September 13, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey now officially rubbish


Even charity shops have uncharitable things to say about Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey. Just when we thought no more bad stuff could come out of this book: first the monstrous book sales, then the media frenzy, then the film announcement followed by all the tiny updates about who would direct and star in the film (readers, I covered this too), then the recent news that hotels up and down the country were lumbered with discarded copies of the books.

After all that, it is now charity shops, those high street paragons of virtue and volunteerism, who must bear the brunt of the Fifty Shades legacy.

According to the Telegraph, charities are struggling under the weight of thousands of copies of the trilogy that no one in the country wants anymore. A spokesperson from described the ‘paper mountain’ of Fifty Shades books that threatens to engulf the whole of England. Rhona Coulter, Books Manager at Cancer Research UK told of the plight of her shop managers who have been victims of the floods of ‘hundreds of donations of Fifty Shades over the recent months’.

Remaining ever-professional and grateful for the donations received by the charity, Coulter said that, “We always welcome donations, but the secondary sales potential of the novels is a big problem”. Then she looked down and her eyes darkened*, and she uttered the four words that signalled the very end of the nation’s regrettable love affair, which had resulted only in trouble and queasy reading experiences, “Nobody wants it anymore.” Nobody. The words reverberated through England’s hills and mountains, paper mountains of unwanted copies of Fifty Shades, that is.

The books cannot even be recycled because ‘of the glue that was used to bind them’, which is conclusive proof that nothing good can come out of this book ever. Small armies of people have banded together to try and rid the country of the books, by any means. The Facebook page, ‘50 ways of killing 50 Shades of Grey’ is one example, where citizens are invited to share how they destroyed the book. So far, this includes throwing it down the toilet (“Where this turd of a novel belongs. Shred it first.”), throwing it off a bridge and one failed attempt to add it to a compost bin.  Below, I share 5 additional ideas that any enterprising charity shop is welcome to use.

  • Shred the books repeatedly until you are left with fine confetti, which is perfect for weddings. Sell it.
  • Rip a single page out of the book and scrunch it tightly until you have a firm round ball. Sell it along with two copies of the book, which you will now refer to as ‘book rackets’, which may be used to play ‘book tennis’. This game will keep children entertained for hours, but do not under any circumstances allow the children to open the books.
  • The covers of Fifty Shades are soft touch. Knitted together in a patchwork formation they will provide a relatively soft quilt perfect for winter. Sell it.
  • Assemble the books into pieces of home furniture: chairs, tables and shelving units may all be constructed relatively easily. Bind together using gaffer tape. Sell as a set.
  • We’re all feeling the effects of soaring energy prices. Throw the books into a non-flammable container and keep them burning throughout the cold season. You’re warm, the books are gone, everyone’s a winner.




Zeljka Marosevic is the managing director of Melville House UK.