the most unbelievable (and by that we mean we just don't believe it, as Victor Meldrew would say) first-time sex scene and the most controlling man on Earth, has topped the bestseller list.
To mark the company's 15-year anniversary, a list was compiled with the top 10 sellers, on Kindle and books. EL James' trilogy, including 50 Shades Freed and 50 Shades Darker, dominated the top three spots.
“Of all the millions of books customers have purchased in the past 15 years, it’s fascinating to see which have proved most popular with the British public,” said Darren Hardy, Books Manager at Amazon.co.uk Ltd. “Sales of Kindle books have been hugely influential in determining these rankings, with EL James’ sales on Kindle for the 50 Shades Trilogy cementing her place as our most successful author ever.”
The trilogy, if you haven't read it (some of you may have been put off by reviews that is badly written), is about a young student Anastacia Steele, who falls for a troubled billionaire, Christian Grey.
It has had plenty said about it, from mockery of Anastacia's 'inner goddess' a woman so supremely irritating it's hard not to smother her with a pillow, to its undeniable achievement of making sex an acceptable topic to talk about with other people. At the dinner table. And trust us, considering the great British repression when it comes to sex, this was a good thing.
But why did it become so popular? As Zoe Williams wrote for The Guardian: "People who like to trace all new trends back to new technology have offered this explanation – that women who wouldn't be seen dead reading smut on the tube could read it on their Kindle, and this launched a whole world of sales.
"The unexpected element is that the shame of erotic fiction is largely in the imagination, and once people had read it, they felt happy to discuss it openly. It was word of mouth that launched the paperback version on the back of the ebook."