“Fifty Shades of Grey” readers are interesting characters, according to a new study released in Belgium that claims to have found traces of the herpes virus and cocaine on hard copies of the series' first installment.
According to a Time magazine translation from Flanders News Thursday, two Belgian university professors recently found disturbing germs on the pages of 10 Antwerp library copies of the erotic E.L. James book “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Reportedly, the novels tested positive for traces of the herpes virus and cocaine after undergoing bacteriology and toxicology screenings.
Despite the surprising finds, the professors say the books are not dangerous to health. “The professors assured everyone that concentrations of the virus were so minimal that there is no public health risk and it would be impossible for people to contract it by touching the book,” said the report, adding that the minimal traces of cocaine were not large enough for readers to feel the effects of the drug.
Even before the “Fifty Shades of Grey” discovery, libraries have been working to eliminate germs from their inventory. According to a report from Rocket News in June, multiple libraries in Japan have recently implemented bacteria elimination boxes in an effort to successfully remove harmful microbes left behind on books by previous readers. Reportedly, the extermination process, which utilizes UV rays, takes a total of 45-seconds to completely santize items.
“Fifty Shades of Grey,” an erotica trilogy which started as online “Twilight” fan fiction, was released in June 2011 by British author E.L. James. The novel, which was deemed "the best-selling book of all time" by the Telegraph in 2012, is currently being made into a feature film.
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Last month, "Once Upon a Time" star Jamie Dornan was cast as the film's lead, BDSM-practicing billionaire Christian Grey. In September, James announced that former sitcom actress Dakota Johnson will star as Grey’s love interest, Anastasia Steele. The film is currently scheduled for a February 2015 release and will reportedly begin filming in December in Vancouver.