UK Hotel Now Swapping Kindles With Bibles

A hotel on the east coast of the UK has come up with a gimmick that has all the gadget blogs buzzing today. Hotel Indigo Newcastle, the most recently launched location in the Indigo chain, is swapping out the Gideon bibles you're used to stealing from finding in the drawers of hotels and motels with an Amazon Kindle.

The Kindle will be filled with the Bible as well as other religious texts. There's no mention of what else will be loaded, though the hotel does promise that visitors will be able to download their preferred religious text for a value of £5 or less via the hotel’s Wi-Fi, according to a press release. Visitors can also download other, secular books for the usual prices. The hotel is trying the program out and will decide in two weeks if it’s worth carrying out over the long term.

Adam Munday, general manager of Hotel Indigo Newcastle, explained why the hotel chain made the swap: “Every Hotel Indigo draws inspiration from its local area to give guests an individual experience. In the 18th Century, Newcastle was one of the largest print centres in Britain and we’re in Grainger Town, close to the Lit & Phil."

“We wanted to reflect this literary history in a very contemporary way." According to Wikipedia, NewCastle was the 4th largest printing center in 18th century England. Do you know what they didn't make there? Kindles.

See, that's why I call this a gimmick. If they really want to highlight a literary past then wouldn't it be better to stock each room with books that were printed and debated locally? They could also include tour books for the area which discuss this aspect of that region's past.

A Kindle represents the literary past of Newcastle about as well as a Makerbot would represent the region's manufacturing past, don't you think? (On second thought, that would be rather cool.)

About Nate Hoffelder (11389 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on UK Hotel Now Swapping Kindles With Bibles

  1. Let’s hope the inspirational content dissuades the light-fingered guests from adding a Kindle to their usual haul of towels, shampoo, slippers, etc.

  2. “Oh look, dear! They’ve given us a free Kindle!”

  3. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a Gideon’s Bible, but if I remember correctly, you can’t actually “steal” one because they invite you to take it with you if you wish. I bet that’s not true for the Kindle!

  4. A comment on the Telegraph article says that if the Kindle is taken, the guest will be billed for it.

    I have mixed feelings about this. E-books are nice and all, very modern, but it seems to me e-readers can have some barriers to entry to people who’ve never used them before, especially in older generations. And for the purposes for which those Bibles are placed in hotel rooms, this might be one situation where a printed book would work better.

    I’ve heard presentations at my parents’ church from Gideons, members of Gideons International who distribute Bibles to hotel rooms, and one of the things they mention is people who check into a hotel to consider suicide but then change their mind after picking up and thumbing through the Gideon’s Bible. It’s hard to imagine such a person doing that on an e-reader if he’s never used one before.

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