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God goes digital: The UK hotel that offers Kindle Bibles

Posting in Technology

But just how many Kindles will still be in the hotel rooms after guests depart?

In what is reported to be the first UK hotel to offer such a service, the Hotel Indigo has decided to bring religious devotion into the modern era -- by offering Kindle version Bibles instead of their traditional print counterparts.

From this week, each of the 148 rooms the hotel offers will have a Kindle pre-loaded with a copy of the Bible. If guests wish to download any other texts -- for example, the Koran -- they are able to, as long as it costs no more than £5 ($7.70). Fiction downloads are also an option, and the cost is added to the bill at the end of a guest's stay.

Currently, the service is on its trial period, and is due to finish on July 16 for review. If it proves successful, then the Kindles may be rolled out across the chain's 44 hotels dotted across the globe -- including New York, Madrid and Berlin.

The hotel's general manager, Adam Munday, said that the idea came to fruition through the history and heritage of the hotel's location in Newcastle. It has the largest independent library outside of London, which houses over 150,000 texts. He said:

"In the 18th Century, Newcastle was one of the largest print centres in Britain and we’re in Grainger Town, close to the Literary and Philosophical Society. 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."

It may be innovative and an interesting way to modernize the traditional hotel room copy of the Bible, but it does make you wonder just how many Kindles end up inexplicably in a guest's luggage -- together with unused soaps and a towel or two.

Image credit: Flickr

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure