As it Happens

Charity shop builds fort out of unwanted 'Fifty Shades of Grey' books

A charity shop in Wales is begging people to stop sending in copies of the erotic blockbuster "Fifty Shades of Grey." They've already received so many that they've started building a fort out of the books.
Oxfam Castle Street Swansea charity shop are pleading with the public to stop donating copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey." They already have so many copies of the erotic best-selling book that they've resorted to building a towering fort in their warehouse. (Vintage Books/AP/Wales News Service)
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A couple of years ago, it seemed as if everyone was giving in to temptation and buying Fifty Shades of Grey. But now those readers are scrambling to unload their copies of the erotic blockbuster.

It's gotten so bad that a charity shop in the United Kingdom is begging people to stop donating the book.
Katherine Eilbeck is deputy manager of the Oxfam Shop in Swansea, England. (Facebook)

"We have hundreds in the shop," Katherine Eilbeck tells As It Happens host Carol Off.

Eilbeck is the deputy manager the Oxfam Shop in Swansea, Wales. She says the copies at her store represent just a fraction of the "thousands" being warehoused for charity shops in the area.

"They have built up an amazing amount," Eilbeck admits. "So many that I really wouldn't like to say how many, but a lot."


Workers at the crowded local warehouse are finding creative ways to manage the burgeoning supply of Fifty Shades of Grey copies.

"They've built a house that they can actually sort of walk inside," Eilbeck explains. "With all the walls and a door that they can walk in — it just looks really funny."

Photos of their Fifty Shades of Grey book fort are now going viral. Eilbeck is asking people will think twice before turning in another copy. She hopes they will opt for other items with a higher resale value, such as vinyl records.

"It was just to illustrate a point," Eilbeck explains. "Instead of bringing in another Da Vinci Code, or another Fifty Shades of Grey, please can we have something else?"

It is too early to know whether the media attention will inhibit further Fifty Shades of Grey donations, but Eilbeck says they're already receiving proposals for recycling the existing surplus.

"We've heard recently that they are actually filling in holes in the road with pulp." Plus, according to Eilbeck, "a man has rung up today, with all the press, to say that he wants to build a genuine wall with them and because they're all the same size, that he's going to consider buying some, so we'll wait and see what happens about that."

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