My photos of the "crimson" Reader's Reference ESV led to some questions about how the color compares to the red Alhambra goatskin cover available with the Allan's Personal Size Reference ESV. So I've snapped a few pictures to illustrate the red/burgundy spectrum. First, here's a stack of the reds ready to hand as I write this:
The crimson Reader's Reference is at the bottom, the Alhambra PSR is near the middle, and we have a couple of vintage reds (mostly Cambridge) to round out the picture. Color is a little off here because of the artificial lighting, so I snapped a couple of natural light shots which we'll see in a sec. The point here is to illustrate that the crimson shade is somewhere between burgundy and red, maybe trending more toward the burgundy. In some light, you get red, in others a purplish red.
Below, a smaller selection to make the difference clearer. The crimson is on bottom again, with the Alhambra just above. The Alhambra reads red, just like the editions above it -- Cambridge's NIV Pocket Reference and REB paragraphed New Testament (my Grail text setting bound in my Grail color, but sadly no longer in print).
Now let's shine some natural light on the situation. The crimson is highland goatskin, which means a slightly more matte finish than the Alhambra, but limper and more flexible.
The Alhambra jumps out at you. The crimson is subtle. If you like the idea of a red cover but preferred a subdued shade to a bright one, the crimson fits the bill. And it's close enough to burgundy to satisfy someone actually in search of that shade.