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The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References) Kindle Edition
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The print is very small, so be aware of this. I mean, it has to be in order to fit the whole Bible into a compact form. The pages are thicker than I expected - I use a gel-ink pen to underline and write in margins. You can still see it through the page, but not as bad as I thought (see photos).
As far as the ESV translation goes, I love it. It reads smoothly in our modern English language, while preserving the accuracy of God's word.
I'll lay out what I wanted and then indicate with a yes or no whether this bible fit the bill.
ESV - Yes
Lined margins for journaling - Yes
Verse cross references - No
Off white page color - Yes
Large font - No (it's only a 7, I should have held out for the large print version coming out in March)
Single column - Yes
Ribbon marker -Yes (although I would have liked to have 4 ribbons instead of just one)
A thicker page to prevent bleed through - Yes
NOT a compact version - Yes
Attractive Cover - Yes (I am very pleased with the appearance, it's nicer than the photo portrays)
Lies virtually flat when open - Yes (even from the very first time I opened it)
Hardcover - No (I had wanted a hardcover, but none I found had enough of the features I wanted. However, after receiving this one I am very happy with the soft cover and am glad I did go with a hardcover. This one feels nice in your hands and lays nicely in your lap when curled up on the sofa.)
Sturdy binding - Maybe (It seems pretty secure and I can lift it by just the cover without worry. I don't know how it would hold up over time if toted around. I plan to keep this one at home for personal study time.)
Given all of the above, I am very happy. Although, as previously mentioned, I really should have waited for the large print version of this very same bible to be released in March. The font is very small and a bit difficult to read with my over 40 eyes. If you need a larger font and can wait 2 months, I strongly recommend that. If small font doesn't bother you, buy it today.
I deducted one star because there is a section of about 50 pages that had been obviously folded over during the binding process. They were unfolded and laid back flat prior to it being packed (probably by someone on a quality control line). This is all fine and it isn't anything that I would have returned the book over.
However, when I opened this Bible, I was greatly disappointed. I bought this compact ESV because I have another compact one, which I have owned for eight years now, and it is finally falling apart. I expected this new one to be just as readable as my old one, even though I was aware the font would be small. However, it seems that Crossway has skimped a little on the paper quality in these newer compact editions, as the pages are so thin that the words on the following pages show through the page you are trying to read, rendering it very difficult to make out the words. The whole effect is that the letters start blurring together with the ones showing through behind them, and you have to work hard to make out what you are reading. Putting a white piece of paper behind the page does no good either, since the words on the other side of the page still show through.The font also seems, not smaller, but finer, thinner and less bold--perhaps to show less through the very thin pages. I was very disappointed by this. I showed my husband, who also has an older compact-edition of the ESV, and he struggled to read this one as well. I was also disappointed to find that the small concordance at the back of my older ESV (which has been very helpful at times) has been omitted from this version.
So, to sum it up, if you order this, it really is a beautiful, very compact edition. However, some sacrifices have been made on the part of readability. And Crossway, if you ever make this version with better quality paper, I'd love to buy it. For now, I will sadly have to return this one.