Crossway missed a golden opportunity here. The layout is great - print size perfect, paragraph layout perfect, very few notes and cross references so there is no clutter to distract from just sitting and reading. We have reference Bibles and Study Bibles for when we need them - and I bought this one for the fact it is mainly a text Bible.
For note taking, the margin is plenty wide and the paper is thick enough that the ink will not bleed through. The binding and cover appear to be very durable so should last a LONG time.
The binding, however - very stiff and the Bible will not lay open. It's a wrestling match to hold it and keep it open to the portion I am trying to read. So for the distraction that is NOT there due to reference and note clutter, they made up for it by making the Bible sooooooo annoying to hold open to the portion I am reading.
I will not tolerate this. I'll probably cut my name off the cover and donate it to the rescue mission.
Crossway - are you listening?
CBD is great - prices and selection and delivery are the best.
For anyone desiring a single-column, wide margin Bible in the ESV translation, this new format is top of the line. I was amazed at the quality of the Bible as soon as I took it out of the box. The first thing you notice is the weight - it's a bit heavy, about the same as a Thompson chain reference. But this is not due to bulkiness, its because of the excellent quality of paper used. The pages are bright white, clean and crisp, allowing the print to be read very clearly. There is virtually no bleed-thru between the pages: this is paper that will handle markers and notes. The next thing you notice is the suppleness of the TruTone cover: it feels as good as calf-skin. Add to all this, Smyth-sewn binding ensures that this Bible will last for the long haul. This is a seriously sturdy Bible. The font is just right for smooth reading, even if, like me, you wear glasses. The subject headings that separate paragraphs are in the outer margins, but this still leaves plenty of room for your own notes. Bear in mind that there are no cross references: this is a reader's edition, with no distractions.
I don't know how Crossway (the publisher of the ESV) can produce such a great edition at this price, but they certainly have my gratitude. I would not hesitate at all to by this for my friends. In fact, I plan to do just that.
the leather is excellent. The print is perfect. The wide margins are truly wide! The bible is a perfect size, and is not heavy to carry around. I truly believe crossway is the best producer of bibles out there. With smyth sewn bindings and a true translation, I know I will continue to purchase esv bibles. I guarantee that purchasing this bible will not be regretted.