Dimensions are roughly 7.75″ x 5.25″ x 2″. But guess what the font size is? A whopping 11 points! Its about as short as a Cambridge Clarion, but much “stouter.” And I find it quite remarkable that they were able to pack such a large font into such a relatively small package.
Listen to some of the praise from customer reviews from ChristianBook.com:
I bought it for an older couple in church and they are thrilled that they now can see and read the scriptures.
I can read this bible very well! I was frustrated that even with my glasses I couldn’t read the small print for long in my other bible. I am so very happy with this purchase!
I bought this bible for my mother because she has problems with her eyesight and she loves the giant print, it makes it so much easier for her to read her bible.
This is the perfect Bible for me. I am losing my eyesight due to optic neuritis caused by multiple sclerosis. The bible I carried in my handbag was too small. I couldn’t read it anymore. I then ordered a large print Bible. That too was too small to read. Then I found this giant sized Bible. I can read it!!!!!!!!
So is this only geared toward those with poor or failing eyesight? Not at all. If you’re one who appreciates being able to set your Bible on your lap, or your podium or pulpit, while you read from feet away, you will certainly appreciate this large font.
Those who pay close attention to the “Bible market” certainly know that there is a delicate balance between font size and Bible size. When the former is large and the latter is small, red flags go up; something’s gotta give. Often that “something” is paper thickness. And while thinner paper yields a smaller Bible, it also often yields its ugly twin: excessive ghosting (show through). In the case of the GPC, this ugly twin dominates the ball. I don’t have specs on the paper, but I would guess that it is in the ballpark of 28 GSM. When you have thin paper like that, line matching is one technique to mitigate excessive show through. Line matching is sadly missing on the GPC. So yes, Zondervan has sacrificed quality paper on the alter of smaller form factor. Some won’t mind, others will.
The Clarion also used thin paper to achieve a smaller form factor, but they did so with better results and a smaller form factor (albeit, smaller font as well). So you would be right to ask, “what else did Zondervan sacrifice for the GPC”? Regrettably, the answer to that question is the margins. As J. Mark Bertrand said in his review, “The inside margin sucks the text in like a big black hole.” They could have made this Bible much more readable by simply adding 1/4″ to the outside margin and another 1/4″ to the inside margin (or gutter). I don’t think most people would mind a slight increase in trim size for what the tradeoffs could have been. That said, the GPC is still a good reader; after all, no Bible is perfect.
I was actually surprised to find a few bells and whistles on this Bible that I usually only expect in Cambridge, Schuyler, R. L. Allan (and recently, Crossway) Bibles: Red-under-gold art gilt, two golden ribbon markers, and raised hubs on the spine. Bravo, Zondervan, bravo!
But alas, Zondervan has some work to do on this brown coloration. Their black premium leather is quite beautiful, which you’ll see in two of my forthcoming reviews. This brown, however, is a cross between gray and brown– very non-distinct to put it mildly, and a sort of “gravel” brown to put it less mildly! Also, the material feels and looks different than their black premium leather. In the case of the black Zondervan premiums I have, the leather is beautiful in appearance and texture, much like calfskin. In this one, the leather feels (and looks) synthetic and, ahem, cheap. This is not to say that you shouldn’t purchase a Zondervan premium Bible…only that I would advise against brown premium leather, at least at this point in their developmental history!
If you’re like me, you long for a Cambridge Clarion in the NIV. But if you’re like me, you’ve stopped holding out hope. In the meantime, this is probably as close as you’re going to get, and at the price point its not a bad choice! So take up and read!
If you’re willing to adopt a larger trim size, I commend Zondervan’s Single Column Bible (click here for my review) as well as their Single Column Reference Bible (see photo below) to you. While their columns are a bit too wide, they still contend with the GPC, in my humble opinion.
And lest we get lost in leather-bound English-Bible luxury, please remember to pray for translations in the remaining 1,859 Bible-less languages in our world. Click here to see my heart on the matter and to even support the work of Bible translation.