El James Fifty Shades Of Grey
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Haters, say what you will about Fifty Shades of Grey, but it just may be responsible for saving one of the largest bookstore chains out there.

Barnes & Noble Inc. reported a smaller than anticipated loss for its fiscal first quarter, and it seems that may be due at least in part to the phenomenal sales of E L James’s erotic series.

Barnes & Noble’s net loss numbered $41 million last quarter. This may sound bad, but if we compare it to the same quarter in 2011 (when the company reported a loss of 56.6 million) it’s actually an improvement. Furthermore, Barnes & Noble saw its total revenue rise 2.5% to $1.5 billion.

And all of this sales goodness isn’t even just thanks to the company’s Nook, though the e-reader certainly helped matters. The company also reported a 7.6 percent increase for revenue at bookstores open at least a year. B&N’s inner goddess is swaying in a gentle samba.

“We continued to see improvement in both our rapidly growing Nook business, which saw digital content sales increase 46% during the quarter, and at our bookstores, which continue to benefit from market consolidation and strong sales of the Fifty Shades series,” said CEO William Lynch.

The Fifty Shades trilogy currently occupies the top three spots on The New York Times bestseller list.

If the Fifty Shades series helps keep real bookstores alive and healthy, are you willing to put up with Ana Steele and her subconscious just a little while longer? Maybe it can help save the music business as well.

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Fifty Shades of Grey (Book)
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