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My friend Sarah has a theory about the popularity of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which tells the sordid tale of a BDSM relationship between powerful, attractive billionaire Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, his young, virginal ladycharge. (The story started out as Twilight fan fiction, unsurprisingly.) An entire segment of readers who were let down by the dearth of sparkly vampire sex in the Twilight books can now read about similar characters with a similar dynamic getting down to business in graphic, sub-dom detail. But Sarah, a sex blogger who recently got a Kindle, thinks the privacy permitted by e-readers means more erotica for everyone—especially moms. No longer must they lock themselves in the bathroom to enjoy poorly rendered prose about boning! Thanks to your Kindle, you can read as much kinky fiction as your heart desires, and as far as the guy next to you on the train knows, you’re getting your War and Peace on. But keep this in mind: If you show up to the Bethesda Barnes & Noble to get the Fifty Shades scribe to sign your book or limited-edition collectible card, well, your secret’s out.
E.L. James signs books at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda. Free. barnesandnoble.com. (301) 986-1761.