Too Many Bibles
Wow, I haven't posted in a long, long time. I better get off my ass here.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), my wife dragged me to a Christian bookstore the other day, so I have something to talk about. My wife has a new Christian friend whose birthday is coming up. My wife wants to get her a bible with study guide as a gift; therefore, I had to go too.
I would like to give some observations on the bible-shopping experience:
1) There is a multitude of bibles you can buy.
Bibles in so many translations I couldn't count them all, some of which I had never heard of before (see menu on left)
Bibles for new christians
Bibles with prayer guidance
Bibles with study guides
Bibles with archaeology guides
Bibles done textbook-style
Bibles with self-help notes
Bibles divided into 15 minute chunks read daily called One Year Bibles
Bibles presented chronologically
Bibles for people recovering from addiction
Bibles for athletes
Bibles for couples
Bibles for women (many different ones of these)
Bibles for "women of colour" (wtf?)
Bibles for men
Bibles for children - heavily illustrated
Bibles for teen girls
Bibles for teen boys
I actually have something to say about that last set of bibles aimed at teens, though it's really not just for bibles, but for all books written by uninspired adults aimed at teenagers. When you try to get teens interested in the book by using bright, fancy colours, funky fonts, hep language daddy-o!, lightning bolts, cars, and pop culture references, you come across as being incredibly lame. Highschool guidance counsellor lame. Marge Simpson lame.
Not that it isn't effective: First, other lame adults will think it's a great idea and buy it for their teenagers (who will in turn think it's lame, but the book's already been bought). Second, while teens think it's lame, preteens may very well think it's actually something cool that real teens like.
(Holy crap, I just found a bible aimed at teens that is illustrated by manga artists.)
One more thing: in the clearance annex, I was very impressed to find a tattered old bible in (what I presume) was Cyrillic. I couldn't read a damn word of it other than the publisher's email address (it's from Russia). They had bibles in a few other languages as well.
2) They are damned expensive.
Most cheaper bibles were ~$25, but the bigger, nicer, or special edition ones (with study guides, historical info, etc) were at least $35, and many were over $60. The really expensive ones were over $100.
I guess if you're the type of person who only owns one book, then it makes sense to spend a lot of money on it.
3) They are often expensive for a reason.
Christians appear to enjoy making their bibles really fancy if they can. Lots of leather/fake leather covers, fancy hard covers, fancy trim, full colour pages. Gone are the days when most bibles were small things with whispy-thin onion-skin paper like you'd steal from hotels.
Not only that, but publishers will produce several versions of the same bible but with wildly differing cover materials and colours. (I'd like a NIV Bible, with black leather, metallic red paint, nav system, 6-disc CD changer, and spoiler please.)
4) Chritstians love to buy protective carrying cases for their fancy, expensive bibles.
No joke. Many were sold in clear plastic protective cases. Some other hard plastic cases were of very high quality with a variety of fasteners, which would protect your bible in near-mint condition. You also have colourful vinyl cases, canvas cases, fake suede cases, and nylon cases, with buckles and zippers and all sorts of pewter ornaments like Jesus fish and crosses. Moving higher upscale, you can get really fancy leather carrying cases with metal crosses and logos and freakin' combination locks (my wife has one). It's crazy.
That said, I'll bet Carlo is interested in getting one of these carrying cases (if he doesn't have one already).