The Bible Design and Binding Blog has featured a lot of rebinding work recently -- and there's more on the way. Maybe you're wondering how some of these editions hold up over time. After all, even the saddest genuine leather editions can look spiffy out of the box. It's when they're actually used that the faults begin to show. Matt Morales sent me some photos about a couple of Bibles he had rebound a year ago by Mechling, along with a write-up, and I'm passing them along because they illustrate the point that many people still miss about quality bindings. What matters isn't how they look today, but how they perform over time. Here's Matt --Two years ago I sent an ESV Classic Reference edition and a 25-year-old NASB reference edition to Mechling to be rebound. The black ESV was my wife's, which after only a year of use had begun to fall apart. The 25-year-old burgundy NASB was a gift from my mother. Both Bibles were rebound with the deluxe binding package with no frills attached, and both were done in the original color that they came with. The turnaround was two weeks and the Bibles arrived in great condition. Of note: I did have both Bibles re-sewn by Mechling to add strength. One year later, both Bibles have grown considerably more flexible (notice the black ESV) and feel great -- with no signs of falling apart. The goatskin cover and sheepskin lining are both very supple. My only complaint is that the ribbons fray to easily ... which is why I sent stronger ones when rebinding the wide margin. The cost was $159 a piece. All in all, it was money well spent. Thanks, Matt, for sharing these. I'm impressed with the flexibility of the black ESV -- that bent-over-backward snapshot is positively yoga-like. You make an excellent point, too, about the way good bindings tend to improve with use (while bad ones just fall apart)!
J Mark Bertrand