Bible Buying Tip – Paper

Bible Buying Tip – Paper

Paper is one of the most important elements of a Bible. No matter what tools it has or how good the cover is, if I don’t like the paper then I won’t use it. With paper there are some trade-offs to consider.

In a perfect world Bibles would have paper that was so opaque that you couldn’t see through to the other side, it would be thick enough that you would never have any trouble turning the page, it would take any kind of pen or marker and never show through to the other side or leave indentions in the page, and you could get two of these Bibles in your pocket.

Have you heard the saying “pick any two?” That’s the way Bible paper is. There’s a trade-off and you have to decide what you need.

Thin Bibles will have thin paper. It probably won’t be highly opaque and it won’t be good for marking. You can have thick paper, but not in a thin Bible. If you want paper that is thick and opaque, and good for writing, the Bible will be thicker. Paper that is more opaque allows for print that is bolder.

Also consider the color. Look in the gutter where the two pages meet and you’ll easily see the color of the paper. Some prefer white because it has a higher contrast. Others prefer cream. Others, myself included, prefer ivory or eggshell. I personally don’t like blue or red, but somewhere between white and cream.

The color of the paper greatly affects the readability of the print. Consider the contrast in various types of lighting. Choose how the Bible will be used and then choose the best paper for that purpose.

The Featured image is Crossway’s ESV Wide Margin Bible in black genuine leather. You can read the review here: ESV Wide Margin Reference Bible

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.

6 Comments

  1. Matt Paolo

    This “tip” was worthless. Unless it was written for stupid people or very small and inexperienced children. Yes of course thicker more opaque paper will make a thicker bible. Will it Really??? I think you should actually recommend where someone can buy a bible with opaque paper and easy to read print. That would actually be useful information. Do you recommend any bibles or bookstores where one can be purchased?

    Reply
    • Randy A Brown

      It was written for beginners. I’m glad you didn’t need it.

  2. Tom Beetham

    Hi Randy,

    I am looking for an ESV that has the least bleed through (show through) possible. I hate seeing the words through the pages. Besides the waterproof Bible (which still has a little bleed through from what I can tell) what do you recommend?

    Thanks so much!

    Tom Beetham

    Reply
    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Tom. Of the Bibles I’ve seen in person, the ones with the least show-through are the Schuyler Quentel (the current edition has 36gsm paper, but the older has 38) and Cambridge wide margin editions (38gsm).

  3. Joshua

    Do you have a suggestion for a NLT bible that is compact with the least amount of see through (aka most opaque) as possible? I don’t need to write or underline, just want a bible that is smaller and not see through. The best I have found so far is the one year bible, but I want the Bible in the traditional format.

    Reply
    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Joshua. What font size are you looking for?

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