A Florida library system is the latest to reverse its policy and add literary phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey to its bookshelves after overwhelming public demand.

The Brevard County Library system had initially pulled its 19 copies of the bestselling E.L. James erotica books from its collection after reading reviews. A spokesman also described the trilogy as "semi-pornographic."


Author E.L. James holds a copy of her erotic fiction novel Fifty Shades of Grey at a book-signing in Coral Gables, Fla. on April 29. (Jeffrey M. Boan/Associated Press)

On Monday, however, the library system acquiesced to reader response and said Fifty Shades of Grey would be available again immediately.

Though the books have been carried in Canadian libraries with no qualms, several U.S. library systems had initially refused to carry the series, which tracks the unconventional romance of a college co-ed and a young business titan. The couple's liaison is based on BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) sexual encounters.

Some libraries cited a policy of not carrying erotica for the decision to block the books, while others said they did not meet standards or were not appropriate.

However, the number of readers clamouring for the books have caused many to reverse their decisions.

An umbrella group of organizations — including the National Coalition Against Censorship — has weighed in, criticizing the Florida system for not carrying the book.

The Brevard County Library System is against censorship and is reviewing its selection criteria, according to library services director Cathy Schweinsberg.

E-book success

First-time British novelist James' trilogy had its origins in Twilight fan fiction that she discovered online in 2009.

After reading Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster vampire romance series, James was compelled to write.

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (comprising Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed) first emerged as e-books and had massive success. A bidding war amid traditional publishers soon followed.

The top-selling books have inspired widespread debate and analysis. Film rights to the stories have also been sold.

With files from The Associated Press