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.
And so today, with the support of Wayne, my Manager (pictured) I substituted the Gideon Bibles with Fifty Shades of Grey in all the bedrooms at the Damson Dene Hotel. My decision has attracted quite a bit of media interest and we have spent much of the day talking to the press and TV about it (see here and here). In this secular age it seems distinctly odd that anyone would expect to find a religious book in a hotel bedroom. But I won’t be giving all our Gideon bibles to the Help The Aged charity shop – I’ll keep a couple behind the reception desk so that if any guest whose preferred bedtime reading happens to be the bible finds that they have forgotten to pack their copy, they’ll be pleased to read in the guest handbook that they can borrow a copy from the receptionist.