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Greenburgh Library Heats Up as Summer Season Nears

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Perhaps you want to get your hands on the popular novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E L James for some summer reading. Or maybe you want to read “Defending Jacob” by William Landay.

Good luck. So does everyone else.

The pair of New York Times bestsellers make up the top two most-reserved books throughout the Westchester Library System so far in 2012, statistics show. As of last weekend, neither book was available at the Greenburgh Public Library.

And readers might have even more trouble getting their hands on the popular novels as the summer season rolls around. Over the past two years, the Greenburgh Library’s highest circulation month was in the summer, with August topping the list in 2011 and July in 2010.

Still, not all librarygoers are clamoring to get their hands on those novels.

Greenburgh mom Kesa Fair said she comes into the library weekly, sometimes reserving as many as six books at a time. But Fair goes for culinary, fairy tales or religion books, not the racy romance novel and murder drama that have taken libraries by storm.

“We read a lot — whatever we’re in the mood for,” Fair said. “Sometimes you need a break from reality.”

While many parents, such as Fair, might be happy their teens are reading over the summer months, they might also want to keep an eye on their children’s book choices, a recent study says. Last month, a Brigham Young University professor’s research found that, on average, teen novels contain 38 instances of profanity between the covers. That translates to almost seven instances of profanity per hour spent reading.

After analyzing the use of profanity in 40 books on an adolescent bestsellers list, professor Sarah Coyne says she was intrigued not just by how much swearing happens in teen books, but who was swearing: Those with higher social status, better looks and more money.

“From a social learning standpoint, this is really important because adolescents are more likely to imitate media characters portrayed in positive, desirable ways,” Coyne said in BYU press release .

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