First Look: Deluxe Compact ESV (Sienna / Crossroads Design)

Thanks to the intrepid Scott Kay, we can take our first look at the Deluxe Compact ESV from Crossway in its TruTone Sienna (Crossroads) incarnation. This is the successor to the original Compact Thinline, with a new layout, slightly enlarged proportions and a sewn binding. If you ask me, it’s a big improvement. Let’s take a look:

Deluxe Compact ESV 1
Above: Each of the four editions currently available has a novelty cover, but the Sienna (Crossroads Design) option is the subtlest. I like the simulated grain and the variation in the brown color. And I can live with the design.

Deluxe Compact ESV 2
Above: The spine is branded with the trifecta “ESV, ESV crest, English Standard Version” some of you think is overkill. I don’t mind, and the gilt-free execution here tones it down a bit.

Deluxe Compact ESV 3
Above: One ribbon, gilt edges, just like the Compact Thinline.

Deluxe Compact ESV 4
Above: Yoga. The cover is flexible, which is what I appreciate about the polyurethane approach. It isn’t goatskin, but you can pick up one of these at Amazon for about $15.

Deluxe Compact ESV 5
Above: The page spread. Scott reports that it opens flat with a little effort. The binding is sewn, and that might improve with use. Smaller Bibles typically don’t have the liquid aspect of the larger ones, even with flexible covers, so this is to be expected.

Deluxe Compact ESV 6
Above: Compared to the Compact Thinline (on top). You can see the difference, but it isn’t major. The same briefcase pocket that currently holds my Compact Thinline should easily accommodate the Deluxe Thinline.

Deluxe Compact ESV 7
Above: This is what it’s all about. The Deluxe Compact (on top) is still a small print edition, but it looks like a much easier read than the original Compact Thinline (underneath). If, like me, you love the form factor of the original, getting the improved reading experience with only a small sacrifice in size is very welcome.

Deluxe Compact ESV 8
Above: A page spread showing prose and poetry. I’d love to see a single column setting in this form factor, but until that happens, I expect to be very happy with this new compact edition.

Thanks, Scott, for snapping these photos! I don’t know about the rest of you, but with the improved layout and the sewn binding, I really think this one’s a candidate for rebinding.

11 Comments on “First Look: Deluxe Compact ESV (Sienna / Crossroads Design)

  1. This is one edition of the ESV I don’t care for. For one, my old eyes (and I am only 33) have a hard time with the tiny print. Second, the leather is simply not that good. If the sun hits this Bible at all, the cover withers up like a leaf. And third, the words of Christ are in red which is a personal issue for me. I simply would rather they not be.

  2. Actually Roy the words of Christ are in black in this edition, just incase there were others that would be turned off by this. This is a great edition even if just relying on the fact of it being a sewn binding. I really hope crossway goes to exclusively sewn bindings walking in the footsteps of Cambridge but at a very significant price drop.

  3. Roy is right about the tiny print, though I can read it easily enough. His second point is wrong, this is not a leather cover, it is synthetic. My ESV with this cover has been very durable and I much prefer the material to bonded leather. As Mike has already mentioned, the deluxe editions are not words of Christ in red. Between the black text and sewn binding I am considering upgrading to this exact bible. I’m still debating on the PSR ESV however and haven’t made up my mind yet. Thanks for the pics by the way.

  4. Nathan, the personal size ESV is definitely a little bigger than this one (probably making it a little easier to read), and it’s single-column. So if text-size isn’t an issue for you, then it’s just a matter of if you prefer single or double columns.

  5. Really, this Bible is a very welcome hand-sized edition. Two very nice changes from the original Compact edition (besides the obvious upgrade to sewn binding): the text is both bigger and darker than the original Compacts. Hallelujah! I had just about quit using my Compact, because it was just too hard to read, especially in less than full light. (I heard this a lot from friends too).
    Another nice thing is that this new one is only about 1/4″ taller than the old edition, and maybe 1/8″ wider and thicker. So, the increase in size is negligible. And honestly, the TruTone cover feels very nice on the skin, and the embossing of the cover is subtle enough to look nice, but not distractingly obvious or kitschy.
    For what it’s worth, that 3rd photo was taken just after the yoga shot. I was attempting to show that the TruTone cover is a somewhat stiff out of the box, not relaxing quickly after curling it, even though it has a soft feel to its surface (and it’s not slick like the black ones, but actually has some grain).
    Second, the yoga shot actually reveals some not-so-smooth curling of the binding (see the right side). Not a big deal, really, especially since this is a small Bible, so yoga makes the curl much tighter, which is less likely in normal use as it is on a full-size edition.

  6. I think that if they made this Bible in 5″ x 7 3/4″, add art-gilt edges, and make it in calfskin, we’d have a winning package. It is a little to compact to be useful to me, and I am not excited about TruTone. I do like the black letter text, and I prefer the lack of center column references. Despite the gimmicky covers, they aren’t so bad. I also would like to add that I appreciate Crossway not coming out with all kinds of lifestyle editions (extreme teen, barbarian middle aged man edition, woman thou art loosed edition, etc.).

  7. Just to throw in my worthless two cents: I have the PSR ESV and it is perhaps the best personal size I have seen. Unfortunately, I still cannot read from it for long periods because of the small type size. Consequently, I have not had it rebound (purchased it in the genuine leather for the sewn binding). All of these compact editions are simply too small in the print department for me. Nevertheless, I wanted to commend Crossway, once again, for the incredible job it does in providing numerous options and doing everything possible to provide quality bindings. This Bible has every appearance of being yet another outstanding job of top notch features for the money. Thanks to Crossway for its continued commitment to excellence. And thanks Scott for sharing these photos with the rest of us.

  8. Brian,
    Your comment about the “barbarian middle aged man edition” has had me laughing today.

  9. Well, I just got this edition in the mail today, and it’s definitely a BIG improvement on the original compact edition. The font is noticeably bigger and easier to read. I think the bleed-through might be the same (because it doesn’t look the paper is a different quality), but the font is so much sharper and more pronounced that you can’t tell (if you don’t focus too hard on white areas of the page, you won’t notice bleed-through at all).
    And the sewn binding is the big selling point. If you’re reading anywhere in between the second half of Genesis and the first half of Revelation, this thing falls nice and flat.
    I think Crossway is finally listening to you Mark (either than, or they’re scared because Cambridge is releasing an ESV this Fall. They should be!).

  10. The Collins UK edition of the ESV deluxe Compact is now available. There is a paperback edition too, but the one I have purchased is the tru-tone. Dimensions and typeface are the same as the US edition described in this blog. It is thicker – 1 + 3/16 inch – than my previous US compact thinline. And, like the US version, the concordance has shrunk from 12,000 to 5,900 entries – too small to be of any real value.
    The cover, advertised as two-tone, is actually a single colour: an attractive charcoal grey. The cover does not feel as soft or flexible as my old US tru-tone compact ESV. The Collins is more plastic-like, warm to the touch, but it could not be described as imitation leather. And there is no way this Bible will ever lie open flat.
    It appears glued not sown: I understand the US editions are sown, so they may be more likely to open flat. The pages have rounded corners, but there is no gilt, just plain white edges.
    There is a light-grey ribbon: the colour’s good, but at only 1/8 inch, it is too narrow and came with a crease in it.
    The words ‘HOLY BIBLE’ appear (embossed but ungilded) large on the front and spine. The words ‘English Standard Version’ and the ESV crest appear on front and spine, but are rightly much smaller. The spine also carries the Collins logo while the front states that this is the ‘Anglicized edition’. There are no novelty designs of the kind offered on the US editions.
    Unlike previous UK editions, the book introductions have been retained. Again, fairly pointless. Page numbers,page headers and book intros are in a darkish grey font, matching the cover.
    The Bible came is a simple thin-card slip-case: attractive enough, but it would not give any extra protection.
    Cost: £15.99 ($31), but you can get it on-line for around two-thirds this price from Amazon marketsellers.

  11. I ordered a copy of the same a couple of months ago. It’s very convenient and readable – I would say the typeface is one of the best of all the compact Bibles I ever had – but the cover does not appear to be that flexible: it seems to “get broken” as if there were capboard inside.

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