Charity shops rely on donations from the public but one branch of Oxfam has decided enough is enough when it comes to one particular item.
It seems that after buying millions of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, after it was originally published in May 2011, the British public simply don’t know what to do with all that kinkiness on their bookcases.
So they’ve decided to donate it to charity — and it’s getting slightly out of hand, reported the South Wales Evening Post.
Phil Broadhurst, the manager of the Oxfam bookshop on Castle Street, Swansea, took to Facebook last weekend to ask those intending to donate unwanted items to leave their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels at home.
“We appreciate all your donations,” he wrote, “but less Fifty Shades and more Sixties and Seventies vinyl would be good.”
A couple of days later another post politely reminded customers that “33rpm records would be better than 50 Shades Of Grey books if possible.”
Broadhurst also referred to his shop as a “retirement home” for copies of the E.L. James trilogy and said he had had to make a similar appeal when the shop was flooded with Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
However he admits his Facebook pleas have been good for business.
“I think it has spread because people like the humour in the appeal — and also there are a lot of people obsessed by Fifty Shades of Grey and by vinyl!” he said.
Fortunately a company near Ammanford is prepared to take the mountains of Fifty Shades books. Goldstone Books, which sells books online via Amazon, eBay and other third party websites, collects books every week from 260 charity shops in Wales and Bristol.
Managing director Ashley Stamford-Plows said supply of the E.L. James books was outstripping demand but, because of the “noticeable surge in demand” when the Fifty Shades of Grey movie came out last year, they are holding on to thousands of copies of the series in anticipation of the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, being released next year.
Any books that aren’t sold are recycled and turned into kitchen and toilet roll. Which is another suggestion for what to do with used Fifty Shades of Grey books. If your local charity shop won’t take them, pop them in the recycling bank and know that, one day, you could be using it to wipe your behind.
We’ll let you decide whether that’s appropriate or not.