Thursday, May 30, 2013

Semi-Regular Weekly Poll


Russ said...

Not in a million years.

Deep South Reader said...

I would purchase such a Bible in a SECOND! We Catholics continue to complain(in the aggregate) that there are no premium, orthodox bibles out there. We need to support the production of one. And the awaited full Ignatius Study should be it.

There are no premium Bibles out there for under $100. Check out the Bibles reviewed on And those aren't study bibles, so much less paper. If you could get into a complete Ignatius study Bible, with high-end finishings, $120 would be a steal! Otherwise, you end up spending maybe $50 and then have to ship it off to Leonard's, etc. (which I don't mind) for a quality rebind.

Ladies and Gentlemen, think of it this way. What are people willing to spend to watch their favorite professional sports team potentially LOSE in a big game? (hint: north of $200, and usually much higher). Or a nice purse. Or a new driver for golf. Can we put our money where out mouth is with our FAITH and maybe spend $120 for a Bible we will use for decades??

Say the Bible lasts you only 10 years because you use is so aggressively. Is $12/year a good deal for you for the word of God in a worthy binding? $1/month. And if the Bible lasts Russ 1 million years, what a deal he will get!

Vote YES, and let's get a strong poll to Ignatius so we can maybe get ONE quality Bible out there to recommend and give to close family and friends. AMEN?? Or we can continue to perpetuate the complaining without action.

losabio said...

I've bought at least three copies of the ICSB:NT: leather (for myself), HC (for my BIL when he went through RCIA, would've bought HC myself if I did it again), and finally in Logos (ships in July, I think). I do not think that flexible leather is a good binding choice for this particular Bible. The ICSB is not really a "settle in with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning" kind of Bible. It's more like a "clear some space on the dining room table, and grab a copy of the CCC when you're getting your regular Bible (no OT in the ICSB)" kind of Bible.

The combined OT/NT ICSB would necessarily be huge as a single volume, or have super thin pages, and/or super small print.

Give me a two volume set of leather hard covers and now we're talking!

rolf said...

How many Bibles in the past has Ignatius Press published with even a 'genuine leather' cover? Exactly: none. So unfortunately I think our chances of getting a complete 'Ignatius Catholic Study Bible' with anything more than bonded leather would definitely be a dream. I would be happy with a nice synthetic leather cover that is soft. Who am I kidding? I would be happy with any complete one volume Ignatius Study Bible in any form! I did vote yes in the poll though.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth; To me the value is in the content, not the cover.

I would rather have them release a nice attractive HC for half the price. Than one with all the cosmetic bells & whistles, that a lot of people aren't going to be able to afford.

One thing I'd especially like, is for them to ditch the cover they use. Which I think is ugly and kind of cheap looking.

Perhaps, something simpler with a cross and the title.


Biblical Catholic said...

E-book edition for me.....

Jonny said...

I would love to have one, but I wonder how thin the paper would have to be to get it in a portable format. I expect it to be no smaller than the Catholic Treasures edition of the Haydock, or else have microscopic print. I agree with losabio, that it is going to be the "coffee table" Bible as the Haydock has been in past centuries. And if it is indeed that size, is a soft leather cover even a desirable option? Would perhaps a hardcover wrapped in endurahyde be better? (We do still want the gold edges ;)

Deep South Reader said...

How sad is it that many Catholics (I'm Catholic) will find the money to buy countless icons, devotionals, and other study aids, but don't want to spend the money on a nice Bible. Of course it's about the content, so why have nice Churches? The inconsistency is glaring. The Bible should be the nicest "item" in our homes (without forsaking the content). Yet it is invariably a cheap, corner-cutting paperback book. But we so find lots of nicely bound secular classics!!!

Deep South Reader said...

The issue of whether this can be done in one volume is seperate from the issue of whether we need a nicely bound, "important" Catholic Bible out there. They can ALSO publish an "affordable" hardcover and paperback (so we can save our money for yet another $120 concrete garden saint statue).

Timothy said...

Let's be perfectly clear, they can publish a completed ICSB in a one volume edition. The ESV, NLT, and NIV have just as much if not more commentary than the ICSB and those editions are available in various sizes and bindings. There is absolutely no reason for it to come out in two volumes. If it doesn't come out in one volume, it is not due to the amount of content, but rather Ignatius' inability or desire to format their Bibles like Protestant publishers do all the time.

losabio said...

What is the benefit of a premium flexible leather cover on a single volume which might be 4-5 inches thick? You won't be able to fold the pages around the back, and I doubt anyone would be holding the thing one-handed whilst standing, so why the flexible cover?

I have nothing against premium covers, and had my RSV2CE rebound a few years back. I just think that this particular Bible is not a good one for such a cover. Howsabout a nice calfskin D-R?

Deep South Reader said...

Iosabio, ok what about that bible in hardcover premium calf? The protestant ESV in calf sells extremely well. why? because it's well done.

Timothy said...

If done right, like many Protestant publishers can do, it need not be 4-5 inches in width.

Theophrastus said...

My understanding is that type of printing done for the Crossway, Tyndale, Nelson, and Zondervan study Bibles (or even for Oxford study Bibles) is rather expensive and only makes sense for large production runs. Typsetting is another huge one-time expense that has to be amortized out over a large print run -- and that is often farmed out to specialized production houses such as Peachtree Editorial.

Premium bindings on Bibles almost always use textblocks that are identical with cheaper hardcover. Unless there is a large hardcover print-run, the textblock -- and thus the premium edition -- will never exist.

I am not convinced that Protestant publishers produce high quality editions either. Zondervan's top-of-the line NIV Study Bible, for example, is not a model of great binding. Nelson seems to have given up on producing study Bibles with genuine leather. The premium NLT study Bibles were remaindered off and are now out-of-print.

But all this is moot: Ignatius simply lacks the funds to pay for a large production run. So, making a two volume study Bible set that can be produced in small print runs makes perfect sense. Scott Hahn fans will grumble a lot, but ultimately most of them will still buy the two volume edition. In the unlikely event that Ignatius finds itself with a runaway hit, it can always produce a single volume edition at a later date -- and those same fans will probably end up buying the single volume edition as well!

Compare Baronius Press's Knox Bible vs. Ignatius's Catholic study Bible:

* Baronius is the only publisher of the Knox. Ignatius is only one of many Catholic study Bible publishers.

* Baronius only needs to pay royalties for the Knox. Ignatius needs to fund the full development costs for its study Bible (and the content is not even finished yet!)

* Baronius sells a large fraction of its Bibles through direct sales, and thus receives the full cover price. Ignatius sells most of its books through book distributors, and only gets a fraction of the purchase price.

* Baronius can get away with charging $55 for its study Bible, which is physically comparable to a $20 NRSV edition. On the other hand, Ignatius has a record of failure in its attempts to sell high-end volumes (e.g., its RSV Lectionary, which ultimately had to be remaindered off.)

* The Knox Bible is only 1500 pages, while the Ignatius will contain probably two or three times as much text.

* The Knox Bible only comes in one edition (hardcover), while Ignatius needs to support four editions (Kindle, paperback, hardcover, and bonded leather).

Finally, consider what sort of sales are necessary to support premium leather editions: Crossway's ESV Study Bible sold out its initial print run of 100,000 copies even before its release date and within its first month of sales sold 200,000 copies. And premium editions of the ESV Study Bible have a retail price tag of $240 -- not $120.

Deep South Reader said...

So Theo, what you're saying is you would be all over a $120, single volume, premium leather Ignatius Study?

Theophrastus said...

As long as we're dreaming, let's just imagine that $120 volume won't just be made from pigskin leather -- it will be made from the skin of flying pigs.

But even then I'm not willing to place a pre-order yet. I'm still waiting to see how the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible turns out. As you know, the project has suffered from countless delays -- and it is still not finished!

Deep South Reader said...

For what it is worth, pigskin, used well, more than passes muster.

Biblical Catholic said...

"Yet it is invariably a cheap, corner-cutting paperback book. But we so find lots of nicely bound secular classics!!!"

Books purchased in expensively bound editions are for collecting, not reading. I would never buy an expensive bound book as anything other than a showpiece, I certainly wouldn't actually use it.

WD said...

Why would anyone pay over $30 for any Bible, when there are plenty of paperback Bibles for under $9 to choose from???? If you wouldn't pay to have a copy of the Catechism bound in leather, why bother paying so much for a Bible when there are plenty of $7 paperback Bibles to choose from?

Timothy said...

Why use gold and other precious metals for liturgical vessels?

Biblical Catholic said...

Well....again....if I'm going to pay $100 or more for a's going on the ain't going to be used....depending on how much it cost me, I may even toss it in a safe deposit box. Expensively bound editions are collector's items which tend to increase in value over time. If it's a book I actually intend to read, and not simply show off or put into a safe deposit box as an investment, then I'm going to buy it cheap, because when I use a book I tend to beat the hell out of it, I write notes or scribble diagrams in the margins, the pages get dog eared, it's probably going to be thrown across the room every now and again...I'm not going to beat up a $100,$150,$200 book.....if I spend that much it is going on a shelf....never to be touched....

Theophrastus said...

Corey, I know that it is a visual cliche in the movies to show a wealthy person's library with shelves lined with leather-bound books. But I think that exists much more in films than in real life.

Leather bound books largely fell out fashion in the mid-part of the 20th century, and by the 1980s, leather bound books had become downright scarce. There are some publishers such as "Easton Press" that specialize in them, but frankly, most book collectors shun Easton books -- they are not very well made.

Moreover, -- when non-religious leather bound books are published, they are almost always hardcover volumes. I'm trying to think of a softcover leather bound book that was not a religious book (either a scriptural book or prayer book of some sort); I'm sure I must have seen one or two at some point, they are so unusual that none come to mind right now.

Hardcover books have a lot of advantages: they open flat, are easy to store on the shelf, and don't require regular maintenance every few months the way leather does.

Softcover, on the other hand, is easy to hold in a single hand. Some Protestants take their Bibles everywhere, and read from them in one hand -- so a softcover book makes sense for them. Similarly, prayer books (including missals and breviaries) are often bound in softcover for the same reason. Leather is certainly more robust than paperback binding -- and thus the famous "leather bound Bible" (or missal, or breviary, etc.)

However, I must say that recent synthetic softcover bindings hold up even better than leather softcover, and I suspect that leather bound Bibles will continue to decline in sales as more people choose the cheaper and more robust synthetic covers.

I don't begrudge anyone who owns expensive Bibles -- especially if he gets pleasure from ownership or if he feels that ownership shows respect or brings him closer to God. But, I think the best way to honor Scripture (or any book) is to actually read it.

Perhaps for you, owning a deluxe Bible edition may help facilitate your own reading/learning/studying, so I can completely understand your choices. But I think that for many people, having a cheap copy makes it easier to read/learn/study. If someone is making an effort to learn, he deserves our encouragement -- not scorn for owning an inexpensive volume.

That applies to books other than religious books too; and perhaps why secular classics sell much better in cheap editions such as paperback Penguin Classics, paperback Oxford World Classics, and simple hardcovers such as (Harvard U. Press) Loeb Library Greek and Latin classics.

Jonny said...

I do enjoy reading from a soft leather bound book, but I much prefer to have a hardcover. My softcover leather Bibles are all stacked in a dresser drawer while the hardcovers stand ready on my bookshelf. It is quicker to grab one off the shelf than to dig through the drawer to find the one I am looking for! Unfortunately, with some publishing companies (like Oxford UP) the good binding and page edges are only available with the softcover leather edition.

I guess the whole point for me is to get a good quality book that will last. I take care of my books: I don't write in them or bend the pages, and if I take them outside the house, they are protected in a zippered book cover (even my missal!)

On the other hand, I don't want a book that is so expensive that I can't take it to a Bible study for fear that someone may spill their coffee, point at it with a pen, or cough on a big sip of coke. I do take my $125 Haydock to a Bible study, but that is also not my primary copy of the DR for reading and devotional use.

I also have a few large books that are only available in paperback. For these, I often wrap the cover in contact paper (try this on an unimportant book first) and it has a better chance of not getting ruined. This prolongs its life quite a bit, especially if the book is transported in a bag or backpack. That being said, I only buy paperback if that is the only edition available.

All these things considered, for me, it would make the most sense to get an extra-large book in hardback. I think Ignatius would do well to take a cue from Baronius Press' Knox Bible, and offer, at least to start out with, one attractive, practical, quality edition of their study Bible.

Timothy said...

If I were to pay $100,000+ for a sports car, I wouldn't let it sit in my garage for safe keeping or just for admiring. I would be driving that car often. So, just as I am having my Knox Bible rebound I will be reading from it daily. I would never buy a premium leather Bible just to have it sit on a shelf.

Timothy said...

BTW, I will never be able to afford a $100,000 sports car! ;)

Jonny said...


I totally agree, and would love to have a "premium" Bible of my own one day, especially one of the extra-awesome rebinds from Leonards.

The thing is, for me, I don't have a primary reading Bible, so it would not make sense to me to bestow such and honor to any one of my current Bibles.

I have primarily used the D-R for prayer, devotions, reading for plenary indulgences, etc. I have multiple editions of this version which I use, but now especially as I have the Baronius "pocket" edition, recently back in print. This little Bible is slightly smaller than their 1962 missal and is absolutely perfect for taking to Mass and the Adoration chapel.

I also use both the original RSV-CE and 2nd edition, and the Knox on a regular basis, in the midst, of course, of reading other authoritative Church documents...

I do have one Bible that desperately needs rebound, a Douay-Confraternity with the Pius XII Psalter... the more I see the awesome rebinds on this blog, the more tempting it gets for me to send that one in!

I am really looking forward to seeing your rebind, project, Tim, because to me, such things are as cool as a hot, new sports car!

Timothy said...

I do like that Baronius pocket DR. It is just an amazing compact Bible, packed with extras, while still being readable.

If you ever find, or decide on a Bible to get rebound, it is certainly worth it. I look forward to sharing the results of my Knox rebind once I receive it, which should be in a week or so.

Biblical Catholic said...

But there are many classic car collectors who DO totally just fix them up and leave them in a garage to admire them...look at someone like Jay Leno.

Timothy said...

True. But I live in Detroit where we drive our classic cars.

Deep South Reader said...

1. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure many of you will say you’re “just being objective” in seeming to argue that a nice, leather Catholic study bible either (1) won’t happen and/or (2) for whatever reason, shouldn’t happen because “nice books go on shelves”, but let’s stop being pessimists and be optimistic. Sometimes, “if you build it they will come”. At least that’s what Shoeless Joe Jackson said to Robert Redford and Darth Vader. BUILD THE BIBLE. GO THE DISTANCE.

2. I would suggest that before you knock (1) binding a bible in nice leather and then (2) actually using the bible to read, you should try it. Books are meant to be read. We’re certainly not talking about buying already (soon to be) expensive first editions that actually have a value when maintained in pristine condition.

Suggestion: Have a nice bible recovered in quality leather. Use it for 5-10 years. If worn out. Have it recovered again in nice leather. You’re not spending that much per year for an EXCELLENT Bible reading experience. Or, continue to profess that common use bibles should only be cheap.

REMEMBER, sometimes you do an excellent job with note-taking in a bible and you want to preserve that Bible.

3. Biblical Catholic. To spend $100+ on something to then (plan to) not use it may be a definition of a waste of money (unless you have some information that the rebound book will considerably increase in value without a doubt). Like I say above, give it a shot. You will then say “I can’t believe what I have been MISSING!”

I buy plenty of books and then not use them, but I do at least convince myself that I PLAN to use them ;)

4. Theo. Catholics in the 20th century also successfully devalued reading the bible (in the aggregate). Maybe putting some emphasis on the bible, first and foremost from the pulpit and continuing faith formation in the parishes, but also in the quality of bibles produced (and/or rebound), will also speak volumes to those around us. Or maybe just to us, which may be all that matters.

Deep South Reader said...

5. “Softcover, on the other hand, is easy to hold in a single hand. Some Protestants take their Bibles everywhere, and read from them in one hand -- so a softcover book makes sense for them.”

Excellent. Needs to make sense for Catholics too. So the Protestant experience and testimony justifies providing the same for Catholics.

6. Theo, note your post earlier that Crossway produces a very expensive (and nice) ESV STUDY in premium leather. I BET YOU (like $5) that expensive ESV bible comprises less than 5% of the total number of ESV Study bibles sold by Crossway. Yet, Crossway still offers it and went through all the production costs to do it. Point? Ignatius, Oxford, whomever, can crank out “millions” of paperback and hardcover full study bibles….but they can also make a nice leather bible to offer to those that want it. And then let the rank and file Catholic bring that nice bible to bible studies and evangelize their love for the bible in the quality bible they own….and show other Catholics that they can love a bible appearance and feel as much as they love garden statues and expensive rosaries (which we know exist and sit on shelves too).

7. Theo. “Perhaps for you, owning a deluxe Bible edition may help facilitate your own reading/learning/studying, so I can completely understand your choices. But I think that for many people, having a cheap copy makes it easier to read/learn/study. If someone is making an effort to learn, he deserves our encouragement -- not scorn for owning an inexpensive volume.”

Not sure how you could have ever drawn this from anything said above. We’re talking about OFFERING a nice bible. Not scorning people for not wanting one. Now, I AM scorning people for scorning me wanting a nice bible produced ;)

8. Softcover vs. Hardcover. Not sure why we are making this argument. Sure, let Ignatius make a nice hardcover leather as well. Pick your poison. I just think they should produce the Study Bible in the exact formats the current NT is currently in (paper, hardcover, leather). But simply upgrade the leather…GREATLY. Make it actually “LEATHER!” And not leather dust and glue which is called “bonded leather”.

Deep South Reader said...

9. One other point to note. While the pages are very thin, my MTF Roman Missal (3rd) is (1) genuine leather - though very thin leather at that (2) 2514 pages long and (3) nicely done.


So, clearly, MTF determined that they will sell enough of those to make sense...while also publishing the less expensive hardcover version without the gilt edges AND also the bonded leather version for a little more.

Shocking proposal. Do the same thing for the BIBLE! (though make the leather a tad nicer/thicker)

"Catholics buy more Missals than Bibles and use Missals daily" is not a good response and is actually an indictment.

Theophrastus said...

Corey: I am so glad to hear that you do not want to scorn people who choose not to buy an expensive Bible.

But what do you mean when you say this?

The Bible should be the nicest "item" in our homes (without forsaking the content). Yet it is invariably a cheap, corner-cutting paperback book.

It seems like you are insisting that people should expensive Bibles and deriding them if they read a Bible in paperback.

My own feeling is that an individual should buy the Bible in any edition he or she wants -- whether it is a $5 edition or a $500 edition. I'm just glad if the Bible is read.

Similarly, I do not criticize Ignatius. It seems they will not even have enough money to pay to publish their study Bible (if it is ever finished) even in a single volume edition, let alone a fancy edition. It is clear that MTF sells many times more missals than Ignatius sells Bibles.

Deep South Reader said...

The Bible should be the nicest item in your home. If you can't afford nice items, then you should certainly not consider an expensive Bible. But if you value important things in your home being nice, and you exclude the Bible from things that are important, then what's up? Is it not the "Holy" Bible? Or is it "another history book"?

Do we not venerate the divine Scriptures just as we venerate the body of the Lord (DV 21)? Are our secular pieces of art in our homes venerated higher than our copies of The Word? How nice is our TV and how often do we replace it? Oh $400 TV you say? "Had" to have it. Oh, $18 Bible when you can easily afford the new leather version. I get it.

Deep South Reader said...

postscript: If your sofa costs $300, I'm not saying your Bible must be $301. We are speaking relatively. Send a good message to people. Have a nice bible.

Theophrastus said...

Corey, we have several points of disagreement:

Expensive ≠ Better

I don't agree that a more expensive Bible is necessarily "nicer" than a cheaper edition. To me, the nicest RSV costs $35 and the nicest NABRE costs $20. I could pay more, but from what I've seen, I'd get a worse product. I could also drop a few grand to have these rebound -- but why should I while the original bindings are still sound (and have much better "fit" than a rebinding will?)

Similarly: $200 bottles of wine are not necessarily tastier than $20 bottles of wine; $400 blue jeans do not necessarily last longer than $40 blue jeans; $250 haircuts do not necessarily look better than $25 haircuts; a $2,000 car repair is not necessarily more effect than a $200 car repair; $5,000 wristwatches do not necessarily keep better time than $50 wristwatches.

John Paul II wrote

To "have" objects and goods does not in itself perfect the human subject, unless it contributes to the maturing and enrichment of that subject's "being," that is to say unless it contributes to the realization of the human vocation as such.

To me, a $20 Bible contributes as much to my maturation and enrichment as a $200 Bible does.

Price ≠ Value

From an economics standpoint, prices are not set by personal value, but rather are set by supply and demand. Let me give an example: I value ball-point pens highly. If you've tried to write with quill and ink, you know what I mean. If I had to, I would gladly pay several hundred of dollars for a ball-point pen. But, they only cost about 10 cents each. (Fancy ones cost about $1.25 each.) The difference between value and cost is what economists call "consumer surplus."

Another example of "consumer surplus": I would gladly pay $10/pill for ibuprofen, because it really works for me. However, the market price is about 1.5 cents/pill. Price is not the same as personal value.

Leather ≠ Nicer

Speaking of consumer surplus, I very much prefer hardcovers to softcovers -- even leather-bound softcovers. (I don't like softcover leather bindings because they require regular maintenance, they cannot be stacked vertically on the shelf, and they often do not open flat!) In other words, I would pay more money for a hardcover than a leather-bound softcover. Why should I buy a leather-bound Bible that I will like less?

Flashy ≠ More Respectful

Another reason I don't like leather bindings is because they are too flashy for me. I don't begrudge those who have leather bindings, but it is not my style. There is great elegance in simple things. For the same reason, I am happy driving a simple American car rather than a fancy European sports car or sedan.

There are many ways to "send a good message to people." I think the best way to send a good message is to study Scripture. (Deuteronomy 31:19 teaches us to write down Scripture and to teach Scripture -- and is silent on the question of bindings.) Again, I don't want to judge others who get personal value out of fancy Bibles, but I must differ with your universal prescription that the Bible "should be the nicest item in [one's] home."

rolf said...

What is more important to me than an expensive leather cover is the quality and the readability of the book-block within. How readable is the print, the thickness and opaqueness of the paper. I would rather have a thicker Bible and pay a little more for it to prevent the print bleed through. Unfortunately today many of the Bibles (including the expensive ones) fail at this.

I am a fan of flexible covers (not paper) because I do hold the Bible in one hand a lot when I read it, I almost never read it from a flat surface. I like the softness and grip-ability of genuine leather and many synthetic Bible covers. Bonded leather is almost always harder and more slippery in the hand.

Deep South Reader said...

I will concede that Theo has nicer posts than me ;)

We have drifted far away from the topic.

The topic is "If Ignatius Press were to produce the eventual full study bible in premium leather and high end binding and paper, would you be willing to pay a premium price $120?"


The topic is not "Do you think Ignatius will ever publish a premium leather Bible?" The topic is also not "Do you think a leather bible is 'worth it'?"

ASSUMING Ignatius would publish a really "nice" "quality" Bible at, say, $120, would you buy it?

My answer was yes, mostly because, awesomeness of the product ASSUMED, (1) me, myself, and I would like it and (2) I think it would speak volumes to persons at church I come in contact with if they see that "Hey, looks like Catholics really CAN put a lot of value in having a "nice" Bible........without ever holding the opinion that

"If you don't have an expensive Bible you don't love the Lord."

I like nice rosaries. Necessary for salvation? No.
I like nice Bibles. Necessary for salvation? No.
I also like incense, very orthodox adherence to the rubrics of the Mass, very "nice" homilies, very "nice" stained glass and architecture and vestments.

Are any of those necessary for salvation? No. Is a nice leather bible consistent with those interests? You darn right it is!!!

Let's all love Jesus and his Church and his Sacraments and recognize that our desire and non-desire for goatskin on his word is nice, but ultimately irrelevant.

CJA Mayo said...

I would pay $270 for it - $80 more than I spent on my main personal Bible, the Clarion KJV in goatskin.

A nice Bible is worth several hundreds of dollars, lasts forever, and feels like a million bucks - not mentioning the readability is sometimes significantly better in "expensive" settings (such as the Clarion).

CJA Mayo said...


The Lutheran Study Bible probably has twice or more as much commentary, on average, than the ICSB, throughout both testaments, and easily fits in to one book about the size of the ESV Study Bible (it's a bit bigger and thinner), and that's with 100 pages of addenda and appendices added!

Then again, the print size ranges from probably 4.5-5 points in the notes to 7.5 for the text.

CJA Mayo said...

Then again, I just plopped $155 down for a used (and decently beat-up and somewhat foxed) hardcover copy (with dust jacket, however torn it may be) - no leather, no sacred text, no India paper - of Etienne Gilson's The Christian Philosophy of Saint Augustine from the 1920s or 1930s (it's one of the hardest-to-get/most expensive Etienne Gilson books, alongside The Unity of Philosophical Experience, but neither is actually that rare nor expensive), so my bibliophiliac perspective may be different than the average man even when it comes to normal books - not just the Bible.

CJA Mayo said...

I agree with everything Theophrastus, in his long post, said, which is odd.

Except for one thing - the Loeb Classical Library is expensive. Granted, it is a diglot, but the volumes so small and the typesetting so archaic that they're ridiculously overpriced.

I have the LCL version of Diodorus Siculus' "Library of History" - it was 12 volumes and nearly $250 (even on Amazon), and the volumes are about the size of the Scepter Press Confraternity Pocket NT, uniformly around 250 pp. in length except for the last volume containing the index, which may be around 500 pp.

I rank LCL much more with the "overpriced academic/textbook publishers"* than with the "education for the masses" forms of Oxford, Penguin, etc.

And it's even worse because the copyright restrictions (one of the reasons I'm convinced there are always new translations, of, say, Plutarch, replicating old lives, being produced by Penguin) and actual work (translation and annotation alone) going in to a classic's publishing is lesser than an original research academic monograph.

*Oxford Press, etc. - the kind that publish a 220 pp. monograph, such as Orthodox Readings of Aquinas or John Henry Newman and the Alexandrian Fathers and then charge $70 (on Amazon, discount from list of over 30%) for it.