Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Semi-Regular Weekly Poll

  • I really like ornamental Bible covers
  • I like plain, non-ornamental covers
  • It doesn't matter what the cover is like
  • Other


Deep South Reader said...

As I discussed with Tim, I think the "icon"-like images of our Lord and the Evangelists on the Ignatius RSV-2CE may have some good value with regard to stronger unity with the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches and especially the Eastern Orthodox Church. That is the first thing I thought of when I saw this Bible is an olive leaf to the east.


Jonny said...

The RSV-2CE bonded leather cover I got a couple of years ago looks pretty good, but that was back when Thomas Nelson was publishing them.

The copies I have seen more recently are published by Ignatius Press and have the Ignatius maps and sloppier printed icons on the cover.

I think Ignatius would do better to offer one higher quality edition of the RSV-CE 1 and 2 instead of six to ten less than acceptable ones! Seriously! If they offered a decent genuine black leather hard or soft cover of each, not only would they gain new buyers, but many people who already own the RSV-CE 1 and 2 translations would buy them as well!

Amfortas said...

Jonny you're right. A simple high quality leather bound RSV CE 1 and 2 would sell well. The St Benedict Press RSV CE 1 is disappointing. Great page lay out but marred by 'words of Christ in red'. And there's the RSV CE 2 with that cover. Noble simplicity please.

rolf said...

I'll take any cover on a large or giant print RSV-2CE. I know that I am a broken record on the subject, I just hope that someone over at Ignatius Press will listen!

ThisVivian said...

It depends on the Bible; on certain Bibles, especially those in hardcover or lower-quality leather (such as the Ignatius Bible, or the hardcover single-volume Haydock Bible), I prefer a busy cover much of the time, as it distracts from the crappiness of the leather, and adds a very "Catholic" or "Orthodox" look to the book - Protestants wouldn't be caught dead with a Bible that had ikons on the cover.

On those with excellent leather (Trinitarian Bible Society, many Cambridge Bibles, RL Allan's, a rebound Bible in Calf or better), plain color with gilding on the spine looks the best to my eyes.

The cover matters in most cases less than the quality of the leather used for it, and the quality and layout of the text-block inside. Keep in mind that large amounts of gilding don't take well to high-quality leathers, quickly rub off, and stiffens the leather dramatically.

ThisVivian said...

The secret to making an excellent Bible is twofold: to follow the layout of the (Old or New) Cambridge Paragraph Bible, the Clarion, the Jerusalem Bible, the hardcover NEB, or the Confraternity NT layout as closely as possible (that is, symth-sewn binding [not edge-sewn, never glued], one paragraph only, with a proper amount of words per line, and decent paper, decent spacing/leading between lines, an excellent, serif, timeless type-face, printed well by a high-standard printer, with few flaws; ditto for the binding*); and to put a cover of high-quality, flexible-to-floppy leather on it, with a soft bookboard underneath, at least top-grain calf split on it, if not full-grain calfskin, French Morocco, or Goat.

Edge-bind this if you want the high end of the market, and leave the skin natural - do not press a grain in to it to make it thin and stiff. Don't use "Berkshire" (pigskin), stamp a grain in to it to make it stiffer than it already was, and then line it with hard bookboard and put a glued text-block in it and call it a "premium Bible".

*This means primarily Joengbloed, but LEGO SpA does decent work too. If you can't afford one of these companies, hire a typographer and a binder of excellent quality and bring your own machines up to the level where they can compete.

Biblical Catholic said...

I guess I just don't really care about what's on the cover....I care about what's in between the covers....unless the cover was really offensive or ugly of course.....

ThisVivian said...

When you read the Bible for a few hours a day you grow to appreciate, very quickly, things such as full-grain calfskin, highland goat, and Smyth-sewn bindings.

Try holding bonded leather monstrosity with sweaty hands for a few hours a day - it begins to fall apart within six or so weeks. Stiff leather is a pain to work with, when one's thumbs get sore from prying the Bible open.

One also begins to appreciate even more quickly black type (no words in red), a clean layout, single-column paragraphs, and a comfortable font. Side-column references take a backseat, but, as a reader on J Mark Bertrand's blog pointed out, "Sometimes, when reading Matthew, I think to myself, 'Forsooth, at what place say the prophets so?', and, there, the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible [or insert any text-only edition here] has me at a loss."

Try reading the Gospel of John in a 5 pt-type sans-serif font, in double-column, in and with, God forbid, verse-per-paragraph and the words of Christ in red. One will quit before "For God so loved the world..."; now, do the same with a nice Clarion, and one will read until the twenty-first chapter.

Like the notes in the Haydock Bible: yeah, they're good, and probably contain ten normal-sized volumes with normal-sized type worth of commentary, but try and read more than six or eight inches at a time - good luck!