UK hotel tosses out Gideon Bibles – and replaces them with an erotic novel

JONATHAN Denby, the quirky owner of a quirky Lake District hotel in the UK has annoyed a local vicar – and no doubt a great many other Bible-thumpers  – by replacing Gideons with an erotic novel.

Hotel manager Wayne dips into Fifty Shades of Grey

The irreverent wag’s decision to substitute the Bibles with copies of Fifty Shades of Grey – a 2011 erotic novel by British author E L James at the Damson Dene Hotel was criticised by the Rev Michael Woodcock, the parish priest at a local church, who said:

It is a great shame that Bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel.

Um … is the vicar unaware of the fact that the Bible, according to this report:

Contains so much graphic eroticism that parents may want to keep the sacred text away from youth under age 18.

The report was about 2,000 Hong Kong residents who called on a Chinese Decency Commission to restrict the Bible to adults only:

Because it contains passages that seem to give the okay to incest, rape, adultery and a father offering his daughters to strangers for sexual gratification.

Denby, on his blog, said of Fifty Shades of Grey:

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.

He added:

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.

In this report, Denby said he purchased the hotel from a Methodist group about a decade ago.

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.

Hat tip: Pete H


25 responses to “UK hotel tosses out Gideon Bibles – and replaces them with an erotic novel”

  1. remigius says:

    The fairest option would be to have both 50 Shades and the Bible available in hotel rooms. That way people like Bob Hutton and Birdshit Green will have some wank fodder too.

  2. stargraves says:

    Not read 50 shades of grey yet – I’m just bitter that my bondage porn didn’t sell as many!

    I was on the train the other day – and the woman next to me was reading it so I said “At least you don’t have to pause to lick your finger to turn the page.” And she kicked off big time and hit me – “what?” I said “you’re reading it on a kindle!”

  3. Stonyground says:

    Don’t forget the Cannibalism 2 Kings Ch. 6 Vs. 28-29.

    Eating poo and drinking piss 2 Kings Ch. 18 Vs. 27

    Men with big willies Ezekiel Ch. 23 Vs. 17-21

    And of course tons of mass murder and mindless violence, just open the bloody book at random.

    As this hotelier says, the Bible is in every room but no-one reads it, I bet the Fifty Shades books end up well thumbed.

  4. Barry Duke says:

    I bet that Bob Hutton’s Bible has lots of pages stuck together 😉

  5. remigius says:

    Stonyground. Apparently it’s not great literature. Most women just flick through it!

  6. Barry Duke says:

    Repent Remmie or face the fires of eternal torment! (See, Bob, I’m doing your job for you, complete with baby talk).

  7. remigius says:

    Oooh Barry, has that annoying little pervert been penetrating your inbox again?

  8. Barry Duke says:

    Nope. Not recently. But, vile little sinner that I am, I thought I’d spike his guns.

  9. Broga says:

    @remigius: I tried to read the first bit of 50 Shades of Grey as a sample on Kindle. It is poor. Very badly written and dreary. Cardboard characterisation. You can get much superior Victorian erotica on Kindle and far better written. I may be telling you more than you want to know. My wife, who has better taste in literature and music than myself, shared my opinion of 50 Shades of Grey. I thought I’d better add the female opinion as the book is said to reflect a female perspective.

  10. the Woggler says:

    Have I got this right? They’re replacing the holy babble with a paint chart?

  11. remigius says:

    Broga, I recommend 50 Shades of Gravy. It’s really saucy.

  12. Broga says:

    remigius: I’ll go for that.

  13. Lazy Susan says:

    I tried to read LSOG but got too fed up to continue at the point where his mum is about to come onto the story. Anyone have a synopsis?

    (L is 50 in roman numerals. I just made that acronym up.)

  14. Matt Westwood says:

    My wife tried to read it (all her friends at work were on about it) but she got bored. She prefers the real thing. And Austen and the Brontes.

  15. remigius says:

    @Lazy Susan


    It’s crap. Don’t bother.

  16. JohnMWhite says:

    That’s kinda dickish for no reason, remigius…

  17. AgentCormac says:

    This is the same lot who appeared on Channel 4’s ‘The Hotel’ series. There was one episode (link here) where a barmy xtian couple stayed at the hotel and tried to convert all the staff to jeebus. Glad to say they didn’t get anywhere, and glad to see the likes of Wayne and Jonathan can see the value in kicking religious claptrap out of their hotel.

  18. remigius says:

    JohnMWhite, fair enough. Read it. I bet you’ll be disappointed!

  19. Marky Mark says:

    “Though if any of you are thinking of seeing the new Batman movie, Catwoman kills Bane, Bruce Wayne lives, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt becomes the new Batman!”

    Thanks remigius, saved me a trip and the chance of being shot by some lone nut Presbyterian.

  20. RabbitOnAStick says:

    who’s Batman?
    Is he in that book?

  21. RabbitOnAStick says:

    Its OK!!!
    I realised who Batman is – he’s a fictitious comic book character spreading goodness amongst the downtrodden, victims of crime, protecting everyone from harm, helping, and saving people.
    Just like that chap in the bible. But he was real – it says so in the biblical-comic.

  22. Angela_K says:

    This report was in the Daily Mail a couple of weeks ago along with the usual comments of outrage. I was well red flagged for suggesting both books be put in the rubbish bin!

  23. ZombieHunter says:


    funny you should mention that when I was an ickle lad in sunday school jesus was marketed to me as being than cooler and more amazing than any superhero comic I had read or cartoon that I watched.

    I know thats bullcrap now of course I mean batman has won in fights against superman, the predator, the joker and a shitload of others plus the batmobile is way cooler than the crucifix and jesus had to actually carry that around 😛

  24. stargraves says:

    I read 50 shaves a day by Susan Boyle by mistake.

    It was pretty raunchy.

  25. GrumpyRN says:

    Replacing one crap book with another crap book…… What’s the problem?