You know it’s going to happen as soon as you are approached with the request, “I’m looking for a Large Print Bible..” and you smile, marshalling your best Customer Service manners, all ready. And within minutes, the expected request for Large Print, (but meaning Giant Print) small enough to fit in the best Sunday handbag, leather-bound with zip, the “proper” Bible, (meaning the Authorised, or King James) and preferably under £10.00 is trotted out. There is a fortune awaiting the person who ever manages to devise one.
Then, there is the regular buyer of Bibles to give away. Doesn’t really want to spend more than a couple of pounds, but complains bitterly at the quality every time. The only time I ever heard one inordinately professional Christian Bookshop manager’s professionalism come close to slipping was during one such series of complaints. She listened patiently, explained if he wanted better quality, he would have to pay more, he retorted £2.99 was too much, and she quietly remarked she was sorry he valued the Word of God as being worth less than £2.99.
There are the Bibles marketed at women, at men, at couples, at youth, at children. There are Devotional Bibles, Study Bibles, Read the Bible in a Year Bibles…. The Green Bible, the Social Justice Bible… you name it, it’s around or has been around.
There is the “Fashion Bible” – the one that came in a tin, the brown paper wrapped one, the funky colours on the covers, the numerous ways of dressing it up to appeal to the young, the impressionable, and yes, if it gets someone reading it, one bit of me says “Why not?” But when the cover matters more than the content… “She only wants the NKJV with the Pink Princess Cover and Diamanté clasp” (I kid you not) then I seriously wonder…
All this aside, I love the job of uniting customer and Bible! I love tracking down exactly what’s available, and possible, and making someone’s day that I’ve done it.
I am grateful I live somewhere with so much choice. I, like Rosamundi, am ridiculously picky about the version I prefer. And, if you read through all Rosamundi has said about Bibles and our choices, I am in total agreement with her. I am well, well aware that this is indeed an enormous privilege, not a right. A privilege so many do not have.
So, enough internal whinging from me that I’ve lost motivation for Bible Reading or Study, I’ve not got time to do other than the bare minimum, or any of the other excuses I’ve got down to a fine art. I’m off to get re-started.