Not long ago, I passed along a suggestion to Paul at EvangelicalBible.com. The one Cambridge edition I would love to see available in the US, which unaccountably isn't, is the Pocket Cross Reference NIV, which I wrote about back in 2007. I have two of them, one in red Cabra Bonded Leather and another in Russet Calfskin. The former is no longer available, but I'm happy to announce that the latter can now be ordered by clicking here: Pocket Cross Reference NIV at EvangelicalBible.com.
They'll be available mid-February and there's only a limited stock.
A couple of my earlier photos comparing the Russet Calfskin edition to a Pitt Minion are up over there, but in honor of the occasion I figured I'd snap a few more for your enjoyment.
The Russet Calfskin cover is basically a tan-colored, grained calf. Cambridge doesn't seem to be doing a lot of calfskin bindings these days, but if you remember back a few years, you'll know what I'm talking about. Similar in feel to vintage Cameo covers -- flexible but not limp, and they improve with a little use. I love the color, and think the gold ribbon complements it perfectly. Page edges are gold gilt.
Remember that "Oh, Wow" feeling you got from the now-discontinued Bold Type Reference NIV that Allan's discounted awhile back? The layout was so clean and readable. People still e-mail me wanting to know where to find those things ... sadly, the answer is, "You can't." Well, you'll get the same feeling opening the Pocket Cross Reference because it's the same layout. Only smaller. As you can see below, the page numbers match and everything. So if you're one of the lucky ones who has a Bold Type Reference NIV, here's a chance to pick up a little companion.
If I were the type of guy to pick favorites -- and of course I'm not, but if I were -- I'd say this is the best two-column setting of the NIV. It's just so easy on the eyes.
The photo above gives you an idea what to expect inside the cover. It's stamped Calfskin Leather, with a brown marbled leather-like lining sheet. And as the picture below suggests, the cover is plenty flexible. Just the one ribbon, but it's a lovely color.
Now this is where things get very interesting. The cover size of this edition is about 6.5 x 4.5 edge to edge, and just over an inch thick. "Pocket" might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. Despite the size, the 6/7 pt. Olympian type is very readable, which makes this an ideal compact NIV. The question is, how does it compare to other editions we're familiar with? Let's take a look.
Above, I've placed a stack of comparable items. On bottom is a TruTone Personal Size Reference ESV, which is taller and wider than the Pocket Cross Reference (just like the Pitt Minion). Next up is the Pocket Cross Reference, and on top of that is the Deluxe Compact ESV that Leonard's rebound for me. As you can see, the Deluxe Compact and the Pocket Cross Reference are very similar in size -- the same height, but the Deluxe Compact is just a little less wide. On top of the stack is the Allan's Pocket Journal.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if small size and usability are key for you, the Pocket Cross Reference is impossible to beat. Great layout. Great footprint. Nicely made. When I snapped the photo above, I realized what a nice match the Russet Calfskin would be with the tan goatskin Pocket Journal. So here they are in a stack:
And here they are side-by-side:
I love this combination, which I'd never thought of before snapping these shots. If you treat yourself to a Pocket Cross Reference, pairing it with an Allan's Pocket Journal would make some sense.
The operative words on the EvangelicalBible.com page seem to be "limited stock." I don't know if that means the first order is small, or if there will only ever be one small order. The point is, if you find this little Bible appealing, you might want to act quickly. They're listed for $75.