Cambridge NIV Pitt Minion in Burgundy Goatskin


I've already posted two full-length reviews of other Pitt Minion editions, so I'm not going to spend a lot of time here repeating myself. Instead, as we look at the NIV edition in burgundy goatskin, I will make a few observations along the way. For an in-depth discussion of the Pitt Minion format, be sure to read my posts on the NKJV and ESV editions.
Above, you see the burgundy goatskin in all its glory. I'm genetically predisposed to hate burgundy. Red? Yes. Black? Sure. But burgundy doesn't do it for me. Maybe it's a gender thing. Growing up, burgundy Bibles were for girls. I wouldn't have been caught dead bringing one to church. 
Now I'm a man, and I've put away childish things (more or less). I would — and have — used this one in worship, to my utter satisfaction.


Like the other Pitt Minions, this NIV springs flat. It's hard to exaggerate what an appealing feature that is. (Nevertheless, I'll try.) As you can see, it comes with a single ribbon and art-gilt (i.e., "red under gold") edges. The layout is the familiar two-column, small-type treatment you'd expect from a Pitt Minion. As always, the text seems a bit more readable than it should, given the size.


Since I've written about the bleed-through/ghosting phenomenon recently, I should call attention to the photo above. Comparing the NIV and NKJV I reviewed previously, you see similar amounts of bleed-through — but I think it shows up more in the NKJV photos than it does here. What can I say? The camera plays tricks. Or better yet: this is what the bleed-through looks like when you're not paying attention to it, and the NKJV photos are what you see when you are. Does that make sense? Your mileage may vary, but to my debased eyes, this is perfectly readable.


The grain pattern on my NIV is particularly attractive, so I thought I'd snap a picture of the entire cover. Goatskin, of course, is a natural product, which means you'll see variation from one copy to another. I like this one. It's nice in the hand, too. Of the three goatskin Pitt Minions I've featured here, I prefer the "feel" of this one most.


The NIV and NKJV are both more supple than the newer ESV. Comparing them, I think the ESVs must use a stiffer board under the leather. Still, I don't think any of them are what you'd call "limp" — certainly not in the Nelson calfskin sense, or even the more structured highland goatskin sense. They aren't stiff, but they do have some springiness, some structure. At this size, it works quite well. The cover flexes when you want it to, but retains enough rigidity to support the text block when you're holding it one-handed.
By the way, notice the spine in the picture above? It's not folded back or hyperextended. The angle of the colored band is comparable to what you see in the earlier photo of the Pitt Minion opened flat. Just in case you were worried that this photo involved book abuse. The text block and the cover are supple enough to assume a posture like this.


But it is flexible, don't get me wrong. You can roll it up like a newspaper in your fist (as above), without the slightest feeling of guilt. This serves no practical purpose, of course, but it illustrates just how fluid even a more structured cover can be.
Handling the NKJV and NIV together, I was struck by their interesting feel that I wracked my brain for a way of conveying it visually. Below, you see what I came up with. I stacked both editions, grasped them in my (invisible) hand, and pinched. My thumb is pushing on the center of the burgundy NIV's cover while my fingers push back on the outer edges of the black NKJV. If you can imagine that, you have an idea of what these things feel like in person.


The Pitt Minion NIV is available from a variety of sources. Here are the Amazon links to the black and burgundy, both in goatskin and French Morocco:


14 Comments on “Cambridge NIV Pitt Minion in Burgundy Goatskin

  1. Now if only this was the TNIV, single-column (and subsequently thicker), that would be a dream Bible!

  2. I received my Cambridge ESV Pitt Minion in Burgundy French Morocco from Amazon last week. It is a nice Bible and I do like the handy size. The trade off is the smaller print. On Feb. 2nd I received my Allan’s ESV1 BR from Scotland in brown highland goatskin. There is no comparison in the two Bibles. I now wish that I had not ordered the Cambridge Pitt Minion. I may try to send it back to Amazon. The Allan’s a beautiful Bible and so nice to hold.

  3. I recently purchased the black NIV Cambridge Pitt Minion. I’m happy with my purchase, the only problem I seem to be having is with the first page of Ephesians which is curling up. None of the other pages seem to be doing that, and I’ve never seen that before in my other cheaper Bibles. We’re currently studying the book of Ephesians at church and so it is quite annoying. It curls up to a point where the edge of the paper is perpendicular to the page. Is this a defect or some strange occurrence attributed to locale climatic conditions?

  4. Same problem. The pages often curl up (sometimes even roll up), probably due to their thinness (I cannot figure out why the India paper is valued so much – yes, it feels nice and of fine quality, but it is way too thin), plus the leather (mine is the French Morocco) is so stiff that the cover often stays almost half open, especially at the corner. Hope it will become more flexible with time.

  5. To be fair, I must admit that after six months of use my NIV Pitt Minion in French Morocco looks and feels much, much better. The boards of the cover became softer, the page block seems to be a bit thicker than when I just purchased it (absorbed moisture?) and is more convenient to use (no more curling up). I could not figure out how it could happen until I read the last article by Mark “Notes from Summer: A Little Abuse Improves the Pitt Minion”. I can confirm that well-made Bibles improve with use, and improve a lot (now, the first thing I am going to do is to discard the box in which I carry it in my backpack). Anyway, if I ever switch to another translation, the Pitt Minion will be one of the first options to consider.

  6. The goatskin seems to be excellent, but what about the French Morocco? Any word on that? I’m more interested in the black specifically…Thinking about acquiring one of these beauties once my current compact/go-everywhere Bible bites the dust…anything anybody can share would be helpful. Thanks!

  7. I have a Pitt Minion NIV in French Morocco….my first Cambridge. I’m a bit disappointed in the leather cover. I wish I had sprung the extra money for the goatskin. I find the French Morocco to be a bit stiff but am encouraged by other postings that this should improve with use.
    My only other complaint is I hate red letter editions, but that’s just a quirk of mine.

  8. just received the NIV pitt minion in black goatskin as a birthday gift – wow! my first nice Bible! i too have noticed the page curling, but it looks like that should go away with time and use. i’m going to be ordained in a few weeks as pastor of a church of 200 or so, so i should have plenty to do!
    thanks, everyone, but especially mark, for your guidance and help.

  9. does anyone know whether the NIV pitt minion is or will be coming out in a brown? i would be bummed to order the black or burgandy and find out that i brown or tan were (soon) available. thanks

  10. Had ordered a black goatskin NIV Pitt Minion from Amazon and had to return it for replacement. After reading your reviews on the various Cambridge Bibles, I came to the conclusion that the first Bible that was sent had an unacceptably high number of um, leather aberrations that lead me to believe that the goat whose skin adorned the Bible probably had a very bad day with a barbed wire fence. Granted, genuine leather has character, revealed as unique patterns and creases; however, mine was such a condition that the areas surrounding the aberrations displayed a darker matte black, rather than the standard low-gloss. Wondering how Cambridge classifys or determines their products as seconds…
    Enjoyed your reviews. Cheers!

  11. I am waiting for the Pitt NIV 2011 to come out. I used to have a Pitt but lost it. It was a great little carry Bible with surprisingly clear text for being so small.

  12. Peter, you can get some awfully good deals on close-out NIV84 Pitts right now. But if you prefer the 2011 version you may want to wait for it.

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