Monday, August 15, 2011

If Bibles are for reading...

Mark Bertrand feels strongly that if Bibles are for reading, the text should be in single columns:
Why am I so passionate about single column settings? It's simple, really. Books we read are set in single columns. Books we look stuff up in are set in double columns. Reading = single. Reference = double.
At his blog, Bible Design and Binding (which anyone considering buying a new Bible should visit), he is beginning a week on that subject.
Some of you are already single column converts. Others cling tenaciously to the traditional double column look. Whether this week will change any minds, I don't know. The good news is, for those of you who've been waiting for well-designed, proportional single column text settings of the Bible in a wide variety of translations, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Check back for more throughout the week.
Bible Design and Binding: Single Column Week @ Bible Design Blog


  1. I don't care. Just give me the word. Format doesn't matter.

    My study Bible is double column. The book introductions are standard single column. I read both. :)

  2. Obviously, whatever the format, reading it is the most important. But I find Bertrand's argument persuasive - and if you are going to buy a new Bible worth taking into consideration.

  3. I like his point. But it really does depend on the width of the page. Newspapers and magazines are multi column and are certianly meant for reading.

    When I am printing something for reading, I shrink the margins and go to 2 columns. I find the narrower columns easier to read with the 7.5" reading width (between the margins).

    However, a 5" page could easily be read in a single column, probably much easier than 2 narrow columns.

    So I guess I'm pro-choice in this matter.

  4. I think they could make it even more readable by going with a ragged right, instead of fully justified text. That would also address some of his concerns with type layout on a wider line.

    But regardless, making the choice an inform and deliberate choice rather than not considering it at all, is a valuable concept.

  5. The picture is from my current [and perhaps permanent] Bible - an ESV with the notes in the gutter where they are accessible but don't really affect the readable space. I very much like the single column, paragraphed format.


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