In his eighties anthem to robot gratitude, Dennis DeYoung thanks Mr. Roboto for "doing the jobs that nobody wants to." In a similar spirit, Jonathan Ammon at Bible Reading Project deserves a hearty domo arigato. If you've ever wondered what your Cambridge wide margin would look like after a "two day backpacking adventure" stuffed inside a sixty pound pack, he's done the job for you:
While the wide margin is rained-on and a little worse for wear, Jonathan is impressed by how well it held up. Here's his assessment:
Overall the Bible underwent the trial amazingly well. It is fully functional. The pages are slightly wrinkled and have some orange discoloration where the art gilding was rubbed off and bled through. The gilding on the top is roughed up quite a bit and the cover has some impressions pressed into the leather, but in a few months this will just be character and will remind me of the ministry.
When I write about the durability of a well-made Bible, what I have in mind is that it stands up better to bookish use than a glued binding. Every so often, I get requests for Bible vs. water, Bible vs. fire, deathmatch-type scenarios, which kind of misses the point. No book is impervious to damage, certainly no book made of leather and paper. If a Bible falls apart after stopping a bullet, being dropped from a twenty story high rise, or forgotten on a Deep South dashboard for six months, I don't see that as an indictment of the manufacturer. The kind of patina I'm interested in is the result of ordinary use.
Having said that, I like Jonathan's spirit. A lot of people would have left the goatskin edition at home and taken something cheaper on that trip, but he figured he'd bought the thing as a lifetime investment and might as well get some use from it. I'm glad he did, if for no other reason than that was can see the results. For more photos and Jonathan's firsthand account, check out the post at Bible Reading Project.
And if you know of more "use" photos, share the links!