Many of us will be traveling this Summer while we are on vacation. No matter what hotel or motel you end up spending the night in, one thing is for certain. Open the drawer on the nightstand, look inside, and you are very likely to find a Bible.
That Bible was probably placed there by Gideons International. The group puts Bibles in hotels and motels, in hospitals, convalescent homes, medical offices, and domestic violence shelters. It also distributes Bibles to prisons and jails. Gideons International has been doing this since 1908.
However, starting this month, July of 2012, the InterContinental Hotels Group is about to make a change. There won’t be anymore paper Bibles placed into the 148 rooms at Hotel Indigo in Newcastle, England. Instead of having a Bible in each room, the hotel is going to replace it with electronic versions of the Bible that are pre-loaded on a Kindle eReader.
Each Kindle will be outfitted with Wi-Fi. Guests will be able to use the Kindle that is in their room to read the Bible for free. Or, if the guest prefers, he or she can purchase any of the other ebooks that are available in the Amazon Kindle store, and read those instead. For the first two weeks of this program, the hotel will allow guests to download any religious texts they like onto their in-room Kindle for free, (as long as their selection costs $8.00 or less). Guests can also choose a selection from the eBook titles that Amazon offers for free.
What guests will not be allowed to do is to take their in-room Kindle home with them. Each Kindle will be wiped after use. The ebooks that guests purchased will go on the hotel’s account, and will not be something that a guest would get to keep. To me, it is interesting to see an old tradition – leaving a paper Bible in hotel rooms – be updated with new technology.
Image: Holy Bible in Hotel Drawer by BigStock