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Tue Jul 31, 2012, 05:48 AM

British Hotel Replaces Bibles with Fifty Shades of Grey

from Time:

Nestled in the picturesque Lake District of northwestern England, the Damson Dene Hotel looks at first glance like a typical English countryside hotel. But its bedside tables hold a shocking secret. Instead of placing the traditional Gideon Bible at arm’s reach, the hotel has put in each of its 40 rooms a copy of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Hotel owner Jonathan Denby told NBC News that in a secular society, it was “wholly inappropriate” to put a religious book in someone’s bedroom. He confessed that the novel, which started life as Twilight fan fiction, wasn’t his first choice of replacement. In fact, he hasn’t even read it. “I was thinking originally of putting in a book by Ayn Rand — Atlas Shrugged was my first thought,” he said, but “because 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.”

Since the Damson Dene’s dirty little secret has emerged, the hotel has received dozens of angry e-mails — not from Britons, but from Americans — demanding that the Bibles be restored beside the beds. Writing on his personal blog, Denby revealed that he has been called a “puppet of Satan” and that several people e-mailed him “pretending that they were just about to make a booking the Damson Dene, but had changed their mind.”

Unsurprisingly, the move has also attracted the ire of local parish priest Michael Woodcock, who told the Westmorland Gazette that “it is a great shame that Bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel.” He added, “The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful.”

However, Wayne Bartholomew, the manager of the hotel, has been quick to point out that “the Gideon Bible is full of references to sex and violence, although it’s written using more formal language, so James’ book is easier to read.”


“The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful.”? Then take your own, if you can't live without it.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 07:02 AM

1. The bible remains a source of guilt and confusion

I all fairness, I have only read the story of Ruth and maybe some passages way back in Catechism . Credit my dismay to a Catholic hierarchy and the evangelical preachers/politicians.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 07:08 AM

2. The fact that the owner's first inclination was to place Atlas Shrugged in every room

tells me all I need to know about him.

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 08:25 AM

3. That he never read it?

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 11:20 AM

4. Of the two turgid and repetitive alternatives, I prefer the Bible frankly

It at least has redeeming historical and cultural insights that can be gleaned between the begats, and it's far more valuable to know more about the inspiration of a third of the world's population (more than, to a rounding error, that same third does) than to vicariously and tediously experience dozens of similar light BDSM acts.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 12:36 PM

5. His choices were Ayn Rand and 50 Shades of Gray? Wow, color me completely unimpressed with

this inn owner.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 08:58 PM

11. Just on the off chance he was looking for some free publicity, I would give him points.

Gotta be.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 08:59 PM

12. Good point. If that is what he was after, then he succeeds!

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 03:16 PM

6. I've always enjoyed hotels that have a

well-stocked, large bookshelf in the lobby of the hotel, for the convenience of their guests. That way, guests can select a book that appeals to them, if they're in the mood for some reading. A varied selection of genres and age groups is always appreciated. It's unlikely that I'd read either the Bible or this Fifty Shades of Gray book. I've read the first several times, and have no interest whatsoever in reading the second. I'd prefer a wider selection.

Such bookshelves aren't at all unusual, given the penchant of guests for leaving books they've finished in their rooms when they check out. But, my favorite was a small hotel in Wales that had an extensive collection of interesting books. I chose a 19th century traveler's account of a visit to Wales and enjoyed visiting some of the places mentioned in it while I was there. Very nice.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 03:19 PM

7. The little community where we spend a lot of time has a *library*.

Because it is a tourist destination, lots of people bring books. They can leave them in the laundromat and pick up a couple of ones they haven't read.

The cart is always stocked with new material in the summer, including fiction, non-fiction and magazines. There is no obligation to return anything.

It works great, and, I agree, more hotels should have a similar set-up.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 05:52 PM

8. Steven Colbert's take on this story is great!

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 07:19 PM

9. Filthy shades of grey?

Is that a guide to laundry detergents?

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Response to libodem (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 07:26 PM

10. Where in the world have you been, libodem!

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 10:19 PM

13. Regardless of if you believe in the Bible you have to admit that's a drop in literary quality

Though granted perhaps not as bad as his first inclination would've been.

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