Q. C. S. Lewis once said that nobody had written some of the books that he wanted to read so he had to write them himself. Have you ever wished you ran a publishing company so that you could publish the Bibles that should have been published, but haven't been?
Constantly. It's embarrassing to admit, but I have a fairly elaborate daydream in which a publishing exec or wealthy benefactor descends on a fluffy cloud granting me carte blanche to assemble a dream-team of artisans to create my ideal line of Bibles, controlling everything from the layout to the paper to the binding options and packaging. I have another daydream in which the citizens of the Earth unite to offer me a luxury exile package on a remote Scottish isle without internet access, giving me stewardship of the highland goats and the production of nature's perfect fabric, tweed. I'm not sure which is more likely to come to pass, so I try to stay mentally ready for both eventualities.
Above: This could be me if Daydream Two comes to pass.
Photo: CHRIS WATT
In all seriousness, I have to admit that, yes, I'd love to be in a position to see my own vision translated into ink, paper, and leather. And I'd like to think that if it did happen, a couple of you might support the enterprise by snapping up some copies.
There's an ancient/modern aspect to my vision, as regular readers will probably have noticed. Where covers and binder are concerned, I want to hit rewind, and on the inside I'm anxious to fast forward. Bibles that are built to last on the one hand, and built to be read on the other. (And frankly, the first goal is much less important to me than the second.) So my ideal, if implemented, would involve a quality spectrum from low to high ... yes, I'd be putting out cheap, glued paperbacks in addition to finely bound goatskin heirlooms. It's a broad plan, just so you know, not a narrow focus on must one edition.
So if any risk-taking publishing execs or wealthy benefactors are listening, you are encouraged to get in touch. In the meantime, I'll keep doing what I do and hoping to have a subtle influence on the way things take shape.