Fifty Shades: How Many Words Did You Read?

When E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Trilogy came out, many people were excited to read about it as it is an unusual topic about a kinky lifestyle. Combined, the trilogy has sold over 125 million copies worldwide. Interestingly, this trilogy has been said to have “set the record in the United Kingdom as the fastest-selling paperback of all time”. Also, in 2012, Time Magazine named E.L. James one of the world’s top 100 influential people.  The novels consist of erotic (BDSM: Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism) romance between a new college graduate Anastasia Steele, and a businessman, Christian Grey.

Did You Know?

Fifty Shades of Grey was originally Twilight fanfiction. Fanfiction are stories written by fans of any work using established characters, settings, plot, etc. in this case, E.L. James wrote the book, previously titled Masters of the Universe, about Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, the protagonists of Twilight. When she saw the popularity of the story, she renamed the book and renamed the characters.

Many were appalled by the topic, people of the BDSM community were insulted, and other readers were disgusted by the horrible way the trilogy was written. The book has said to have been painful to read (not even a fun pain) and has gotten bad reviews. However, because of the many bad reviews stating how cringe-worthy each book is, you would wonder about the number of words that have been read and the number of words that have been skipped.  

To satisfy your curiosity, this article is going to look at how many words are in The Fifty Shades trilogy. Also, it will observe why it became popular and how the Fifty Shades novels compare to the Fifty Shades movies.

How Many Words Are In Each Novel Of The Trilogy?

The number of pages in this trilogy is roughly the same. Each book has just a little more than five hundred pages. This means that the novels have almost the same thickness and almost the same amount of torture for readers. However, they do differ in the number of words. The first novel consisting of a word count of 172,260 started out purely because E.L. James had an interest in the topic. She says to have been and still is interested in writing fanfiction. Her decision to write on this topic arose after her other fanfiction publication because, in E.L. James’ own words, “my mid-life crisis, writ large. All my fantasies are in there and that’s it”.

The second novel of the trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker, has more pages than the first book Fifty Shades of Grey. However, though they both have the same number of words, Fifty Shades Darker has 30 more pages. This is more than likely that some words in Fifty Shades Darker are made to be larger in order to emphasise or make a point than in Fifty Shades of Grey. When the thickness of a novel comes to page count and a book word count, SIZE DOES MATTER (no pun intended).

The third novel of this trilogy is Fifty Shades Freed. It is the thickest of the three with the most pages and the most word count. In this novel, the characters are married; and well, married life does get complex which may explain the extra words. Also, this last novel of the trilogy may have been the thickest because usually, in many, if not all book series the characters come to a conclusion. Like all other trilogies, Fifty Shades also came to a conclusion, which means, the last novel, Fifty Shades Freed, has more pages and words than those of Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker.

Here are the books and word count of each novel in order:

Fifty Shades of Grey: 172,260 words
The second book, Fifty Shades Darker: 172,260 words
Fifty Shades Freed: 182,555 words

Why Was It So Popular?

Because of religion and culture, people tend to avoid the topic of sex or any type of sex (wild, outdoors, an orgy, swingers’ parties) at all costs. However, in today’s society, many people are starting to be open to the topic of sex and sexuality. Its publication became the talk of the world. The Fifty Shades Trilogy has created an explosion of the discussion of sex, types of sex, sexuality, and the BDSM community.  However, the Fifty Shades trilogy is more popular for the hate it received.

An example of this would be three separate, but largest groups of the many who popularised the novels by hating it. The first group of haters is the BDSM community. They hate the book because they feel like it gives “outsiders” the wrong impression of their lifestyle. The second group consists of the feminists. They hate it because Anastasia, the main female character has no personality and can’t think for herself.  The third and probably largest group is the conservative cultures and conservative religionists. They hate the novels purely because it’s different, portraying a violent, kinky porn society that was taboo to talk about in a public setting.

Comparing Fifty Shades Novels To Fifty Shades Movies

There are many differences between the books and the movies. Some of these differences include the personalities of the main characters, the number of sex scenes, and other details. For example, Anastasia’s eating habits. In the novels, Christian has a large issue with Anastasia’s eating habits. He constantly makes it a point for her to eat in almost every chapter. However, in the movies, Christian’s issue with Anastasia’s eating habits have been cut into just one movie in one scene. Another example is the other characters in the novels. Anastasia’s best friend Kate was a prominent figure in the novels, always being by her side, and doing what best friends do. However, the movies have dimmed down Kate’s part close to non-existent even though she later does have a relationship with Elliot.  

Sex Toys

One thing many people have pointed out and have been intrigued about when the trilogy came out is the use of sex toys. Comparing the novels with the movies, the items used during their kinky episodes weren’t quite as intense as those mentioned and used in the novels. In the first novel, Christian actually used furry floggers and ben wah balls. However, in the movie, they used a blindfold and only mentioned a few sex toys. Basically, the movie is more vanilla than the book. The movie doesn’t do any justice to the word count of the novels. The movie can be summarised in a couple of paragraphs, while the novels can’t.

Fifty Shades Sequel

With the success of her books, E.L. James has written a two-book sequel. However, this sequel is from the point of view of the main character Christian Grey. It has not been revealed if these sequels will be turned into movies like the previous trilogy had been. All the audience can do is wait and see.  

Similar in sexual activities and erotic romance, the Fifty Shades sequel from Christian Grey’s point of view has continued to be criticised. Also, you can see that E.L. James’ Fifty Shades sequel has a lesser word count and aren’t as popular as the original Fifty Shades trilogy. This could be because the hype around BDSM has gone down, or bad reviews of the trilogy have made the interest of the sequel not as exciting.  

We now wonder how many words you’ll read or skip in E.L. James’ sequel. Here are E.L. James’ two new novels and their word count:

Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told By Christian Grey: 164,140 words
Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told By Christian Grey: 156,600 words

Have a kinky time reading!

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