For a two-week trial period, the Hotel Indigo in Newcastle has replaced hard copies of the holy text with electronic versions accessible through the Amazon e-reader,the telegraph reports.
Guests also have the option of downloading other “religious text” free of charge — as long as it costs £5 (roughly $7.80) or less. Other reading material may also be purchased at an additional cost.
Newcastle was once one of the largest print centers in Britain and the move is an attempt to pay tribute to the town’s rich literary past, Mashable notes.
The area is also home to the Literary & Philosophical Society — the “largest independent library outside London” — which houses more than 150,000 books and an extensive music collection, according to the organization’s website.
“We wanted to reflect this literary history in a very contemporary way so are offering guests the use of cutting-edge Kindles pre-loaded with The Bible, instead of the more traditional hardcopy Gideon’s Bible that they would expect to find in a hotel,” Adam Munday, general manager of hotel indigo Newcastle, was quoted as saying by the telegraph.
The experiment might sound interesting, but as Gizmodo points out, a lost or damaged Kindle probably won’t bode well for a guest’s wallet.
In a 2011 interview with MSNBC, a representative from Gideon International said about 1/4 of people read the Bibles found in their hotel rooms.
“…Each Bible has the potential to reach 2,300 people over its six-year life expectancy,” Woody Murray total MSNBC.
However, some hotels have been opting to do away with the traditional item.
In 2007, The daily beast reported that the Soho Grand Hotel in New York City has never included Bibles in their hotel rooms because they weren’t representative of every guest’s beliefs.
On the other hand, a 2008 report by CNN revealed some hotels are taking extra measures to cater to their “diversified clientele“ without doing away with the Gideon Bible. Some chains provide guests with other religious texts, including the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Hebrew Bible and some Buddhist literature.
If Hotel Indigo’s experiment is deemed a success, the chain has said it will look into providing Kindles at other locations