Hotel Indigo in UK takes Bible hi-tech

If there is one thing that has remained a constant in hotel guestrooms over the years, it has been the presence of Gideons Bible in the nightstand next to the bed. Now, even the Bible is going hi-tech.

The new Hotel Indigo in Newcastle, England, is not removing the Bible, but it does claim to be the first in Britain to bring it into the 21st century by replacing the hard copy with a Kindle e-reader version.

According to The Telegraph in London, guests are also permitted to download a copy of any other religious text – to the value of £5 or less – during their stay. Regular fiction books can also be purchased, with the costs added to guests’ bills.

The hi-tech Bible is being trialed until July 16, when a decision will be made whether or not to keep it and potentially expand it to more Indigo hotels.

Hotel General Manager Adam Munday said the idea was inspired by Newcastle’s literary heritage. The city was once a publishing hotspot, and the hotel is found in near the Literary and Philosophical Society – the largest independent library outside London, which houses more than 150,000 books. “We wanted to reflect this literary history in a very contemporary way,” Munday said.

Gideons International is a U.S.-based evangelical Christian organization founded in 1899 and dedicated to distributing free copies of the Bible, often in hotel rooms. Nearly 80 million bibles were distributed last year.