Hotel Replaces Bible With '50 Shades of Grey'

Will more hotel guests want "50 Shades of Grey" than the Bible?

July 25, 2012— -- Are hotel guests more interested in reading "50 Shades of Grey" than the Bible?

One British hotelier thinks so. And that's why, even though he says he's never read E L James' best-selling novel himself, Jonathan Denby has decided to remove all the Gideon Bibles from his hotel's 40 rooms and replace them with the book that's been dubbed "mommy porn."

He made the switch earlier this month at the Damson Dene Hotel in the Lake District of England.

Denby writes on his blog, Slow Life: "Tonight millions of women will be curling up in bed with a good book and you can bet your life it won't be the Bible. More likely than not it will be 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' I haven't read the book yet -- I'm not in the target audience -- but I'm told it's a ripping good yarn and everyone who's in the target audience loves it. This made me wonder about the sense of providing a book, the Gideon Bible which no-one reads, and many dislike, in the bedside cabinet of our hotel bedrooms, instead of a book which everyone wants to read, such as 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'

"In this secular age it seems distinctly odd that anyone would expect to find a religious book in a hotel bedroom."

So what are guests who are not the book's "target audience" supposed to read on a visit to the Damson Dene Hotel? Denby isn't banishing the Bible altogether. Instead, he plans to keep a few copies behind the reception desk in case someone asks.

That's not enough for some. The Telegraph reported a local vicar has condemned the hotelier's actions, calling it a "gimmick." The Damson Dene was featured on a British reality show, "The Hotel."

Rev Michael Woodcock told the newspaper, "It is a great shame that Bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel.

"The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful."