Waterstones is expecting a "busy day" marking the release of the latest edition of E L James' blockbuster hit series Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told By Christian (Arrow).
The chain's flagship Piccadilly store in London has a front of store window display dedicated to the release (pictured), only announced two weeks ago, and excitement for the book's publication is building on Twitter under the hashtag #GreyUk.
A spokesperson for Waterstones said: "We didn't have a pre-opening queue, but we have a dedicated window and a big front of store table and are looking forward to a busy day."
Meanwhile the book, told from the perspective of male protagonist Christian Grey, is still top of Amazon's Kindle chart priced £3.79 and was top of the Waterstones pre-order chart as of last night (17th June). The title is also enjoying a dedicated banner on the Waterstones website, selling for £3.99.
Penguin Random House imprint Cornerstone, which publishes the series, has been building suspense for the book's release all week, with the company telling The Bookseller there would be a "stunt" in the UK to mark the release today (18th June). While full details are yet to be revealed, Twitter chat suggests it will involve a helicopter and a media link-up with ITV's "This Morning" at noon. E L James herself is holding an exclusive book signing in Barnes & Noble in New York today.
Fans have also been expressing their glee at the release of the latest edition in the Grey series. Ashleigh Morris tweeted: "Can't wait to come home from work to Mr Grey meeting me at the door. @E_L_James #Grey #GreyUK."
Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph is currently "live-reading" the book, picking out what it dubs its "best lines", including: "She's too young. She's too inexperienced, but, damn, I like the feel of her hand in mine" from chapter three, or "She's oil on my troubled, deep, dark waters" from chapter five.
Announcing the book earlier this month, James said: "Christian is a complex character and readers have always been fascinated by his desires and motivations, and his troubled past. Also, as anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows, there are two sides to every story."
However not all the trade was equally excited by the book's arrival. Rory Hill, bookseller of The Book Hive in Norwich, told The Bookseller: "We won't see much interest here. We never stocked the previous ones, only ordered them in when customers asked for them but that was quite rare."
Today marks the fictional character Grey's birthday.