The Bible For Bibliophiles

Alan Jacobs flags an interesting venture:

Bibliotecha is a remarkably successful new Kickstarter project for designing and printing a Bible made to be read, in multiple volumes and with bespoke type design.

Designer Adam Lewis Green discusses the project with J. Mark Bertrand:

JMB: The factor that “solves” a lot of the traditional challenges with Bible publishing – the tiny text, the thin, translucent paper – is dividing the text into multiple volumes. The Nonesuch Bible, for example, contains three, and Bibliotheca will have four. Whenever I’ve floated the idea in the past, it’s been met with resistance: I’m told people don’t want the Bible in several parts. But the success of Bibliotheca contradicts that. Why do you think there’s a sudden openness to a multi-volume Bible? Is it a question of reaching a different kind of reader?

ALG: I am not sure whether this is a different kind of reader or not. Obviously, the economy and practicality of a single volume is appealing, but there is also an idea out there that the biblical library belongs together in one volume, because “that’s the way it has always been, and was always meant to be.” Understandably – and this included me until I became really nerdy about bible design – a lot of people who read and appreciate the biblical literature don’t know much about the history of its physical form. Why would they? The format of the Bible as it has been given to us for generations took shape in the post-enlightenment world of empiricism, often more concerned about demonstrable facts than the enjoyment of beauty. Now, I believe (or hope), we are coming out of that, to a more balanced place.

Green adds:

I think the response to this project signifies that the biblical anthology is much too large (and I don’t mean in a physical sense) to be contained in any one format or type of reading experience. This is a diverse literature, which transcends time, culture and style in a way that very few have done, and none to the same extent. It has always taken on different forms within various contexts – artistic and technical, story-driven and study-driven. These forms will continue to change and, at times, surprise us.