Wednesday, June 6, 2007

large print TNIV

I am in my mid-50s and my eyes are finding it more and more difficult to read small to medium font sizes. I have a pocket edition of the TNIV. Its print is far too small for comfortable reading. I have a hardback TNIV printed by Zondervan. It's about the size of a pew Bible. I also have a TNIV Study Bible. Both seem to use the same size print, less than 7 points, I believe. That, also, is too small for my eyes. I cannot read the text comfortably in either edition.

So I researched large print TNIV editions. There is a TNIV XL thinline edition which has a 9.6 point font which Zondervan calls "larger print". But their "larger print" is smaller than large print in many other Bibles. Then Rick Mansfield told me about a large print TNIV available from IBS, the copyright holder of the TNIV. I ordered it.

IBS ships by FedEx Ground. The Bible left the IBS warehouse in Colorado Springs, CO, on Monday afternoon, June 4. It was scheduled to arrive tomorrow, but got to me a day early. Finally, I have a TNIV with a print size that is comfortable for my eyes! From my comparisons with printouts at 10, 11, and 12 point sizes, the IBS large print is between 10 and 11 points in size.

Some of you may be like me, visually challenged, or at least visually challenged at this stage of life. My optometrist has told me I have "presbyoptic" eyes. He knew I was a linguist and enjoyed using that word with me. Anyway, for those of you who need larger print, I'll describe the TNIV edition which I received today.

The cover is attractive, a conservative, two-tone brown. The binding looks sturdy. This Bible easily lies open on a flat surface.

The font used is either Arial or a font very close to Arial, the same sans serif font I have seen in all TNIV Bibles, including those published by Zondervans.

The page format is two-column. With the larger print there are not very many words per line of print. In the poetic books average line length seems to be about 5 words. That's too few for me; I find so few words per line to be a distraction for smooth reading. I would prefer a one-column format for smoother reading.

There is no red print in this edition from IBS. Hurray! My eyes find it difficult to focus on red print in Bibles. The red of shimmers before my eyes and my eyes get stressed reading it. (How do publishers get a color to shimmer?!) I really don't need to see the words of Christ in red.

Pagination in the IBS large print edition does not match pagination of any other TNIV edition that I have. But pagination does match among several other TNIV editions, just not the ones I have.

Paper thickness seems fine in the IBS large print Bible. It feels more like a good quality book paper, thicker than thinner paper often used in Bibles. The paper in the IBS Bible has a glossy, smooth finish on it. The paper used in this IBS edition has a harder surface than the paper used in the TNIV hardback Bible I have published by Zondervan. The color of the IBS Bible paper is a creamier white than the white used for the pages of the TNIV Study Bible. The contrast between the black print and the background white is comfortable, not too highly contrastive as found in some books which use whiter paper.

I think my eyes might be able to read the TNIV XL Larger Print thinline Bible which is printed at 1 point less than that of the IBS Bible I received today. But I'm not sure. The proof of the pudding is in the ..., hmm, seeing? And it's not easy to locate a bookstore nearby where the TNIV XL is stocked to be able to see it for myself. Would any of you like to photocopy a page from a TNIV XL Bible and mail it to me?


Robb said...

I just ordered one of the large print TNIVs over the weekend and was hoping it would be, at least, 12pt.

Even though I'm young (23), my eyesight is horrible.

Amazon UK has a giant (yes -- giant!) print TNIV, but it only ships from the UK.

I did not want to spend $62 (USD), though, since this will be my first TNIV Bible.


Brad Boydston said...

I have the same edition sitting open on my desk all the time -- for all the same reasons you purchased it (great price, too). I'll add my Amen.

Glennsp said...

Wayne, you could always get some glasses. ;-)

Jason said...

Thanks for writing this, Wayne. I bought this very edition for my mother-in-law a few months ago, and she's very happy with it. I think it's the best large-print TNIV choice for a lot of people, so it's a shame that it's not really promoted.

In case you or anyone else wanted to know, the font used in the TNIV is called "New Age" and was designed by Alex Kaczun.

Wayne Leman said...

Wayne, you could always get some glasses.

I've worn glasses since I was 12. In fact, I started out with bifocals. I wear bifocals now.

Gary Zimmerli said...

I have been considering that particular Bible for several weeks since I first saw it on the IBS site. I'm glad they make it in a decent size print. IBS doesn't tell us what size it is in their advertising.

Wayne, in the picture on the IBS site it appears that this Bible has a soft leather-like cover over the hardboards. Is that the way it is, or is it just a regular hardcover and just looks that way?

I've worn glasses since kindergarten; been wearing bifocals for 14 years now. My eyes seem to change, so sometimes I can read a 7 or 8 point, then a couple days later I need a 12 point type. Different fonts make a difference, too. I can read my 9 point NASB as easily as my 12 point NIV, because of the clearer font.

opinion-minion said...

The red that is used in red letter Bibles almost always irritates my eyes, too. I start to hate the parts where Jesus is talking, because my eyes are screaming! Black letter is more respectful of the Bible and much easier to work with.

I wonder if the red letter Bible trend will continue forever, like the verse and chapter numbering system did, or it will become simply a blip on the radar of Bible history.

Wayne Leman said...

Gary asked:

Wayne, in the picture on the IBS site it appears that this Bible has a soft leather-like cover over the hardboards. Is that the way it is, or is it just a regular hardcover and just looks that way?

Gary, I just checked and I put the wrong link in the post for the TNIV I purchased from IBS. I'll fix that link. I got their regular hardcover. I think that the pictures are the same for their softcover and hardcover. Or at least I can't tell the difference between the images for the hardcover and softcover. Maybe I need large cover glasses!!

Gerald said...

I purchased a few for the folks that forgot their bible at home, now they get here early to get the "big print" bible before anyone else.

The hardcover should hold up a while and the soft cover is a soft flexible paper material, with some sort of plastic coating.

I second the "red letter" is a scheme from the devil, whoever came up with idea should be severely fined. Funny thing is I mentioned I didn't like red-letter one evening and you would have thought I had just kicked someones little dog...oh well no counting for taste I guess

Robb said...

Mr. Leman,

I just received an e-mail from IBS direct and the lady who responded said the print is indeed 12pt.

Here's the e-mail:

Good Afternoon Robb! The print size for the large print TNIV hard cover is a 12 point font size. This edition is not red letter. Have a nice weekend! J

God Bless you,

Jama Seaberry


Customer Service Representative

Maybe there's a difference because the one I ordered is hard cover?


Wayne Leman said...

Robb, mine is a hard cover just like yours. Perhaps mine is 12 point. It just may not be the same as the 12 point Arial that I have from my printer. Fonts do vary in more way than one, so a 12 point in one font may not appear to be the same as a 12 point in another font.

The main thing is that we can read the print in the IBS edition nicely!

Thanks for following up with email to IBS and for sharing the answer with us.

Robb said...

Ah, OK. I misunderstood. I thought you had mentioned that you purchased a soft cover edition in your OP. My apologies.

What do you think of the giant print (16pt) edition (see my first post), Mr. Leman? Do you know if there's a difference between the TNIV in the UK and the TNIV that is sold in North America?

I may end up spending the extra money to obtain the giant print edition. Even though 12pt text is my standard, 4 extra points never hurt anyone. :)


Peter Kirk said...

Robb asked, "Do you know if there's a difference between the TNIV in the UK and the TNIV that is sold in North America?"

There is a difference in the texts, mostly in spelling conventions although I did find an unfortunate adaptation at Hebrews 4:15. That must imply also that they have been typeset separately. The UK publishers of TNIV are Hodders and IBS UK. The range of editions and type sizes is quite different from the US range - and probably even more restricted.

R. Mansfield said...

Cambridge also publishes the TNIV in the UK--and some very nice genuine leather text editions, I might add.

Robb said...

Mr. Kirk,

Thank you. I will stay away from that edition.

God bless you!

Iyov said...

Does Hodder make good physical Bibles? (To calibrate, I think most Cambridge Bibles are well-made and most Zondervan Bibles are poorly-made.)

Robb said...

I received my TNIV on Monday.

First impression? Wow! The print is perfect for my eyes!

I think I'm going to "make" the TNIV my default translation for teaching and, one day, preaching. :)

God bless you all.