AS soon as the mercury drops and winter arrives, you can often find Leanne Grundon curled up in a chair with a good book and a blanket, but with this year's biggest seller running a bit on the racy side she reckons you might want to skip the blanket.

Mrs Grundon owns Mary Ryan's Bookstore in Ruthven St and she's been run off her feet lately with people looking to escape the miserable winter days into a fictional world that offers a bit more warmth.

The book that has been walking off the shelves almost as fast as they can stack them is 50 Shades of Grey, fast becoming one of winter's hottest topics.

It is the first instalment of a titillating trilogy guaranteed to warm the blood a bit, but Mrs Grundon assures that women of all ages have been sidling up to the counter to get their copy.

"Last year I felt like there weren't quite enough fantastic titles coming on the market, but this year there is plenty of great fiction to be found," she said.

"It's the perfect winter pastime because it just takes you away from the monotones of the season and that's probably why 50 Shades of Grey is doing so well.

"I'm finding it interesting that people seem a bit embarrassed to buy it even though I tell them not to worry, but the vast majority of customers who bought it have also come back for the second and third instalments.

"That's got to be a good sign!"

When it comes to selecting your next absorbing winter novel, Mrs Grundon recommends trusting your instincts, taking advice from friends and taking a chance on things you might not normally buy.

She said the amount of new fiction out there is huge, so there is little point persevering with a book you can't get into when you could be finding something better.

She also believes the key to surprising yourself with a new favourite author is to try new things and really listen when a friend recommends.


Winter reads

Leanne's adult list:

  • Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure - Joanne Harris
  • The 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy - E.L. James
  • The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
  • Jacaranda - Mandy Magro
  • All That I Am - Anna Funder
  • Game of Thrones Trilogy - George RR Martin


Books for kids:

  • The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  • Maze Runner - James Dashner
  • A Nest for Celeste - Henry Cole'
  • Dragonkeeper - Carole Wilkinson
  • The Very Hungry Bear - Nick Bland

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