Glimpse: Cambridge Loose-Leaf KJV
I’m not a socialist, but I sometimes wish the US government would take charge of the cellular networks, so that we’d get coverage wherever there happen to be roads and competition would focus on building better phones rather than spinning off redundant (and incomplete) networks. Whenever I float this theory — usually while driving through someplace like Montana where AT&T doesn’t seem to think cellular reception is needed — it usually gets shot down. Even I don’t agree with myself entirely, because this rationale sounds a little bit like the argument for why we should only have one Bible translation. And I happen to think that in a multitude of counselors there is wisdom.
But there’s no denying that when the Authorized Version rules the waves, diversity held sway in the realm of design and binding. Instead of forty translations, each available in black and purple plastic, there were a variety of formats that seems utterly decadent in retrospect. Perfect example: the loose-leaf Bible.
It’s exactly what it looks like: a Bible in a three-ring binder. And not some cheap photocopy of an edition, either. This is the real thing, a complete edition of the Concord KJV printed on creme-colored India paper. No wide margins, because it doesn’t need them. You can interleave all the notepaper you want … handwritten jots, typed notes and outlines, printed pages. Knock yourself out. It’s wonderful.
The Cambridge Study Edition. I love that, implying as it does that if you’re serious about study, you’ll need to be able to take your Bible apart and put it back together, along with all kinds of additional material. The rings are large enough to accommodate quite a few additions.
The only mistake here is that the cover page doesn’t say “words of Christ in atomic pink.” If nothing else, they jump out at you, especially on the creme background.
I don’t think you can still get one of these from Cambridge, but there are still loose-leaf editions floating around, including even a loose-leaf edition of the NIV Study Bible, which is pretty sweet. Does anyone out there use one of these? I have to admit, I bought mine with the best intentions and didn’t make much use of it. I’m curious if anyone is actually toting a well-interleaved three-ring Bible around.
By the way, if this whets your appetite, take a look at the loose-leaf offerings at ChristianBook.com. I’m amazed these things are still being made. There is even a copy of the New Oxford Annotated NRSV with Apocrypha. I have a feeling none of them are on India paper, though.