British hotel replaces Bible with Fifty Shades of Grey

Jordana Divon
Shine On
July 26, 2012

How popular is Fifty Shades of Grey these days? Well, in one England hotel, it recently replaced the Bible.

Guests of the Damson Dene hotel who wish to look up their favourite verse can still consult the religious text — they'll just have to ask proprietor Jonathan Denby to borrow one from the old stash left by the hotel's former owners.

More easily accessible is E.L. James' popular eroto-thriller, which starting this month, guests can find in each of the hotel's 40 rooms.

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Denby tells NBC News he felt it was "wholly inappropriate" in today's secular society to have religious books in the private rooms. Instead, he wanted to offer something more thoroughly modern.

"[B]ecause everybody is reading Fifty Shades of Grey, we thought it would be a hospitable thing to do, to have this available for our guests, especially if some of them were a little bit shy about buying it because of its reputation."

Chances are good that many of the hotel's North American guests will have already perused the series.

The Telegraph notes that sales have already topped 15 million in the U.S. and Canada and show no sign of slowing down.

Denby, whose tastes appear to run to the slightly more philosophical, hasn't yet read the book.

"I was thinking originally of putting in a book by Ayn Rand — Atlas Shrugged was my first thought," he admitted.

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Denby's brilliant marketing move has, naturally, triggered a feedback firestorm.

While he claims most of his guests have loved the literary switcheroo, he admits he's received a thorough tongue-lashing from religiously inclined Americans.

"People in the States feel much more strongly," he says. "We've had quite a few e-mails quoting the scriptures to us and suggesting that it would be a good thing to put the Bible back."

Though they have yet to pen Denby a personal letter, CNN reports that two religious American scholars recently joined forces to battle hotel room pornography.

Robert P. George and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf wrote to hotels urging them to remove sexually explicit content from their in-room movie selection as a "matter of conscience."

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