Marking Up Your Bible

Q. Bill asks: "I recently found your site helpful when purchasing my new goatskin leather NKJV copy of the Word. I was wondering if you had any advice when it comes to marking Bibles or making notes in them? Is there a way to do it without destroying it?"

That's a question that comes up from time to time. Unfortunately, the super thin paper Bibles are printed on isn't ideal for marking/writing. (For that matter, it's not always ideal for printing, but that's another story.) There are thin papers that work well for this -- for example, Smythson's thin paper, which will take even fountain pen ink without bleeding -- but they're prohibitively expensive for printing.

I've written about the subject just a little, and the community has filled in the gaps. Here's a good place to start:

Writing and Highlighting in Your Bible

For what it's worth, I've found the Pigma Micron archival pens good for use with Bible paper -- and when they aren't handy, I make due with ballpoints, typically the Space Pen. I'm not a big fan of highlighting in this context, but the new generation of "drylighters" seem promising. A soft pencil, while not as visible on the page, offers an old school solution to the problem, so long as you're careful not to let a sharpened point tear through. Whatever you use, it's not a bad idea to test the writing instrument on the paper first. A mishap in the concordance won't be nearly as disruptive as one that mars a key passage.

Above: Writing, underlining and highlighting in a Cambridge ESV wide margin.
The pen used was a Pigma Micron, and the highlighter was a Sharpie Gel.


Above: The reverse of the same page. The writing and highlighting are visible,
but neither has bled through the paper. 

Readers, since the last time we talked about the subject extensively on the blog was in 2008, how about sharing your most recent thoughts? What are you using to write/highlight in your Bible, and how well does it work? Are there particular editions that seem better suited to the task than others?