As I was saying last Friday, I plan on using the ESV much more now.

Well, what I had to use was an ESV pew Bible that I bought back when they first came out on the market. I didn’t want to spend a whole lot on a bible I didn’t know if I was going to use, and I think the pew Bible only cost me some $11 or so. It gave me something to look at, but it didn’t feel too good in my hands, since it was hardcover, and it was the very first ESV text, which has been changed a bit since then.

I decided last Friday that the time had come for me to get an ESV Bible that I would use. That meant one with a soft cover and large-enough type that I could read, yet small enough to carry and use comfortably. I also didn’t want anything too flashy, nothing melon green and strawberry red or anything like that.

Now I’ve been looking at the different online companies that sell Bibles, so I had a pretty good idea what was out there, and for what kind of prices. I have also determined that if I can get a particular Bible locally instead of ordering it, when you factor in shipping prices on the ordered one and taxes on the locally-bought one, the price difference may not be great enough to overcome the advantage of buying it locally and having it in my hands that very day. Maybe it does in your mind, but not necessarily in mine.

Anyway, I am aware of two good sources of Bibles locally, as well as a few others with far more limited choices. Those two good local sources are the local Christian book store, and the local Barnes and Noble. So when my wife and I were out for breakfast Saturday morning at the Old Country Buffet, I suggested we go across the street to the local B&N and see what they have. So while my wife was looking at kids books for a niece, I trotted down to the other end where the Bibles are and proceeded to check out their ESVs. They had quite a number of compact and personal size ESVs, several thinlines, but no large-print or Classic Reference Bibles. (There were also a couple ESV Study Bibles, but that would kind of defeat my purpose in having a relatively small Bible.)

The compacts and personal-size Bibles had such small print that they were nearly useless to me, but the thinlines were much closer to what I had in mind. I looked at a nice tan one with a diamond shape embossed on the front, but in the end I decided that even that was too flashy for me. What I finally bought was this charcoal gray one with a Celtic cross on the front and silver page edging. It’s plain, gray, and dark, but attractive. They’ve had this design available for several years, but this one I bought appears to have been printed last year (2009) and has the Smyth-sewn binding to help it last much longer than the old glued covers. It appears the type is only 8.2 pt according to the box, but I couldn’t tell the difference between that and another one that said it had 9.5 pt. type. The text is the latest 2007 ESV text (I think that’s the latest revision, isn’t it?). The biggest problem I have found with this Bible is the fact that it is red-letter, and in some places the red ink is not very dark. This Bible also doesn’t have cross-references, but it does have text notes, which is all I really require in this type of Bible. Crossway could work on making those text notes a little larger, however.

I spent quite a bit of time reading this new Bible over the weekend. The type, while a bit small, is fairly sharp and easy to read. The cover is soft, flexible, and comfortable in my hands. The paper is quite thin, but seems to be of good quality. And of course the latest ESV text is smooth reading, almost classical English, that is intended for the educated reader, not for someone who is just starting to learn English as a second language.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this purchase, and plan on using this Bible heavily for years. We’ll see how this soft Tru-tone cover holds up!