The Hotel Indigo in Newcastle, UK, is much like any other hotel: expensive mini bar, pointless shower caps, and bed sheets that take 10 minutes to get under. Until you peer into the beside table that is, because in the place of a Bible there's a Kindle waiting to be read.
Claiming to be the first hotel to offer up ereaders in place of bibles, they're available in every one of the 148 rooms, reports the Telegraph. The Kindles come loaded with copies of The Bible, and guests are also permitted to download any other religious text to the device as long as its value doesn't exceed $US7.50.
If religion isn't your thing, you can download other ebooks — but non-religious texts must be paid for. If the scheme works out, the hotelier plans to extend it to the rest of its 44 hotels around the world. Adam Munday, the hotel's general manager, explained to the Telegraph that the idea was inspired by Newcastle's literary heritage:
"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."
Currently, there's no word on how the devices are secured, though it's a fair bet to assume that the cost would simply be added to the guest's credit card if the Kindle went missing. [The Telegraph]