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
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: