European Bible paper. Premium goatskin leather. Art gilding. To be perfectly frank, these are phrases I’m unaccustomed to using. I’ve never owned a truly high end Bible. I’m not a connoisseur of rare or exotic Bibles. I kind of wish that were the case, but Bibles have largely been more about the words inside rather than the leather or gilding. The Bible has been a precious resource for me to excavate, not so much an object appreciated for its physical aesthetics. I never stopped to consider the cover material or yapp. But I do appreciate beauty in everyday objects. I like good design and attention to detail. I enjoy classic wristwatches, the industrial design of Apple products, and the curves of a fine automobile. It’s easy to tell when an object has been made to endure. Likewise, planned obsolescence is also obvious. The ESV Omega Thinline Reference Bible should be considered an object meant to endure.
Let’s start with the goatskin leather. It’s gorgeous. If you’ve never held a quality leather Bible in your hand, prepare to fall in love. Instinctually, the first thing I did right out of the box was to smell the leather. Just keepin’ it classy. It smells great, by the way. The goatskin is soft in the hand. When the Bible is open and being read handheld, the feel could almost be described as cushioned.
The red under gold art gilding adds an elegant touch to the pages when closed or open. The effect is subtle, and fades into obscurity while reading.
Speaking of reading, let’s talk about the font and paper. One of the reasons the Omega Thinline was so appealing to me was the font. I still read with youthful eyes, even so, I’ve always preferred larger fonts. The Omega Thinline sports a 10-point font. That’s a sweet spot for me. It’s plenty big, and stylistically pleasant on the eyes. The “high quality European Bible paper” feels, well, high quality. It’s adequately opaque with very little ghosting or bleed through (for a thinline). The line matching helps a great deal.
The Omega is adorned with four ribbons. My personal opinion on ribbons is give me all the ribbons. It always felt unnatural using random scraps of paper or pens to mark a passage, and with four ribbons I feel fancy.
The overall size and weight of this Bible is quite nice. It’s 6.125 x 9.125 inches, approximately 1 inch tall (maybe a hair more), and it weighs in at 38.5 ounces. It’s thin and light enough to be carried easily, and the overall length and width is about equal to that of my 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
In conclusion, the Omega Thinline Reference Bible is a handsome Bible crafted with quality materials, a sewn binding, and topped off with elegant and highly readable font. I’m expecting a lifetime of use from this ESV.