All ideas start somewhere.
This one started years ago with a random conversation (yeah…I know…where all ideas start). That’s how I found out about Jonathan Edward’s ‘blank bible’. A bible where every other page was blank for notes. A bible with bank pages for notes would be great! So I looked online to find one to buy. To my dismay, no one was making that. What?!?! Right.
I was a youth pastor at the time and I wanted to use the NIV due to the readability it provided most of the high school students. Then I found Zondervan made a “noteworthy” bible where the back of each page was blank achieve the affect. The reviews were terrible. Because they left one side of the paper blank so the notes were on the same thin paper as the bible text. The bleed through made for a bad experience. So I opted for no.
I found a really well done 3 volume KJV set. Despite the use of the word unicorns in the translation, it’s not my go to version and it’s 3 volumes. So no taker there.
While researching I discovered someone who had made their own using an ESV study bible. You can see the result and find a link to his how to here. It turned out well and is a great idea. Again three volumes while I wanted 1 to carry.
No Goldilocks Version
So nothing really fit my idea of what I wanted. There was no product that was “just right”. No one had a single volume, leatherbound, NIV version bible with interleaved blank pages for notes. No one was making something like that. So how do?
Learning to Bind Books
I took matters into my own hands.
I did a lot of research. About 3 years worth. The biggest part of that was for paper. I have a huge list of sites that I frequented. Some of the most helpful were:
I also bought this book. Biggest help there was learning how to sow the binding.
Most of the research was learning the parts of a book and how thick books are bound. Then I got stuck figuring out where to find paper for this.
Do you know what type of paper is in bibles? Yeah, me either. Or at least I didn’t. Now I do. It’s a weight. 33gsm (grams per square meter). Do you know how hard it is to find? Well, I guess it’s easy to find by the ton. But in small quantities? In the quantities I needed of about 700 Sheets? That took a year of googling off and on, to discover that only 2 stores globally sell it in that quantity and both happened to be in London, England. Problem was I discovered it after having arrived back from London months earlier. Paying shipping on it would have tripled the cost of the bible. 🙁
Then I realized that my Moleskine happened to be roughly the same cut as my bible. Yay! Albeit not the same thickness. Oh well. It was going to work. Finally, I had a solution to the paper.
Except for the thickness. If I’d interleaved between every page I would have made my thin line bible 5 times the thickness rather than double. Too big to function. So I opted to use a blank page between every 2 text pages, rather than every text page. That would end up making it 3 times the size, which is roughly the thickness of a small ESV study bible.
Finally, I was ready to start.