If you're the type of person who picks up a bible to read more than a couple times each year (Christmas and Easter), then it's a safe bet that your bible is a treasured possession. Not only does it get a lot of use, but you probably keep notes in it as well. You don't want a bible that falls apart after months or years of steady use, only to lose all of your notes.
It's time to stop buying cheap bibles.
Sure, you can find bibles at the bookstore for ten to twenty dollars. I'll guarantee you they won't last. So save up some money and invest in a quality bible that will last a lifetime. What should you look for in a quality bible?
- A sewn binding. Inexpensive bibles are glued together at the spine. Not only does this limit flexibility when the bible is open, but eventually the glue will give out and you'll lose pages from the spine. With a sewn binding, all the pages are stitched to the spine in leafs. This allows for the bible to open flatter and stay open, facilitating ease of use. This also means that your bible spine won't fall apart on you like a cheap paperback.
- Real leather cover. Most of the cheaper bibles have covers made of bonded leather or some material made to imitate leather. You'll get a price break if you buy one, but your cover will fall apart at some point. Look for covers made of genuine goatskin or calfskin. You can't go wrong with that.
- Bible paper. Many cheap bibles use regular paper that won't hold up to extended use. Others, that are a step up from them, use a very thin paper called "india paper". India paper allows for thinner bibles, and is actually a good quality paper. If the bible you want has it, don't sweat it too much. The advantage of having "bible paper" is that it prevents some of the bleedthrough you get with the super-thin india paper.
Stick to these guidelines, and you'll find a bible that will be a lasting treasure. If you need a nudge in the right direction, look to publishers like Cambridge, R L Allan, and Oxford for examples of quality bibles.