50 shades of Shutterstock

Slide show: Everyone's favorite light-bondage bestseller illustrated by inexplicable stock photography

Published May 29, 2012 1:00AM (EDT)

This week, for roughly the millionth time, E.L. James’ romance-bondage trilogy “50 Shades” nabs the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots on the New York Times bestseller lists. We don’t get it either. Every page of that book, which famously began as “Twilight” fan fiction, elicits a sigh of confusion and weird secondary embarrassment. The question is: Who would read this? (The answer is: Apparently everyone.) It’s the same baffled, helpless feeling we get when we sort through stock photos on a daily basis. Stock photos – which have been the subject of recent outstanding Internet satire – are used by this site, and many others, to illustrate our flood of content. Many are plain and simple, but a good portion are flat-out mind-blowing. Why did anyone think that photo was a good idea? It only made sense to join these forces. And so, we present to you passages from the most head-scratching bestseller of our time, illustrated with the assistance of inexplicable stock photography.

By Salon Staff

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