durability of hardcover and paperback bibles

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Paul Rittman, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking for a particular translation and am not seeing imitation leather editions in the $20 range like I'm used to (ok they were used but mint condition). I have a few options here:

    1) I can shell out more money and get the new imitation leather for close to $40

    2) I can try out the cheaper hardcover (or even softcover) versions for less than half of that

    I will be putting it in a nice sturdy bible cover, where it will stay 24/7 whether I read it at home or take it to church.

    I don't think I've ever bought a new hardcover bible, I've only bought cheap used ones when I wanted to get a version of a particular translation for the sake of refering to it every once in a while. Of course they all looked ragged, but that was ok b/c it wasn't a bible I'd use every day. I'm wondering (since this bible will be one I will use on a daily basis) if a hardcover one would hold up as well as an imitation leather--keeping in mind that it will be inside a cover all the time?

    Also, the only "paperback" bible I ever remembered was The Way (the Living Bible), which held up quite well, as that paperback had an incredibly strong spine. When bible publishers say "paperback," do they mean sturdy bibles like that? Or are they just the cheap spines that most paperback books come in?

    Unfortunately I am forced to buy online; I don't believe there is a Christian book store in our area or else I'd check these all out in a store.

    Perhaps I simply need to schedule a trip to a big city and go to a few bookstores? I can do that but honestly at that point, I'd probably be better of saving the gas and food money and buying the $40 bible.

    What has your experience been with hardcover and paperback versions of Bibles--that are used as the primary bible?
     
  2. thomas15

    thomas15
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no easy answer to your question. It might be helpful to know what translation and or edition you want to buy.
     
  3. JesusFan

    JesusFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    think that the new Imitation soft feel leather Bibles are nice, question on durability!

    Would actually buy a decent study bible in your version in genuine leather, preferrablr Cowhide or pig skin for durability!

    per OP directly...

    Hard covers best for durability...
     
    #3 JesusFan, Jul 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2011
  4. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wait a sec here... you are saying that hard covers are better than imitation leather in terms of durability? Durability is the number one factor here. I always thought that hardcovers were LESS durable than imitation leather. At this point, its doubtful that I'll buy genuine leather...a bit much. I could buy two imitation leather-bound bibles for their price, if not three.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can't judge a Bible by it's cover-


    UNLESS you get to inspect it before you buy it.

    I have a hardback KJV/RVR1960 that is on it's second lifetime- and I am hard on Bibles. I travel pretty frequently, it gets rained on occasionally, left in my car in the heat, etc.

    That being said, there isn't much difference in longevity in my experience. I've had soft-covers and hardbacks that fell apart rather easily and I've had some of each that have lasted for years.
     
  6. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    I really can't figure out why people buy fancy leather bibles and then permanantly cover them.

    If you're going to cover it, I'd suggest getting the cheapest bible you can find with a sewn binding... which will prolly B a hardcover.

    Rob
     
  7. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    The reason I put my main bible in a cover is to protect it and get it to last as long as possible. Yes new leather bibles are attractive, but that's not really the reason for getting them. I'd do this with a hardcover in an instant (much cheaper), except for my concern that hardcovers won't last as long.

    I have heard, tho, that its not the cover, but the binding that determines how long a bible will last. Is that true?
     
  8. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Genuine leather is best for durability. I have a genuine leather NIV Disciples Study Bible given to me at my ordination 20 years ago. Looks almost as good today as it did then (I use it...they gave me an NIV Thompson Chain as my "keepsake" Bible). Binding makes all the difference. Like was said earlier, I wouldn't buy a leather Bible and a cover. That's like wearing suspenders and a belt at the same time. Get a good quality leather binding if you're looking for durability.

    That said, Bible durability and leather quality has diminished over the years. One publisher's genuine leather is what Bonded leather used to be. Genuine leather is just that. Top grain or Cowhide is the most durable. Bonded leather is small leather pieces held (bonded) with composite materials. Zondervan tends to have the best leather. Broadman and Holman had good leather. A genuine leather NKJV I have from them looks like it did when I bought it 17 years ago. Crossway is one of the least durable right now, but they're getting better.

    Binding makes all the difference. Like was said earlier, I wouldn't buy a leather Bible and a cover. That's like wearing suspenders and a belt at the same time. Get a good quality leather binding if you're looking for durability.
     
  9. JesusFan

    JesusFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thompson makes good quality bible, as does Oxford and Holman

    Most important is to get one that is Smyth sewed!
     
  10. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8,121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try an R. L. Allan Bible in goatskin for the best leather, and for great sewn binding. I had an Oxford Morrocan for years. The leather not as subtle, and had many broken letters in the text, and the pages began to fall out. Both Bibles were comparable in price, yet the Allan blows it away in quality of leather, binding and the quality of the print.

    evangelicalbible.com is a great source for these and other top-notch Bibles.
     
  11. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone had a hardcover that is smyth sewn? I've heard that those bibles (superior binding) last longer....
     
  12. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hardbacks just don't hold up to the rigors of daily use, toting in and out of church 3-5 times per week, etc. Also, if you get one that's in a study Bible (take the ESV study Bible for instance) the wheelbarrel you have to use to carry it is also cumbersome to park outside your pew :laugh:
     
  13. TC

    TC
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,225
    Likes Received:
    10
    My hardcover KJV Life Application bible has held up very good. I have hauled it around for many years and it is still in good shape. I have some other hardback books that have also held up quite well. :godisgood:
     
  14. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Went ahead and bought a couple of smyth-sewn imitation leather bibles today.

    Thanks everyone for their input.
     
  15. JesusFan

    JesusFan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    What did you get?
     
  16. thomas15

    thomas15
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul, what did you settle on?
     
  17. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    My 1945 leather-bound Cambridge KJV is doing very well. It came apart at the seam at Gen 27 almost instantly, but I manage to hold those pages in order. The rest is fine and I used for many, many years in study and in the pulpit.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wasn't going to post this, but since a couple of you asked, I got two ESVs, from Westminster Theological Seminary bookstore. $75 including shipping and tax. Price was either better than amazon, or I couldn't find one of them there... after days of clicking and reading I honestly just don't recall at this point.

    Got a giant print bible for my daughter. After printing up verses and having her read, she would always say that she liked reading any time I increased the font size. Poor thing--the bible is about 1/10 of her body weight (no joke--yikes) but I assured her that her cover will have handles on it.

    Mine is a large print. Both, as I said above, are smyth-sewn imitation leather (Crossway, the publishers of ESV, call their own brand TruTone. Sure sounds nicer than "imitation leather," dudn't it?).

    Both have a few text notes at the bottom which I believe are included in every ESV version. Neither has any notes other than that, although both have a concordance (most likely not exhaustive, but even an abridged one can be helpful).

    Already owning the Reformed Study Bible, I can use its notes, as well as the Esword program (featuring Calvin, Gill, and Jonathan Edwards) to get commentary.

    I wasn't opposed to getting my daughter a study bible, but I didn't see one that had giant print, as well as 14-pt font for the notes as well. :laugh:
     
  19. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    This goes along well with what others are saying-- that leather-bound really and truly is the best. Most likely the bibles I get as replacements for these two will in fact be leatherbound, but given that I've gotten 8-9 years from the current imitation leather NKJV that I have, I will be happy to get 8-9 years from these, and then if I still want to go with the ESV at that point in time, I'll put the big bucks into a leather volume. I would have gotten leather for myself, but to put it bluntly (and half jokingly), I needed a new bible, but am a recent ESV convert so I didn't want to lay out big bucks just to change my mind next year.
     
  20. Paul Rittman

    Paul Rittman
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just re-read your post. Could you give me a decent idea of how long you used that bible at least once a week (as opposed to sitting on your shelf)--has it been used since 1945, or from 1990 till 2000, etc.?

    That's pretty impressive!
     

Share This Page

Loading...