Letter from the editor.

Position:Criticism of Fifty Shades Trilogy - Editorial

By no power vested in me whatsoever, I hereby declare the Fifty Shades Trilogy phenomenon to be over.

Why should I care? No matter which book is hogging the spotlight, serious readers will still work through our ever-growing reading lists. But, I admit, it's fun when quality novels with rich, complex themes are part of the national conversation. Sure, any novel can become overexposed--even, say, The Kite Runner.

But Fifty Shades of Grey, the first novel in the Fifty Shades Trilogy, is a different beast. It's a sign that things have gone too far when one of the contestants on ABC's The Bachelor built her entire plan of attack around reenacting portions of the novel. And that I know this firsthand demonstrates that I have no leg on which to stand in being snooty about ... anything. I've been criticized in the past for proclaiming novels "guilty pleasures." But I love guilty pleasures. And Fifty Shades of Grey is clearly one.

So do I begrudge many people enjoying these books? Absolutely not. Should people feel some sense of obligation to read them to remain in touch with today's culture? Absolutely not. Do I need to know if sadomasochism touches you deeply? I really, really, really do not.

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