Fifty Shades of Bewilderment!

For those of you who think this is a detailed book review….well, as much as my hands are itching to write that, I won’t spend time doing it. But for the ‘parched for feedback’ audience, here’s some thirst quencher to saviour before I get to the main point of this blog. And mind you, I haven’t even muddled it with mint or ginger or added lemon wedges. So, have fun!

The fifty shades series: The most unbearable set of books in terms of language, grammar and the choice of words. But, having said that, is it entertaining? Yes. Is it hot? Totally and a big “Yes”. Is it worth reading? Well, thats a bit debatable, if you ask me. Let’s just say that if you can get past all of the awful writing, it’s very enjoyable, for once. I admit that I read it cover to cover. Do not, however, mistake an enjoyable read for something ‘well written’, because this is NOT. It’s like “literary weed”. You know it’s bad for you, but you can’t stop. And though they say, don’t judge a book by its cover, but this set looks incredibly artistic and groovy on your home book rack! But that’s not the only reason why I bought them. And I am grinning now…

From past few years, I have been creating a ‘list’. This is a list of things that I would like to do, when I have all time in the world. Reading the three books of this series was one of them. And just when you thought I am about to give out the saucy details of my experience of reading the book and the impact that it had on me, I will try to very gently halt your train of thought. This is really about something even more interesting than reading these books.

Have you read the fifty shades series? Well, the right question is in fact not this. Have you tried to buy the fifty shades books from a book store? Again, no. Not an online one but a traditional brick and mortar one? If you have already done that, then you know exactly what I am going to talk about in this blog. And god forbid if you haven’t, then you can take a call, shortly after reading about my experience.

So what happens when you pick a copy of fifty shades in a bookstore? Here’s a sneak peek!

It was a fine winter afternoon when I entered a bookstore. I was experiencing a dry spell. Well, I meant in terms of reading. I had not picked up a book for the longest time that I could imagine, five months to be precise. So here I was in the smallest bookstore known to mankind, trying to find myself some kickass stuff to read. After browsing through a few books, I happened to pick ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (the first part). “It’s a really nice book. You must read it” I heard a voice. I turned back to find a girl, somewhat in her early twenties, seated on a puffy near one of the hidden book racks, long open tresses, black cat eye glasses on her eyes. “Sorry?” I asked, making sure that she was talking to me and not to the oblivious shopkeeper. “Yes, this one. Real good. Oh I read it twice, you know.” Now thats why I don’t like dry spells. Come on guys, think straight for once! As a result of this, I ended up buying the book. Later on, when I read it, quite irritatingly, I kept imagining that girl (from the bookstore) to be the protagonist of the book.

So, to save myself from any more hallucinations, I bought the ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ (the second part) online. They had a deal on buying the second and third one together but I escaped the offer, thinking I might not really buy the next one. The reasons for buying the second one was….well, just to read. I guess. After reading the massive shit that this book had to offer, I vowed to never buy the third one, ever….not knowing that I was going to break this promise made to myself, very soon…just like I breach my diet every now and then.

One fine Sunday morning, I was out with family to satisfy the shopaholic in me and leverage all possible discounts on season closure. After some time, I entered a book store with my four year old kid and started to browse the shelves of activity books for children. Despite occasional howls and banter over fidget spinners by my son, I managed to pick three books for him. As I made my way to the billing counter….I saw it…

There it was, almost calling out to me. This time with reduced price by almost 60% and a hardbound cover to die for. In all its glory, this was ‘Fifty Shades Fred’ (the final one). To buy or not to buy, thy was the question. Before I could even reason it out with myself, I just picked up the mighty black swan and stacked it over the kids books that I had picked earlier. A lady in her mid sixties (I guess) watched me do that. “Oh you are reading this? Buying it for yourself, eh?” There was huge emphasis on “you” and yourself”, by the way. I gulped in a spit and answered “Yes”. She looked at my son, and then looked back at me. As if the awkwardness wasn’t enough, she asked me “so you read the others as well?”. Now, though it is an interesting perspective as to why a person will buy the last book of trilogy before reading the previous ones, I was again intrigued, not so much by the question but by the intent of the question. Call me crazy if you will but I said “Yes, I did”. I made it to the billing line closely followed by the lady.

Lo behold, the stares did not stop. By this time I was in two minds, contemplating whether to wait for the billing to be done or to just pick the book, hide my face and run out of the store. But then I remembered, I had my son with me. So I waited in the queue. Just then came the next question, “That’s your kid? Nice. So you enjoyed the first two of the books?”. Now, the juxtaposition of the two questions was pretty interesting, but I still didn’t take the hint. And I blurted “Yes. Thats my son. Yes, the books are fine. You planning to buy them too?” She seemed visually upset at my question. I continued “If you are, then there is a very good deal going on.” By that time, I made it to the billing counter.

She looked at the man at the counter and said “Did you hear that? She is asking me if I want to buy these books.”  This time the emphasis was on “I” and “these”. I was awestruck. For a few milliseconds, I did not even get the context. Frankly, I still don’t. The man at the counter mechanically replied “madam, we accept all credit cards and even paytm transfers, so in case you too wish to buy this set, it is available on an offer….” The lady bypassed me and kept the stack of her books on the billing table with a thud. She sternly looked up to the man and said “please bill these” and adjusted her glasses. All I could say at the moment was, “ma’m you were after me in the queue. But never mind.”

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