December 29, 2012 (revised April, 2018)
A look at the Revised Grail Psalms Deluxe Edition
I love the Revised Grail Psalms and had been carrying the paperback edition in my bag. So I was very happy to hear that they would be available in a smaller deluxe edition, and pre-ordered my copy several months in advance.
The descriptions of this book at Amazon and at the publisher's web site told me surprisingly little, and the only photo was actually a computer vector illustration of what the cover design ought to look like.
I had to order this book in the dark, hoping for the best. So I hope to supply valuable missing information with this article.
The cover is a sort of rubbery material which is common on cheaper compact Bibles today. It is slightly stiff. No leather texture at all. If anything one might mistake it for a hardbound book, but not a leather bound book. The design is raised (like embossing) so you can feel it.
The page corners are rounded. It has one ribbon similar in color to the cover.
This edition is only slightly smaller than the paperback edition which I also have, and it is actually slightly thicker than the paperback. The weight of both books is identical at 573 grams.
This book is 6 5/16 inches high, and 4 11/16 inches wide and 14/16 thick or 160 mm high, 119 mm wide and 21 mm thick.
I was hoping for a smaller, portable copy, so this book falls short of my expectations.
I was also very disappointed to discover the book is not sewn (stitch) bound as one would expect on "deluxe" edition with this type of cover and ribbon. It is actually glue bound like any cheap paperback and the pages will not lie flat.
I'm sure it is a lot easier and cheaper to glue the pages rather than sew them, but it is a big mistake to choose glue binding instead of sewn or stitched binding in a volume that is meant to last, especially if it has a nice cover.
While I discovered that I could still bend the covers back so they touch, and the pages would almost lie flat as if it were a sewn bound book, even such normal use takes its toll on the glue binding.
Within a few years of regular use, the last page separated from the cover. When I taped it back into place, the next page eventually tore apart from the last page. At this point, I took the photo below. If I repair this one, the next page will eventually tear away, and then the next, and the next, until every page is taped to its neighbor.
The book is a little over five years old at the time of this photo.
This type of thing does not happen with sewn-bound books because every page is actually part of a two page unit so it impossible for any individual page to come loose. I would have gladly paid extra for durable sewn binding. As it is, I am stuck with this problem since I will not repair it anymore.
I must note that the paperback edition is still completely intact despite the fact that it gets just as much use as the deluxe edition.
I hope and pray that someone will publish a 3X5 inch true pocket edition of the Revised Grail Psalms with sewn binding, because such a valuable book needs to fit in a pocket so it will be there when you need it, and endure constant use.
A leather cover and gilded page edges would be nice, too.
As mentioned above, I do love the text; it is based on the latest biblical research and manuscript discoveries and is simply the best English version of the Psalms that I have found, and quite singable.
Also, this Psalm text has been "road tested" during daily prayer at a Benedictine monastery for a number of years where there was plenty of opportunity to work out all the bugs.
So my bottom line is that you ought to seriously consider buying and using the Revised Grail Psalms. But whether you choose the paperback version or this "deluxe" edition is your call. And now you have the data to make an informed decision.