Brian Fox decided to send his print copy of the excellent NET Bible to McSpadden Bookbindery for an overhaul. (If you don't know about the NET Bible already, do yourself a favor and check it out: print editions / online edition.) I'll let Brian tell the story in his own words -- set off, as always, in italics:
I have been a fan of the NET Bible for several years now. One thing that prevented me from being too excited was the "premium" bonded leather. It wasn't quite premium enough. I had paid $50 or so for it, and was considering replacing it with a $100 top grain leather edition. I had two problems with that idea. The first is that I would still be stuck with a bonded leather Bible; I could put it into a box and try to forget it, but that doesn't work, and its sewn binding seemed to almost call to me. The second problem I had was that I wasn't too sure that the top grain leather would be tops, and I realized that I could solve both problems for $100 at McSpadden, and I would get nice black calfskin.
The whole process took about a month, and I am very happy with what I got. I sent my Bible off, and shortly after they received it, I received a phone call from Corry McSpadden. He's really easy to work with, and he didn't nickel and dime me. Raised bands, semi yapp (he calls it turned edge), extra lines of imprinting on the spine, and imprinting my name did not add to the cost of the rebind. This rebind would have cost $128 at Mechling, and it would not have the semi yapp cover. I am happy with my Mechling rebind, but I like the semi yapp a lot, and Mechling doesn't do that.
Gayle McSpadden also spoke with me, and she's a real sweetheart. When I was having obsessive compulsive problems, wondering if they might have misspelled something, or even worse, imprinting New Living Translation rather than New English Translation, she assured me that I would love this Bible, and I do.
(For any of you watch lovers, that is an Invicta Abyss with a mother of pearl dial, automatic Miyota movement, and a glass back)
There is a hinge on the inside of the front and back cover, and I don't find it very pretty. I admit that it is the part of the Bible that I am least incline to look at, so if it is there for a good reason, I can live with it. Corry's letter says it allows the Bible to open properly for many years. Here is a copy of the letter:
The Bible has fairly stiff boards, which I don't mind. It isn't as flexible as a Nelson Signature Bible, but the weight of the pages is enough to make it open to more than flat. Also, I think the hinge makes the center of the Bible not open quite as wide as I would like to read comfortably, but it opens wide enough with ease to read the parts in the middle. I wouldn't try Bible yoga with this, and yes Mark, I need to turn all 2500+ pages. I'm getting arthritis, so leave me alone.
Here are more views of this Bible:
I also wanted to show a picture of the text. I have seen some criticism of the NET Bible for putting the chapter and verse numbers in front of each verse. I conjecture that this is so the reader can tell where he or she is. There are so many translator notes (60,932) that it is easy to lose track of where one is. Some pages have 4/5 or 9/10 translator notes. I don't find it distracting, but I know some people do.
Overall, considering price, service, included features, and the look and feel of my newly bound Bible, I am very impressed. I would use McSpadden again, and I would recommend them to my friends. When Corry did my Bible, he was doing about 60-70 Bibles, so he seems to have a good system down for getting them done. After it was finished, because of the large number of Bibles Gayle had to ship, it took about three extra days to get it shipped. They sent it to my by USPS Priority Mail. They mailed it on a Thursday, and I had it on Saturday.
If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them.
Thanks, Brian, for sharing your photos. I have several more McSpadden reports in the pipeline, so stay tuned everyone. And if you have questions for Brian, by all means ask!