In “The Wide, Wide World”, by Susan Warner, [a best-seller in its day, and still worth reading, either for the religious views, as an example of the popular literature of the 19th century, or just for the story] there is a scene where Ellen and her mother have gone to a bookshop so Ellen can choose a Bible. Ellen had previously been using her mother’s Bible, but now her mother must go abroad for her health.
She was weighing the comparative advantages of large, small, and middle-sized ; — black, blue, purple, and red ; — gilt and not gilt- clasp and no clasp.
Nowadays, someone buying a Bible has even more choices to make than Ellen did!
1: Which translation? [Or, perhaps, a Parallel Bible]
2: What binding? Bindings range from Morocco leather to paperback.
3: What color? Bibles come in more colors than they did in Ellen’s day.
4: New or used? [If I bought a used Bible, I’d make sure it was unmarked.]
My Bible… which as of this past Friday I’ve had for 22 years, is a paperback copy of the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. The original cover is blue, but I’ve given my Bible new covers several… perhaps I should say many…. times. The current cover is red. [Drab red construction paper, brightened with a scarlet crayon.] I’ve also recently used a gold marker on the edges of my Bible.
When it comes to the outward appearance, I have a special love for medium-sized red covered Bibles with gilt edges. But what matters most, of course, is the contents.