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Wilfried
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I'm in the United States, and I just got mine today; I ordered direct from Allan. I must say, the red cover is beautiful. Computers seem to have a hard time reproducing red, so I was a little apprehensive about what it would actually look like. I'm not at all disappointed. The leather feels a bit different from my tan ESV1. It's a bit thinner, harder, and drier (the only word I can think of). To my mind highland goatskin feels a bit richer in the hand, but I'm not complaining. It's every bit as nice to handle as you would expect. However, I have some of the problems Gary mentions. I also have the pink stains in the gutter in a number of places. It looks like glue from the spine oozed through to the page, and the pages are stuck together at that spot. I have to pull them apart, and I'm left with a blob of pink glue on the page. The back end pages are also attached weirdly. I can't really say how, other than that they look a little sloppy. I wouldn't mention it if it weren't for the other issues. The think that bugs me a the most though, is that through most of the book, the pages are crinkled and puckered near the gutter, because the pages are sewn too tightly. You can hear the pages crackle when you open the book or turn the pages. I've seen this in too many other books, and it annoys me to no end. Have others seen this issue? I hope not every copy has this problem. All in all, I'm quite pleased and excited, though it's a pain to have to deal with a return and exchange.
In case y'all haven't noticed yet, the good folks at evangelicalbible.com have posted many more photos to their website and to their Facebook page. They look gorgeous of course, especially the red. I was dubious, but I might go for it. To my eye, the blue ribbons set off the red nicely. The text however seems to show a lot of ghosting. I had a look at a PSR in the store, which had the same problem, and the quality of the printing overall was soso. So, cover looks beautiful, and I love the idea of a single column text, but does it make sense to get a Bible with a premium cover wrapped around a mediocre text block? Oy, decisions, decisions. They're never easy it seems.
I got a boxed set of these last night at a used bookstore for seven bucks, and started with Corinthians, which we're currently reading in a lay theological formation class I'm taking. I find it remarkable how much that simple change in form already makes. First, the paragraph layout is really much more readable. I do have trouble sometimes with my Allan Longprimer with its traditional verse layout. I often read the same passage over and over again, because the words on the page don't sink in, my eyes somehow glaze over them. I thought my trouble was the language, but it turns out it's largely the layout. I don't know what it is, but I wouldn't have expected paragraphed text to make such a difference. Breaking the Bible up into individual books also has a remarkable effect. It reminded me that the Bible ultimately consists of a long series of documents written in many disparate times and places by many people, and were only collected together between two covers very late in the game. The Old Testament was a pile of scrolls, and the "canon" to some extent depended on which ones one happened to have on hand. Witness the Apocrypha. One group of Jews had them, another didn't, and in the end it was decided to leave them out. The collection of books in the box is incomplete. I'm guessing that few places had a full collection of the Scriptures, give how rare and expensive scrolls were. The Epistles were of course letters, a single document that the recipient(s) got "in the mail," which they read by itself before much of "Scripture" had been written. It does seem to make a difference reading Corinthians in a little booklet by itself, without the weight of the rest of Scripture in the hand to refer to, wedged between Romans and Galatians. Today I'm only carrying Corinthians; the Corinthians only had "Corinthians." The Bible was a library before it was a book, once a series of scrolls any one only loosely connected to others on a shelf, just these booklets are loosely connected in a box. I'm not questioning the integrity of scripture of course, or saying that they shouldn't be collected together in some exquisitely bound tome (I certainly now have enough of those). However, having the books of the Bible in a random pile on my bed and rearranging them in the box gave me a different relationship to the Scriptures (plural). I reflexively put them back in the box "in order," but then thought, why? And then, why is that "the order" in the first place? These certainly won't replace my tomes, but they've already open a different way of looking at the Bible. I have no idea how successful they were at popularizing the King James Bible, but for me they've already been a good, cheep experiment.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2009 on Pocket Canon (KJV) at Bible Design Blog
I took a chance and ordered the Cambridge NRSV Reference Edition with Apocrypha bound in Black French Morocco, which I believe is the essentially the same as the Standard Text version, except with center margin cross references added. The one I have I think is quite nice, without most of the problems described here. The cover is quite flexible, and is cleanly and sharply done; there's none of the bowing described. The binding was a bit tight out of the box, but with just a bit of breaking in, it happily lies flat, and stays open in Genesis and Revelations. The gilding looks fine. I quite like how it feels in the hand. It flexes and curves gracefully, with a bit of a spring to it. It does yoga. It has two ribbons rather than one. The only flaw I can see is the gold text on the spine, which is a bit of a blobby mess, and I could do without the logo on the cover. For an NRSV, or Bible with Apocrypha in a decent binding, I think this is worth considering (though as Mark said, there aren't many options). I'm sorely tempted by the Allan NRSV, but without the Apocrypha, I opted for the Cambridge instead (I own two other Allans, but I need something with the Apocrypha). Can I possibly justify getting the Allan too? I'd be interested to hear Mark's opinion of the Cambridge Reference, especially as compared to the Allan (hint, hint). I took a chance and ordered the Cambridge NRSV Reference Edition with Apocrypha bound in Black French Morocco, which I believe is the essentially the same as the Standard Text version, except with center margin cross references added. The one I have I think is quite nice, without most of the problems described here. The cover is quite flexible, and is cleanly and sharply done; there's none of the bowing described. The binding was a bit tight out of the box, but with just a bit of breaking in, it happily lies flat, and stays open in Genesis and Revelations. The gilding looks fine. I quite like how it feels in the hand. It flexes and curves gracefully, with a bit of a spring to it. It does yoga. It has two ribbons rather than one. The only flaw I can see is the gold text on the spine, which is a bit of a blobby mess, and I could do without the logo on the cover. For an NRSV, or Bible with Apocrypha in a decent binding, I think this is worth considering (though as Mark said, there aren't many options). I'm sorely tempted by the Allan NRSV, but without the Apocrypha, I opted for the Cambridge instead (I own two other Allans, but I need something with the Apocrypha, as my church reads from it liturgically). Can I possibly justify getting the Allan too? I'd be interested to hear Mark's opinion of the Cambridge Reference, especially as compared to the Allan (hint, hint). It'd also be nice to see Allan do an edition with Apocrypha, though I'm not counting on it, and I don't know if they have some theological objection to such a thing.
Reviving a long dead thread, I just came across the NRSV Go-Anywhere Compact Thinline Bible, to be published in September (and will come in versions with and with Apocrypha): http://tinyurl.com/nwxttp There's no way to see the contents, but we can hope that it's a shrunken down version of the single column Standard. The dimensions look like they would fit the bill for "short and stout" as Mark would like to see. It looks like it could be quite handy.
I case anyone reads this old thread, I discovered that this site has the TBS Pitt Minion at 50% off their $63.75 CAN list price: http://www.bibles.qc.ca/bp_cart/en-ca/dept_35.html Sadly, they're going out of business. It comes to about $42 USD with shippin, which is a good discount off of ordering direct from TBS.