Friday, May 10, 2013

HM Review: Waterproof Bible!

Note: Our family received a copy of the Waterproof Bible like the one pictured here for review. Opinions are our own. No other compensation was involved.

Here is a product that meets a need I didn't even know I had... though I've had thoughts along this line every time we've gone camping. Another thing... I love to read in the bath, but there's no way I'd take my precious, marked-up, Bible into the bathtub, with its leather cover and thin pages. I already know it's not waterproof. When it was fairly new (more than two decades ago now), Eldest was a toddler and took a fancy to the pretty ribbon page marker. She explored everything by putting it in her mouth, and... suffice it to say, the ribbon was not colorfast and left burgundy splotches on the pages.

Compact, but readable

The Waterproof Bible sitting in front of me as I type this doesn't look or feel all that different from other slimline Bibles I've handled. The cover and pages have something of a silky feel. At first glance, the pages seem as thin as the delicate pages in my personal Bible. Granted, what I have here is the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs so it shouldn't be all that bulky anyhow. At 4-1/4" x 7" and a little over half an inch thick, this 342-page softcover is compact enough to fit in my purse. The full Waterproof Bible with all the Old Testament as well is a little larger in all dimensions, and has about twice the number of pages.

The print is small, 7 point, but clear and readable. (The publisher offers a bookmark magnifier in their shop (click on Accessories) if you need one.) The shiny pages might present a little glare if you read in bright sunlight, but we didn't notice a problem with glare when we passed the Bible around during our regular Bible reading times.

Study helps are minimal. There's no concordance, for example, or extensive cross references. I like the footnotes, which include translation notes as well as references when Old Testament passages are quoted, so you can go to the original passage and read it in context while digging deeper.

...but can you write in it?

That was one of my first questions. I mean, if it resists water and mud, surely it's going to resist ink and highlighter? Such a Bible would be handy for camping and reading, but not so easy to interact with.

However, I'm happy to report that you can write on the pages (pencil and ballpoint are recommended) and highlight passages with colored pencil or dry highlighters (you can find dry highlighters in the publisher's shop at the link above). Best of all, the pages don't bleed through! You can highlight or mark on a page without having it affect the text on the other side of the page.


I held my breath and opened the Waterproof Bible flat -- something I avoid with softcover books, unless they have a "lay flat" binding. I pressed it down for good measure as I read, turned over a few pages, read again, turned to another section, and finally closed the book. I felt like a criminal, a maimer of books... until I examined the back of the spine. There were no tell-tale creases to give mute testimony to my careless handling.

You may laugh at me and call me a book fanatic (I prefer the term bibliophile, sounds so much better, doesn't it?) but I actually trained my children in the fine art of reading paperbacks, cracking them open just enough to be able to read the print, and no farther, and never leaving a book on its face, to avoid breaking the spine. If you see creases on the back of a paperback, it means that eventually pages are going to start falling out. I have no such worries with the Waterproof Bible. I have the feeling it will last a long time, just as its publisher promises.

The Waterproof Bible is available from Bardin & Marsee Publishing and Christian bookstores (there's a "find a retailer" feature at the publisher's website). There are ESV, KJV, NKJV, NIV, and NLT versions, in a variety of cover choices. Full Bible versions are $44.95, New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs versions are $24.95. For an additional $7 you can have your Bible imprinted to personalize it with a name or initials.


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