For 100 years, the Algonquin Hotel, New York, has been greeting and lodging the country's most prominent writers and literary personalities, as well as the leading figures of the American stage. The hotel is best known, perhaps, for the members of the Round Table, (including EB White, James Thurber, Dorothy Parker) a group of luminaries who had in common both the ability to fire blazing witticisms and to withstand being on the receiving end of them. The tone they set during their daily meetings set the literary style of the 1920s.
Were they still to meet today, I wonder what they would make of the hotel’s current, albeit minor, literary revolutionary idea. The legendary hotel is fusing its historical significance with the latest in modern technology and amenities by offering guests the newest “it” accessory—the Kindle; starting September 1, 2008.
To coincide with September’s National Literacy Month, the Algonquin Hotel is inviting its guests to “checkout” Amazon’s digital book, the Kindle, during their stay.
In keeping with the hotel’s literary history, the Algonquin Hotel’s Kindles will come loaded with a variety of best-sellers, modern classics, and, of course, books penned by the hotel’s Round Table members such as: Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker. Additional titles can be added upon guests’ request. Kindles will be loaned on a first come, first serve basis for use in the hotel’s legendary lobby or in the comfort of one’s own guest room. Initially two kindles are available to borrow, but more will be purchased to meet demand.
Gary Budge, General Manager at the Algonquin Hotel told The View From Here,
"The hotel’s literary history combined with our recent renovations provided the perfect opportunity for us to introduce such a new, hip literary device as an amenity to our guests. This amenity keeps us on top of the trends – technology and going green!”
Jeannie Novak, Founder & CEO, Indiespace, with experience in the digital print market since 1994, says Kindle’s have their place but won’t replace the book, “Kindle is most suitable for text. It will not replace the high-end glossy collector's edition -- or the "coffee table" book. I feel that displays will improve though, within the next 10 years, and above all content will become interactive and customisable.”
Jeannie Novak, Founder & CEO, Indiespace has also authored three books on Creating Internet Entertainment, Web development and Webcasts. She was chosen as one of the 100 most influential people in high-tech by MicroTimes magazine, and has been profiled by CNN, Billboard Magazine, Sundance Channel, Daily Variety, and the LA Times. Novak is Conference Chairperson for IDG World Expo's Internet Entertainment Expo.