Sunday, June 15, 2014

The NIV ReadEasy Bible may be for you

The NIV ReadEasy Bible has two main design goals: readability and portability. I will evaluate both of these aspects and then give additional thoughts on my overall impression.

Readability
Large print size and a lack of distracting extras like study notes and cross references account for its main draw as a reader's Bible. It retains standard features like section headings, chapters, and verses for easy navigation, and it opts for the less-than-standard words of Christ in red. I don't prefer the red letters because they are not any more important than the black letters, and because they appear a little lighter than the surrounding text, making it slightly less readable.

Zondervan also went with two-column pages, which is a very common practice in Bible publishing, but makes for ugly and confusing line breaks in poetry sections, such as the Psalms and Proverbs. For it to truly be "ReadEasy," it should have been single-column.

Portability
The Bible weighs in at 1.8 pounds, is 8.75 inches long, and 5.88 inches wide. It's about the same size as my thinline ESV and fits in a generic Bible case. It's about 0.4 pounds heavier than my thinline ESV, which is about the difference between the weight of a first generation iPad and the current iPad Air. In order to save on weight and size, the Bible has very small margins and the paper is somewhat thin, with text visible from the other side of the page. I would not recommend using typical on this Bible (I prefer crayon pens). Of course, with thin margins and thin paper, the intent is not to mark up this Bible with personal notes, but to read it.

Closing Thoughts
Inside the cover is a large presentation page, which tips me off that this Bible is intended as a special gift, perhaps to graduates, new believers, or people involved in teaching ministry. The Italian Duo-Tone cover is imitation leather, but it holds up well. I've had another Bible with the same type of cover for over 10 years, and, while it shows some wear, it's still pretty sturdy.

I occasionally preach at a church that uses the NIV, and I plan to make this Bible my preaching Bible. The font size is good for reading without leaning too far over the podium. I also like that it will fit in my Bible case along with my iPad mini and another book I may be reading. If you are looking for an undistracted reading experience or a Bible fit to use in the pulpit, this one, despite a few drawbacks, satisfies those needs nicely.

On a final note, the $49.99 list price is a bit of a put-off for some people, but I've seen new copies online for anywhere from $20 to $30, which is much more affordable.

I requested a copy of this Bible from Zondervan for the purpose of providing this review.

No comments:

Post a Comment