I’ve been away from the blog for a while, and I’m planning to come back in the coming weeks with a single focus: reviewing and examining pocket Bibles. Sometime in the last few months I think I crossed a line in my mind; before I thought of myself merely as someone who had a lot of Bibles, all of them to use and serve some purpose; now I am beginning to think of myself as a bona-fide collector, and I’ve decided to take that “collectors” impulse into the realm of pocket/compact Bibles.
There are two big reasons for this: 1) They’re relatively cheap. So, for example, I wanted to have at least one Cambridge KJV, so I was able to find a beautiful leather pocket Cameo on discount–a heckuvalot cheaper than, say, a full price goatskin KJV wide margin.
2) I’ve always been fascinated by books in miniature and curious about the mechanics of what makes them work. As a boy, my favorite ornament on the Christmas tree was a tiny paper back “Bible” (I think it was actually the gospel of John, but it was made to look like a mini-Bible), and I continued to be fascinated by the way in which publishers are able to effectively fit the Bible’s massive anthology into a pocket-sized pamphlet. And I’ll add another: 3) I always like to have a Bible with me (I am a Bible scholar, after all), and it’s nice to have a variety to choose from.
Reading from several compact Bibles has been intriguing, and I’m hoping that my reviews can serve two purposes: a) to aid customers in their purchases, so that they can avoid the clunkers and find the gems; a) to perhaps aid publishers, as I make my humble observations concerning what works (and what does not work).
So, for now, I’ll ask for your help: What are some of the best pocket/compact Bibles that you own or know about? I’d love to know what other Bibliophiles have found. Any really strong recommendations out there? Or, are there any editions that you’ve found to be real clunkers, not worth considering? Please, do share!