Premium Catholic Bibles, or the lack thereof…

Every now and then I come across discussions that bemoan the lack of premium quality, leather-bound Catholic Bibles. The general consensus seems to be that there is insufficient demand to make publishing them a viable option for Catholic publishers, and that the best option is to rather buy hardcover Bibles and have them rebound.

I am particularly interested in this because I am seeking to focus specifically on rebinding and selling Bibles that are of interest to Catholic and Orthodox Christians. (And, given the paucity of Orthodox Bibles in English, Orthodox Christians will also gravitate to Catholic or “with Apocrypha” versions). In this, I hope that I may be able to assist those who are looking for quality leather-bound Catholic Bibles.

In order to do so, I have sought to compile a list of Bibles that are good candidates for rebinding in leather. The following list was compiled with the help of members of the Catholic Bible Fans group on Facebook (which would be worth joining if you are interested in these things). It’s by no means exhaustive (if you have further suggestions, let me know), but it lists Bibles that I am able to acquire and would be worth rebinding.

  • The CTS New Catholic Bible (the text of the Jerusalem Bible but with the Divine Name changed to “the Lord” and with the Grail Psalms)

Some of these Bibles are ones that I’ve rebound and sold on Etsy, while others are editions that have been recommended to me. If you are interested in ordering a leather-bound version of any of them, please contact me here. Of course, you are also welcome to contact me about rebinding other Bibles! You can see more examples of my work here, or find out what options are available when rebinding your Bible here.

New Customisation Page

I have finally added a page that explains all the options you need to consider when having your Bible rebound or ordering a new Bible for a custom rebind. This can be rather overwhelming for clients, so I hope that I have made the various options clear. The thing is, if you are going to spend money on your Bible, or on ordering a new Bible, you do need to make sure that you get the product you want, at least insofar as that is possible.

Special Offer: Leather-lined Bible Rebinding

In my previous blog post, I discussed how I developed the option of a leather-lined soft-covered Bible. This is really the ultimate soft-covered Bible and is both supple and strong.

sc11To introduce and promote this option, I am offering a special on it for the rest of August. During this period, a leather-lined binding will be available for R500 (usual price R550). That includes having the words “Holy Bible” or “The Bible” (or similar) gold-foiled on the spine, but additional foiling and other additional features will be extra. To arrange to have your Bible rebound like this, please contact me here.

New: Leather-lined Bibles

It’s probably obvious that a fair amount of my binding work involves rebinding Bibles. Personal Bibles that are much-read and cherished will invariably suffer a certain amount of wear and tear, and many of them are not that well-bound in the first place (for advice on buying a new Bible, see this post). However, many of the people who want their Bibles rebound want them rebound in a soft-cover binding. I was initially not terribly keen on this, having been trained more to do hard-cover binding. Moreover, I wasn’t terribly happy with the method of soft-cover binding that I had learnt from a colleague – even though clients seemed perfectly happy with their rebound Bibles.nrsva2.jpg

Then a couple of years ago I started following online discussions on Bible rebinding and saw that the latest trend, at least in the USA, was for leather-lined Bibles. I was initially wary of this, but I confess that the idea did rather grow on me. And after trying my first leather-lined soft-cover (sometimes affectionately called yoga Bibles due to the contortions that their suppleness allows) I was rather hooked. Okay, I still like good hard-covers, but if you are going to have a Bible rebound as a soft-cover, I would strongly recommend paying a little extra and having it leather-lined.

The first leather-lined Bible I bound.

I have been honing my technique on this in the last couple of weeks, and have adapted some of the methods used by US binders. I am finally happy with my method and am now adding this to the binding options I offer, which you can find out more about here.

Here are some photos of my most recent yoga Bible. It has hand-stitched headbands, blind foiling on the inside edges, and paste paper endpages.