I am a big fan of the single-column format Bibles. Although I prefer the NASB for study, I use the NIV for preaching as the church is young with many new Christians. The NIV provides a better understanding for this crowd. The construction of the Bible was great, and I particularly like the lay-flat aspect. My only complaint is the font size. Large print should be LARGE PRINT. Would like for it to have had at least 12...maybe 14 font size. I would prefer the bulk over smaller print. Notwithstanding all, I like the Bible, and have decided to give it to my son. He has younger eyes.
When I saw a similar one I decided to get one for myself. It seems more readable with the paragraph instead of verse breaks, the normal English, and the less heavy dose of extra stuff. It all reads well - the poetry especially so. It's not so much like trying to read a dictionary. The paragraphs (or groups of them) have mini-titles to help find things. The cross references are pushed to the center (the binding) out of the way and there's enough of an edge margin (3/8") to pencil in flags and markers. I haven't tried pen or highlighter yet to see if they travel in this kind of paper, but pencil works just fine. The binding is soft enough to lay flat without breaking, its light enough to hold while reading, and big enough to see (although the print is smaller than a normal book - this is a book of books after all). There are no maps as the ad claims, and the concordance has 36,000 entries - probably not thorough, but I think I would prefer it in a separate book anyway.
I have the black, immitation leather product. The binding very nice. I love the single-column format. The translation itself is good...I have not seen anything that changes the meaning. The gender neutrality is only in the instances when it applies to all people...God is still Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Too much fuss over the gender stuff. This is a nice translation...I would hope that Christians use a few different translations anyway.