Brian’s Stack of Bibles

Brians_stack_3I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas, full of peace and good will. Brian, a frequent reader of the Bible Design and Binding Blog, sent me a photo of his stack of Bibles, including a very interesting antique! From bottom to top, here’s a list of what’s on display:

ESV Deluxe Heirloom Calfskin
NASB Single Column Black Letter Text in Calfskin
ESV Allan’s Highland Goatskin with Art Gilt Edges
KJV Black Letter Text, Wide Margin, Art Gilt Edges, Calfskin
KJV Compact, Art Gilt Edges, Calfskin
NKJV Nelson Signature in Calfskin
ASV in Goatskin, Black Letter Text, Thumb-Indexed, Art Gilt Edges, Published by Thomas Nelson and Sons

Thanks, Brian, for sharing the photo. I wonder how the cover of that ASV in goatskin has held up over the years?
To everyone in the Bible Design & Binding Blog community, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I’ve enjoyed our conversations and look forward to many more in the year to come!

16 Comments on “Brian’s Stack of Bibles

  1. The calfskin on the Thomas Nelson Signature NKJV looks really soft! Although partial to it, the Deluxe Heirloom ESV is quite an elegant Bible. It is sad to see that the Lockman Foundation has moved away from using raised bands on the spine, especially in a book as large as the Side Column Reference.
    Nice collection, Brian! Much like me, you need more than just black Bibles 😉

  2. I hoped for raised bands on the spine. I have seen the new Cambridge editions in goatskin, and they were not satisfactory because of the red-letter text. Also, their Pitt Minion edition (besides the red-lettering) has a font that makes my eyes hurt. My calfskin NASB has a nice font, single column format, and black letter text. Did you know there are people who call themselves “Red-Letter Christians?” I believe Tony Campolo is something like the pope of that movement. Besides that, red ink hurts my eyes.

  3. First the KJV only kooks now red letter Christians, what next?
    I do not mind the red letter, although I do prefer a Bible without them. Unlike Crossway, The Lockman Foundation uses sewn bindings in their non-premium leather editions I only wished they would continue to use the raised bands. I believe they switched printer/binder recently and all their new releases will no longer have raised bands. The older editions are becoming sought after on eBay. Despite the aesthetic issue, these NASB’s are really nice Bibles. I recently picked up the Large Print Ultrathin NASB in genuine leather as the calfskin was not n stock and for less than $40 it is Smythe sewn with paper that is very opaque and a very readable font.

  4. I mentioned this at Jesús’ blog recently, so I guess I’ll mention it here, too. Anyone looking for a first-run copy of the NASB SCR in calfskin should check with the DTS Book Center. I bought mine right at 2 months ago, after sending an email asking someone to confirm that what they had in stock matched the picture of the black one. As far as I know, they still have it in black and blue.

  5. This is my first comment on this “amazing” blog, for i wile i thought i was the only one with this “problem” as my wife calls it. Now i have been calling her several times pointing her to the screen and said “look, look!” I think this is contagious, Now my problem is ….i covet an Allan bible! I have been in contact with them and requested a catalog, I have so many questions and “longings” when i see these well made bibles, I am just so undecided on what i should go for 🙂
    should i go for a wide margin Goatskin, or a Pocket version AND a ESV Goatskin?
    I am KJV preferred…
    ohh the options, the agony of deciding… Do any of you own many of allans wonderful bibles? i would love to see photos…. it just makes my heart beat a little faster. Probably my wife is right…it is a problem, but i love seeing more with the same problem

  6. Christian – welcome to the ‘club’! Isn’t it refreshing to realise that your not the only one with this ‘problem’? I’m new to this too but during the past 2-3 weeks (can’t remember??) I’ve spent several sleepless nights of my holidays reading & researching Bibles & phoning companies to check out the quality of their bindings (glued / sewn) if not specifically stated on their websites… I’ve realised that THIS blog & website (which happens to be the first blog I’ve ever read – let alone participated in) really is bursting full of little (& big) gems of information! It’s a blessing!
    My advice to you (recognising that I seem to be just a few steps ahead of you on your journey) would be to WAIT for your catalogue from Allan’s, study it, familiarise yourself with the terms & what it is YOU want in a Bible (i.e. Centre References / No References, Red Letter / Black Letter, Calfskin / Goatskin / Highland Goatskin, Full Yapp / Semi Yapp,…) THEN phone them & ask questions, questions, questions on the Bibles that interest you, you’ll learn a lot that way. Resist the temptation to jump right in. I spent a small fortune on GLUED BONDED LEATHER Bibles JUST PRIOR to stumbling across this site – imagine my disappointment with my NEW purchases after finding this site! Luckily for me 3-4 of them started to fall apart within 2 months so I’ve returned them for a full refund & now have a few Allan’s Bibles in there place! Praise God – only He could have turned the “water” of a ‘Glued Bonded Leather Bible’ into the “wine” of a ‘Soft Luxurious World-class Allan’s Highland Goatskin Sewn Binding’! I’ve just begun my journey into the blissful land of luxurious quality Bibles & Allan’s truly are FANTASTIC! Everything Mark Bertrand (& the bloggers) have said is true! But don’t rush in – get it right… If it’s Cambridge or other Publishers Bibles that your looking at – research their sites & then the links to or the other listed bookstores on their websites, often you’ll find pictures or text samples on one of them to help you decide if you like the style or not… BTW – If you like the KJV you’re in for a real treat (& difficult time deciding) with the Allan’s Catalogue – you won’t be disappointed.
    Personally, I’m looking for a quality sewn NASB Bible – although I pretty much like all the translations… I find the NASB easier to read than the KJV but extremely accurate in the ‘word for word camp’ – but it’s hard to find a quality one I like & I’m now looking at options such as rebinding a good NASB block & personalising it into a beautiful unique Goat or Kangaroo skin Bible – something like Marks (blogger) Chocolate wide-margin trimmed ESV (listed on the main page of this site).
    Do your research first, then hand over your $$$, you’ll be a happy camper that way! Never again will I buy another bonded or genuine leather Bible that’s glued – you’re basically throwing away your money, time & any notes you make!!!
    BTW guys – Is it bad ‘blogger etiquette’ to post long entries? If so, sorry, I’m new to this! 🙂
    God Bless & thanks everyone for the info!
    Christian – if you send me your email address I’ll send a few pics of my new Allan Bible for you []… Happy researching my friend…

  7. Thank you! yes i will await the catalog, i have made the same “mistake” as you, i bought i think four bibles the last year… that supposed to be “nice”, one of them i can say i was “happy” with… but better late then never! one of the mistakes that makes me slap myself…is I bought a Cambridge wide margin in bonded leather by mistake…. as you said…”rushing in” and i have several “nice” bibles in my mother tongue (Swedish) but are considered the best, but after two years of daily use are breaking up. Spent a minor fortune on them…… and the calfskin isent that great….when i got my Cambridge concord calfskin i knew i was cheated…this is the only bible that has been “worth” the money…i cant imagine what Goatskin will be like! I do also own a Newberry study bible by penfold books, it is nice…but the calfskin leaves more to wish for, the inside is very uniqe and good for study.
    But i am ready for round two…and i have made my last “bad buy”, at least in the English language…
    Thanks for the time and effort and help!

  8. It’s goofy that Allan’s doesn’t have the catalog on their website. I have 2-3 now. Maybe Mark could scan in and post on the website for folks to reference??? Not sure how much work that would be…and perhaps Allan’s would help?

  9. I have been looking at their site and i “feel” drawn to that KJV Longprimer in Highland Goatskin….. i understand many here seem to be ESV preferred 🙂 but it would be nice with a review of the “old” KJV tooo
    Must be hard being a Goat with all these crazy people looking for Goatskin bibles… 😛

  10. Thanks for your care in bringing this topic and passion to us! I have some questions I also posted at Jesus’ site that I was hoping to have Mark weigh in on. I have recently purchased probably the highest quality Bible I have ever owned: a Cambridge calfskin leather single column NIV. It was a new Bible with a remainder mark from a BN 3rd party seller. It is not my first Cambridge Bible, though. The first was a calfskin leather wide margin NIV. Both are black, and the leather is pretty tough, durable feeling stuff, published 1999 and 1996 respectively. But I recently went to the Westminster Seminary Bookstore (it’s great living near such a great place!) and got to feel the ESV calfskin thinline and single column reference. Wow! What a difference! The leather was practically suede, and completely limp.
    But that brought a few questions to my mind. First, is there such a thing as too limp and soft? I am very happy with my tougher Cambridge Bibles since they lay flat, but also are stiff enough when I hold them with one hand that I can read without craning my neck to one side. Also, the durability concerns me. I’m worried that such soft stuff on the ESV calfskins can scratch or tear. Are these legitimate concerns? Is this what the new Cambridge goatskins are like?
    Lastly, and this is probably the thing I’m most concerned with, how do you carry these around? I’m the kind of guy that likes to work with one main Bible, getting very familiar with it and wanting it to last a long time, and referencing other Bibles as necessary. Do carry-around/work and such high quality Bibles not mix? Do you carry around your Bibles in the original boxes? Are my days of carrying my books around in a backpack over? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  11. Martin – I also tend to use only one bible at a time (cant help it I just do)… wear it out and then get another. I prefer to carry around a nice bible and use it at church, home, etc…with a few exceptions. sometimes though I use a wide margin and keep it at home and use a more portable edition like a thinline at church and work. Either way two is the most bibles I use/carry at one time (excluding referencing different versions during study).
    Over this next year I will probably find my self using an ESV wide margin along with the new ESV personal reference as a portable reading edition.

  12. I was going to get a Cambridge NASB, but on almost every review (including the one on this site) some one mentioned something about the lining coming unglued. So I am going to get the Foundation large print “ultra-thin” NASB in calf-skin. (I put the ultra-thin in “” because it is 1 1/4″ thick).

  13. Eric look first at american bible sales under their damage Bibles. I have bought many of the NAS @ this site and @ their damage section they are great for the price and I have been unable to see any damage, except for one had a name printed on it and was still a great deal.

  14. Eric, I have also bought from American Bible Sales “damaged” selection and the damage consisted of a slightly crushed box; the Bible looks fine. The Foundation Bibles are nice with limp covers, thick paper and large print.
    However, don’t hesitate to buy a Cambridge Bible if that’s what you want. If yours is defective just contact Baker Publishers by email and they will send you a prepaid label so you can exchange the Bible for a new one.

  15. RE: The Cambridge Wide Margin Editions — the problem lies with the rubber lining that Cambridge uses which is counterporductive to an otherwise excellent product. In the States you may be able to easily exchange a defective Bible through Baker but what are you exchanging it for? another defective Bible with the same rubber lining that glue refuses to stick too! There’s no way around this, yet with the release of the NKJV Wide Margin edition (and more than likely the upcoming ESV Wide Margin) rather than replace the rubber lining with leather Cambridge simply put a “bandaid” over the problem by stitching the outside of the cover with very fine stitches which in fact now causes more of the binding pull away from the inside rubber lining!?!? – sure it’s hanging on by the stitches now but it’s not a pretty site or feeling (I bought 2 of these for friends and both were like this). I don’t understand why they can’t can’t simply replace the lining and adjust the price accordingly; far better for the customer and for Cambridge’s reputation.
    I’m sorry to be so blunt (the fact is I love my Cambridge bibles) but these are expensive items that are intended for years invested in note-taking, hence the binding and lining should be designed, tested and capable of going “the distance”, that’s why the majority of bloggers here visit this site – to find a quality Bible that will go the distance. Sadly, mine lasted between 0-3 weeks before the binding came unglued in the corners / edges.
    I also have my suspicions that publishers are sending out their “seconds” via resellers – so if you’re an International Customer be aware of the risks though the overall quality of the Bible may still outweigh the dissapointment associated with the “ungluing problem” – afterall, you could always throw another couple of hundred bucks into getting it rebound!!!
    Apologies for my honesty —-

  16. Looking for NASB thumb index red letter 8 to 10 pt bold print is this doable??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *