AND NOW, THE ESV PITT MINION
Having switched over to the ESV from the NASB as my default translation earlier in the year I figured, hey, I need new Bibles--right? Right. Work with me here. It happened along about that time that I became a regular reader of Mark Bertrand's fine (yet very, very dangerous) weblog Bible Design and Binding. It turned out to be a costly confluence of events. As a result I am now three ESV Bibles richer, yet much cash poorer.
Earlier, I reviewed my ESV from Allan in tan highland goatskin. Yesterday my Cambridge Pitt Minion in brown goatskin arrived. I've not had much time to spend with it, but here are some early impressions and pictures.
The first thing that jumps out is how small the Pitt Minion is. It's a palm sized Bible, and will be great for stuffing in a coat pocket or briefcase. I can see that this one will be used a lot when I need to grab a Bible and run. The text pages are a bit more refined in their design than the Allan's, a better balance of margins. The text also seems to pop out on the page better on the Pitt Minion, which is good since the type is relatively small.
Of course, Allan uses a pre-done text block so the real comparison between the two comes at the binding. The cover on the Pitt Minion has a nice feel, and the brown color is elegantly understated. But the feel of the leather is like night and day compared to the Allan's. While the Allan's is supple and buttery, the Pitt Minion has a slight roughness to it, the spine is tighter and the cover is stiffer out of the box. The Allan's has a leather backing to the cover while the Pitt Minion uses what appears to be vinyl. I think it comes down to the fact that as nice as the Pitt Minion is (and it is nice--don't get me wrong!), it still seems like a factory Bible while the Allan seems more handcrafted. Of course, you'll pay twice as much (or close to it) for the Allan.
But they are different Bibles for different purposes. And one shouldn't hold against the Pitt Minion what it is not. What it is is a very well executed Bible that is quite handsome, and likely will be more versatile for me than the Allan's is. I think with use and time much of the stiffness will work itself out as well. Perhaps I can check back in with it in a year. One last quibble: I'd love it if the Pitt Minion had two ribbon markers rather than one. Ribbon markers are so useful, and they have to be cheap to add.
Before the pictures, a dream Bible: Pitt Minion size in single-column format and bound by R.L. Allan in their tan goatskin with raised bands thrown in for good measure (and three ribbon markers, of course).
Back to reality, here is the Bible that is:
Pitt Minion-R.L. Allan mini-stack: