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Chris Bloom
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Great review, as always. This is the Bible for which I've been waiting since I first learned of R. L. Allan -- through your blog -- and having used one as my constant companion and daily reader for the last couple of months I can only say it was worth the wait. Your comment that it feels like a small Reader is spot on. Personally, I prefer it to the Pitt Minion, largely because unlike the Pitt it fits in my pocket, but also for the way that the layout seems more open and readable to me. This may be due the fact that I've used Crossway Compacts since I discovered the translation in 2006, so it feels familiar where the Pitt didn't. In any case, I couldn't be happier, and I'm looking forward to the comparison review with the Pitt!
For a compact Bible, "yapp curve" can be achieved simply by carrying it in your pocket. I suppose that if you're extremely large, even a Longprimer could be trained this way. ;)
Toggle Commented May 25, 2012 on Semi-Yapp at Bible Design Blog
I have the ESV Compact in brown, and love the yapp. The more I carry it, the more it gets "trained", and the better it looks and feels (in my humble opinion). I'm eagerly looking forward to the promised Compact v. Pitt Minion comparison review!
Toggle Commented May 18, 2012 on Semi-Yapp at Bible Design Blog
@Tom -- I'd suggest that this is bad simply because there's essentially no message, only an attempt to ride the secular world's coattails. At best it's harmless, which for a Christian ministry is the very definition of "damning with faint praise". There was obviously a great deal of effort poured into this 58 seconds of "Christian parody" (read: "blatant plagiarism"). Aren't there better uses to which that effort could be put? Note: yes, I know I'm inviting comparisons to Judas in the story of the woman who anointed Jesus' feet. Please think before you post something so obviously stupid. ;)
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2010 on "Lord Spice" Body Wash at The Museum of Idolatry
Forgive my ignorance, but I have to ask: what exactly makes a Rhodia so good? It looks like an ordinary steno pad to my untrained eye. Enlighten me, please! I did enjoy the article; I'm scheduled to preach my first sermon next Sunday, so I'm looking for all the help I can get. My emergency plan is to hook the mike up to my mp3 player so I can lip-sync to Voddie Baucham, which, for a wormy little white guy like me, would be quite a neat trick. ;)
Bill, I haven't seen a TruTone, so I can't help you there. The type seems dark enough to me, though the text font is a little ... fancier than I expected. I'm not sure how else to describe it; it's a perfectly good serif font, but it's a little more distinctive than most Bible fonts. I'm sure that former typesetter with the beard that hangs around here every now and then could describe it better. As for the notes, I like what I've read so far, but I'm also impressed by how easy it is to ignore them. The vast majority of the book is plain, paragraphed text, without references or any other extras besides the standard ESV translators' notes. The paper is the only thing I might change, given the opportunity; it's a nice parchmentlike cream color, but a little thin for note-taking. Which is a shame, with the nice wide margins. And the binding on the HC is sewn and seems very solid. With the money you save not buying the TruTone, you might be able to get a nice leather rebind. Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of the volume, especially for the price. Hope that helps!
@Bill -- You might look into the Literary Study Bible, if you haven't already. As several people in the community have pointed out it's a really good single-column layout with minimal notes (book and occasional chapter intros, mostly). My local LifeWay is selling the hardcover for $10 right now; I don't know if that's a nationwide deal or not, but if so it might be worth your while to check it out.
Thanks for the thorough reviews, Bill! While I like the idea of a compact Bible with a zipper -- I tend not to baby my pocket Bibles even a little bit -- our comments on the paper (and the $13 shipping) have put me off this particular one. For the price of the Bible and shipping, I could buy at least one easier-to-read Deluxe Compact. Two if LifeWay or Books-a-Million is having one of their periodic sales.
@Brian Miller -- I found myself in the same dilemma, choosing between the Cambridge WM and the Reader. The ghosting in the Allan is noticeable to me, but not distracting, but I can see how others might find it a problem. I personally like the larger font in the Reader as well, as I teach a lot and need to be able to find my place on the run. All in all I'm just glad we have such a wide range of choices. To own a Bible at all is a blessing; to own a really well-made one is a joy. I hope you enjoy the Cambridge as much as I do my Allan.
Jon -- I've been looking everywhere for an ESV with a zipper! Thanks! Now, if only they ship south of the border ...
Maybe he meant that it wasn't practical right now, but would be VERY soon ... ;)
I guess I need to send in some pics of my mid-1950s Oxford 'Persian Morocco' find from the Salvation Army thrift store the other day. I mean, I paid a whole $2 for it ... I ought to show it off, right? ;)
Wow, times ARE tough ... even the spambots are out of work!
Is it just me, or are the spambots getting more absurdly funny?
Here's to restarting ancient threads ... A couple of weeks ago I was digging through the shelves of a local public library's bookstore and found a simply amazing old Oxford KJV. I've been looking for quality KJVs the last couple of months to clean up and give away in honor of the anniversary next year, but this one was beyond anything I'd seen yet. If it wasn't an actual blackface Brevier, it was very similar, and had leather-lined-in-leather cover that was as soft as silk. It was in great shape for a Bible that had obviously been used and loved for years. The price was $2. I carried it to the front counter and paid the librarian. As she was bagging up my other purchases, she kept commenting on that old Bible, even running her hands over the cover. I told her how surprised I was to find it, and why I was buying it. Finally I asked, "Would you like this one?" "Oh, no, I couldn't," she said, as any well-bred Southern lady would. In the end she did accept it, trying at first to pay me for it until I insisted that it was a gift and that I'd never charge someone for God's word anyway. I don't know that I'd ever seen a bigger smile in all my life. Of course, I was immediately kicking myself when I got out to the car. After I told my wife about it later, she smiled and said, "Well, maybe you should order that one you told me you wanted." And that's how I got an Allan Reader's ESV, which is almost as soft as that old Oxford. It's beautiful, too, but not quite as pretty as that old lady's smile.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2010 on Giving Your Bible Away at Bible Design Blog
I like the font choice, but you should have gone ahead and made it verse-by-verse -- sentence-by-sentence -- as well. That's how the apostles did it! ;)
John, the reason I found this site in the first place was that I was looking for info on the PM. I'd still like to have one, but part of getting this was a promise to my wife to hold off buying non-thrift store Bibles for a couple of years. I suppose Ol' Blue, my venerable compact TruTone, can last till the end of the year, and next year being the KJV anniversary means I'll be carrying that version around instead. Maybe by then Allan's will have a sweet little pocket model ready for me ... And I prefer to think of this sort of thing as bookworm porn, Dale. Crack" seems so gauche. ;)
Thanks, Bill. I had it narrowed down to the Reader's or the Cambridge WM, and decided that if I was going to have one nice Bible in my life it was going to be the best there was. Also, I sometimes teach the 2nd-5th graders on Wednesday night, so the ability to roll it into a bludgeon seemed like a plus.
I just "pulled the trigger" on a black Reader's a few minutes ago, and I'm already getting impatient. Considering the nicest Bible I've ever had was a TruTone PSR, I'm really excited about it. A lot of people makes jokes around here about finally buying their "last Bible", but at $200 this may actually have to be my last. I figure I can reasonably expect to live another 40 years or so ... it should last that long, I'm pretty sure. ;)
Ryan -- I'm trying not to be envious, but rather look forward to the day I can stress-test such fine merchandise. Way to rub it in, brother! ;)
@Todd F. -- I have the Crossway WM you're talking about, and like you said there's no inside margin to speak of. The paper is also pretty terrible; even the much-praised Pigma Micron pens bleed through pretty badly, and I write very small and light. That said, I got mine for $25 on sale at LifeWay, just to see if I'd use the wide-margin feature enough to justify buying the Cambridge. I have to say that I've come to love having that big ol' blank space for teaching notes, references, etc. I think there'll be some black goatskin on my Christmas list this year ...
@Sung -- I thought the same thing about the layout. It looks very similar to the Zune software. Now if only there was something like this for the (non-HD) Zune, I'd be a happy man. Much as I like it, I can't see getting an iPhone just for the Bible apps. :P
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2010 on ESV iPhone App Released at Bible Design Blog
Cole, Yeah ... yeah it is. Did I mention the art-gilt? ;) Thrift stores rock!
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2010 on Welcome to Bible Design Blog at Bible Design Blog
Today, at the local Salvation Army thrift store, I found a UK-printed Collins KJV in a Pitt Minion-type size. The Licence statement in the front is dated 1953, and states that it is "New Brevier Type, Octavo size". The leather cover was extremely dry and stiff -- pieces were breaking off of the corners -- but a coat of Doc Marten Wonder Balsam has softened it considerably. It's text-only and opens flat throughout, with overcasting about 14 chapters from either end, and the paper is simply the most opaque I've ever seen in a Bible. The price? A princely 99 cents. I'm not selling it or anything, and I'm not bragging. I just wanted to say that had I not found this site a couple of months ago, I wouldn't have known about any of that stuff. Thanks, Mark!
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2010 on Welcome to Bible Design Blog at Bible Design Blog
Correction: last night I manhandled my daughter's Lifeway Special enough to see past the layer of glue at the top of the binding and was amazed to see intact signatures. Apparently they're sewn!