Welcome, New Readers!

Traffic doubled last week during my frenzy of reviewing, so I want to welcome new readers and let everyone know that there’s more good stuff on the way. In the meantime, a couple of photos:
John 11-12
Above: The Personal Size Reference ESV with Black TruTone cover.
I’ve been using the Personal Size Reference ESV for daily reading since it arrived, and it just gets better and better. The TruTone feels great in the hand, and this form factor is perfect for reading. I’m getting used to the ration of type-size to column width. I’d prefer the type to be larger, but this is perfectly usable and I can appreciate the trade-offs involved in achieving a compact edition like this.
Oxford BCP
Above: Oxford’s combined NRSV and Book of Common Prayer.
I’ve also been experimenting with a new camera lens, a 50 mm prime that I have to manual focus. The image above isn’t tack-sharp, but I’m getting the hang of it. You’ll be seeing more of the results in future reviews.

16 Comments on “Welcome, New Readers!

  1. Mark,
    With readership on the rise, I’m wondering if it is time to suggest to Crossway (or even R. L. Allan) that there be a “JMB” edition of the ESV. Seems most everyone is in agreement with your suggestions for our unrealistic expectations (specifically, the Bible reader’s manifesto). Most of us are looking for the same thing you are. I, for one, would be more than happy to pre-order, and even pre-pay for, one of these ESV “JMB edition” Bibles. I am a publication idiot and perhaps there are simply not enough of us regulars on this blog to justify the risk for such an undertaking, but I am raising the idea.

  2. Slightly off-topic, but … Is that a radio behind your BCP-NRSV? What model is it?

  3. Kyle — As you can imagine, I’d be more than happy to steer the process on such an edition. It would be a labor of love, for sure. I wouldn’t want my name on it, though, for fear of lightning rightfully striking me. 🙂
    Iyov — That’s a Tivoli Audio iSongbook, a Christmas gift from a few years back. It’s portable (I take it with me when I travel each summer) but has a detachable speaker (not visible in the shot) that can be positioned for decent sound. As you can see from the photo, iPods plug right in.

  4. quite possibly my favorite lens right now, a 50mm f1.4
    now if I could only get a digital attachment for my Rolleiflex TLR

  5. I’d like to welcome all new readers too, and warn them that this blog is a budget-buster. If you look to the right, under the “Categories” section, there is a link called “Under the Influence.” There you will see the danger inherent in coming under the Bertrand Spell.
    This caution comes from one who knows.

  6. I suspect if you are using the tru-tone that the genuine leather must be at some secretive location undergoing skin transplant surgery (goat for pig).:) I, too, am getting used to it. I really am enjoying the leather version. Feels a little more “sturdy” to me and I have no problem curving the covers when I want to. I’m thinking of a Mechling Deluxe but right now I have no complaints. It is amazing how big of a punch they have packed in a small, convenient size. So who out there has already shipped one of for recovering???

  7. I just wish that mine would arrive. It was shipped in a timely fashion by Monergism on 3/12, and the USPS tracking shows that it left Denver on the 15th. I guess that they have re-instituted mule cart delivery between Colorado and New Mexico.

  8. Good stuff on the website. It sounds like the word is getting out…and that there are other crazy people like us.

  9. Got my leather PSR yesterday. Font-size ok for my spectacles; read all of Jeremiah after the tedious task of turning all its pages. Looks like I will be spending a lot of time with this one; comfort factor in bed is very good. Leather as described by Mark previously, which is fine (or better) for the money. I also have a Tivoli radio, the Audio Pal, have had one for three years, a quality product with great sound. Now if Henry Kloss had made a bible…

  10. Yes, but to be even more like Mark, you’ll also need a cooper mini (and have the seats recovered in goatskin). ; )

  11. I always enjoy this site, and I’m so glad your readership is up. They always talk about finding a niche, and you have definitely nailed an unexplored one in here in the blogosphere.

  12. My Personal Reference ESV (Tru-Tone) arrived today (along with Mark’s book) from Monergism.
    I am fairly well impressed. Here are the positives:
    1) The Tru-Tone is very flexible.
    2) The gray end papers are a nice touch.
    3) After separating all of the pages I find that the text is consistently dark.
    4) The font is pleasantly readable, at least to these 50+ eyes.
    5) The single column layout is better than I thought it would be. The line around the text and the book introductions are not as annoying as I anticipated.
    6) No red-letter text.
    7) A very handy size, length, width, and thickness all seem OK.
    Here are the negatives:
    1) Glued. Yuck.
    2) The headbands, in addition to being superfluous on a glued binding, are not well executed. They are wavy and glued on crooked.
    3) While I generally like the Tru-tone, I have doubts about the corners. The way that they are folded over and glued does not appear to be robust enough to hold up to regular use. Time will tell.
    4) The font size of the concordance is tiny. A change to a readable font for this section would not have added considerably to the size of the Bible.
    Here are my suggestions:
    1) If Crossway would produce a smyth sewn edition in a premium calfskin, black or cordovan (or, after seeing the nice end papers, maybe a nice gray calfskin or goatskin), I would be all over it. I would cheerfully pay $100-$120 for a nicely executed version.
    2) This is a nice size for a briefcase or travel Bible. As such, it would lend itself well to an edition having a tabbed closure like the Allan’s TNIV that Mark recently reviewed.
    3) The ribbon is nice, both in style ind length, but can we have two, please?
    4) While not absolutely necessary, what happened to the nice maps that Crossway has included with other versions of the ESV?
    If i had to give this Bible a letter grade, it would be a solid B+. This one is going to replace my NASB Pitt-Minion in the briefcase for a couple of weeks.

  13. Ok, I wish I’d seen your budget buster disclaimer earlier. I’ve been reading your blog all morning, and have now got THREE Bibles on order, including this one. Who knew blogging could be so expensive???

  14. Back tracking to say thank you! This really is a COMPLETE BCP. I am absolutely happy with it. Thank you again for your great reviews.

  15. I am so thrilled to have found this blog. What a wealth of terrific information! Thanks for being here. I thought I was alone.

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