Thursday, March 29, 2012

Re-binding a Bible

Not long ago I purchased an ESV Single Column Legacy Bible, attracted by the idea of a paragraphed, single-column, Bible in my preferred translation, and with a font large enough to avoid eye strain. It is a pleasure to read [see the page at the right - it can be enlarged], but I wasn't satisfied with the binding. That was my own fault — among the various choices I had chosen the least expensive — but if I was going to make this my everyday Bible I wanted something better.

Happily, the Legacy ESV has a sewn binding — signatures sewn to the spine — which makes it a good candidate for re-binding. Some time ago  J. Mark Bertrand's Bible Design Blog had posted an entry highly recommending Leonard's Book Restoration Station, and specifically "Leonard’s Historical Bible Series," which includes a variety of bindings designed to give a "retro look." I decided that I would like my modern translation in such a binding, especially if the quality of the binding was good — and attractive as well.

The way Leonard's works is that you send them the Bible, old or new — they also do restorations of old Bibles and other books — with the style of binding you want, along with any specific requests. They provide an estimate of the cost after which, if you are satisfied, they will proceed with the work, billing you when it is completed and ready to be shipped back.

I asked for my ESV Legacy to be re-bound  in their "17th Century Country Parson Style (Softcover Version)." I got my Bible back this week, re-bound, and I am very pleased. Here it is:
If you would like to do something similar, or get any book — old or new — restored or just re-bound, consider Leonard's.


  1. Very nice binding -- I just purchased a KJV wide-margin Bible in the style of the old Oxford wide-margin Bibles by a company named Allan in England -- the cover is goatskin and the Bible has India paper -- I like the fact that this style has a margin that its wide on all the borders of the text -- I am on a reading plan this year that uses ESV for the OT and NKJV for NT -- but I personally love the way the KJV reads --

  2. I have an Allan ESV - they are a great bindery. And I recently got a Cambridge KJV - I agree with you about how it reads aloud.

  3. I love the look of this binding! How does it compare to the limpness of a Cambridge or Allan goatskin bible? I am looking to rebinding my Legacy with Leonard's, but I am stuck between the 17th Century Country Parsons and one of the colors of soft tanned goatskin. How is the binding as far as feel and flexibility? Thanks!!

  4. I'm enthusiastic about the Parson's. It's limp but not quite as limp as the others. You might check with Leonard's - they might do a Parson's with the goatskin...

  5. Anonymous4:56 PM

    How long did it take for them to finish the rebinding after you sent the Bible in?

  6. Not long - weeks rather than months. I got the estimate very soon after I mailed the book and my impression is that they scheduled the work as soon as they received my approval.


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