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UK hotel adopts Amazon Kindle Bibles in place of old-school volumes

A boutique hotel in Newcastle has swapped hardcover copies of the Bible with an electronic equivalent.

Guests staying in any of Hotel Indigo's 148 bedrooms in the Grainger Town district of the famous northern city will now find an Amazon Kindle eBook reader pre-loaded with the sacred writ of the Christian faith, in place of a traditional bound version.

The trial scheme is due to to expire on 16 July, at which point the hotel's management will make a decision on whether to maintain it in Newcastle, expand it to other branches of the global Hotel Indigo chain, or do away with it in favour of a more conventional hardcopy.

Adam Munday, the hotel's general manager, ventured that the move to embrace the latest literary technology was fitting given Newcastle's history as a nerve centre of the British print industry.

"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," he said.

Practitioners of other religions can download versions of their scriptures on to the e-readers for free, with a number of other titles also available via Amazon at no cost.

Hotel Indigo's trial comes at a time when more and more establishments are adopting current generation tech trends, with a US restaurant management group making headlines recently by installing iPads at its airport restaurants.

Amazon's Kindle eBook readers in particular are emerging as a popular enterprise solution, with the US government another party reported to be keen on rolling out the devices.