SCOTTISH libraries are having to order extra copies of steamy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey because they cannot meet demand.
More than five people are fighting over every copy of the “mummy porn” classic held by libraries in and around Edinburgh.
The racy novel by EL James has become the UK’s fastest-selling adult paperback.
But housewives who want to get their pulses racing and do not want to buy a copy face a long wait.
More than 150 people have tried to get their hands on the book, but Edinburgh council only stocks 28 copies.
A source in the council’s library department said: “You’re probably better off buying it.”
Edinburgh councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s culture convener, said: “As with all bestsellers, we’re seeing a substantial demand for Fifty Shades of Grey and our library service will be ordering more copies to cater for this.”
A library service source denied that it was just bored housewives checking out the novel.
“It’s just anybody from all walks of life, I don’t think there’s any one kind of reader,” he said.
Another source added: “We had a woman come in and she was talking about what she thought about it, and she said it’s not as bad as people think it is.”
In West Lothian, librarians received 59 requests for 11 copies, and the council is following Edinburgh in ordering more.
East Lothian council only has two copies, and a queue of 31 people vying to check them out.
It has ordered another six to meet the demand.
First published in March, the book has shot to the top of bestseller lists around the world.
Fifty Shades of Grey is just the first book in the trilogy by the British author, followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
It tells the story of businessman Christian Grey’s relationship with young graduate Anastasia Steele.
The book has been dubbed “mummy porn” due to its popularity with housewives, and has become a worldwide sensation.
Ron Howell of Waterstones says the books understated cover, which shows nothing more revealing than a tie, has made people more likely to pick it up.
He said: “It’s quite sexually explicit on the inside. But the covers are quite demure. It’s not like Black Lace or Nexus, where the covers are more explicit.”
The book sold more than a million paperback copies in just 11 weeks, smashing the record of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, which took 36 weeks to reach the same figure.
The book has inevitably sparked its own parodies, with a Twitter account called 50 sheds of Grey currently counting more than 20,000 followers.
Not without its critics, feminists have branded the book “demeaning” and Christians groups have called it “sinful.”