A week ago, I reviewed and featured the ESV Reader’s Bible set from Crossway. Today, in this feature, I am reviewing the CSB Reader’s Bible Set from Holman. If you are new to the whole concept, Reader’s Bibles are the ones that have been stripped-off of verse and chapter references with an aim to provide an uninterrupted reading experience using the Bible’s original and simplified format.
Like the ESV Reader’s set, the CSB set has impeccable quality, built, and construction—this is the first thing that I noticed as I unbox the whole set. But unlike the ESV set which comprises six volumes (with the New Testament books divided into two), this one has only five volumes—with the New Testament books combined into one. Respectively, the first four volumes are the Pentateuch, Historical, Poetry, and Prophets.
The CSB Reader’s set looks classy and minimalistic. The five volumes boast a very sturdy, well-constructed brown cloth-over-board cover which I like a little bit more than that of the ESV set because they seem to be more durable. The spines are stamped with minimal inscriptions in gold and feature three raised hubs that look really gorgeous. A square pattern is stamped on each volume to indicate its number and sequence. To house the whole set, it comes in a cardboard slipcase box. However, I find it a little mediocre and frail compared to that of the ESV set. Each volume also includes a complementing double-sided satin ribbon marker.
I love the highly-opaque paper that Holman used in these volumes. It is somewhere around 80 gsm. It is cream, smooth, and does not glare under direct light. The pages are also sewn and very easy to turn. On the other hand, unlike the ESV set which was printed by the renowned L.E.G.O. company in Italy, this set was printed in China. Nevertheless, the print quality is flawless. The Scripture text is set at 12-point, and it is sharp, clear, and very readable.
The layout of the CSB Reader’s is almost identical to that of the ESV. It is set in a single-column, paragraph format. The only difference is that the CSB set includes chapter headings at the bottom as a reading guide instead of section titles—the one found in the ESV Reader’s set. I love that they allotted generous margins on all sides. It made the whole layout neat and it highly improves the overall reading experience. I also like that each chapter begins with bold blue drop caps which look pretty nice and elegant. Old Testament quotations in the New Testament volume are in bold font—a very good feature and indicator since this does not include cross-references.
The CSB Reader’s Bible five-volume set is exceptional in quality and readability. If you read the CSB and desire a longer and uninterrupted journey through the Holy Scriptures, this set will give you just that. The whole set retails for $149.99 and makes a wonderful gift idea this Christmas season.
Watch an in-depth inside look at the CSB Reader’s Bible Set:
Disclosure: A review copy of the CSB Reader’s Bible, Five-Volume Set (ISBN 9781535965804) was provided for review by Lifeway, from whom you may purchase a copy.