Flipback Books, Part 3: The KJV Transetto Bible

While running my series on flipback books, I heard from Amanda Taylor, a marketing and sales executive with Cambridge University Press. She graciously sent me a copy of the one English language flipback available right now.

It’s a Bible.

Specifically, the King James Version Transetto Bible, which was published this spring. Although I’ve been researching these pocket-sized books with flexible spines and thin pages, I never had held one until the Transetto Bible arrived in my mailbox.

It’s beautiful as well as functional.

The Transetto Bibles come with lovely blue, green or purple covers. The pages are crisp white, and they seem quite durable. I didn’t wrinkle or rip any when flipping back and forth vigorously to test the strength of the paper.

This petite Bible is also surprisingly readable, despite the small font, because of how white the pages are. The text is printed in two columns, as traditional Bibles are, but in this case, the book is read from top to bottom, making nice long columns that span two pages each. The font, for those of you interested in typography, is 7/8 point Karmina Sans.

The tape-like spine is detached from the hard binding.

The ingenious spine is actually a black flexible fabric, sort of like medical tape, and it is actually detached from the hard cover. And that’s why the Bible will lay flat when opened to a particular page without a finger to keep your place (unless you’re outside on a really windy day, which happened during my first photo shoot).

Despite being 1,803 pages, the Transetto Bible is really and truly pocket sized. It slips into in my jeans quite easily.

Cambridge University Press published the Transetto Bible this year to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. It retails for $24.99 and is available now at some Christian bookshops, Amanda said, as well as from Baker Publishing, Cambridge’s Bible distributor. The Transetto is also available for preorder online from Powell’s and Amazon and is expected to be ready for shipping soon.

I imagine regular Bible readers would want to snap up some copies of this version to take on their travels, to carry in their purses or cars–or even to give as special gifts. As the Cambridge University Press materials state, “Any book in this format weighs a fraction of its standard book equivalent–and of an electronic reader too. They fit comfortably into the smallest of handbags or pockets and will be ideal for reading on the move–any time, anywhere.”

Here's a size comparison with the Transetto Bible next to a paperback copy of The Great Gatsby.

The flipback book format debuted in the Netherlands in 2009, where it’s known as the dwarsligger. Jongbloed BV, a renowned Bible publishing company, pioneered this innovative book concept, which is geared toward making reading more convenient and portable for our contemporary on-the-go culture.

After partnering with the Ambo Anthos branch of the NDC/VBK publishing group to launch dwarsliggers in the Netherlands, Jongbloed has been working with publishing houses in other countries. The concept debuted in Spain in November 2010, in partnership with Ediciones B, part of Grupo Zeta. There, the compact, flexible-spine books are known as librinos. They entered the French marketplace this past April, known as Point2, in conjunction with Editions Point, which is part of the Martinere Group.

Another size comparison, this one with the Bible set on a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper.

England’s next, with 12 titles and an anticipated launch date of June 30. The flipback will be published through Hodder & Stoughton. Retail price is expected to be £9.99, which is about $16.

You can read more specifics about the flipback format in my overview piece, and check out my interview with Arthur van Keulen, international marketing manager of Jongbloed BV.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. I’m no expert on flipbacks, but I’m a fascinated observer, and especially now that I have the Transetto Bible at my fingertips, I’d be happy to answer whatever I can.

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Books, Flipback, Reading, Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Flipback Books, Part 3: The KJV Transetto Bible

  1. Laura, I love small things, but with my need for reading glasses lately, I wonder if I would tire of the flip books. Is the font really small? Or regular type?

    • Great question, Christi! The font on the KJV Transetto Bible is small (listed as 7/8 point)–but most Bibles have small print, right? I’m under the impression that the regular fiction and nonfiction titles are regular sized font. Does anyone out there have a promo copy, or a Dutch copy, to verify this? If so, please chime in! And meanwhile I’ll ask around and hopefully get an answer for you.

      In the meantime, check this flipback website. I’m assuming this is a brand new site, because I haven’t come across it yet, and I have been trolling regularly for more information. From their promotional pictures, and the video, it seems they’re printed with a quite readable font size.

  2. Bryna says:

    Flipback books are absolutely fascinating. I love the experience of reading a book–the smell and feel of the pages, the colorful bookmarks–which will probably forever keep me from purchasing an eReader, but this is an intriguing solution for reading on the go. I’m going to have to check them out! Thanks for sharing!

    • I’ll let you know if/when I get my hands on one of the new British versions! The Bible is really cool, but I haven’t sat down to have a reading session with it–or carried it around in my purse–like I would with a novel flipback. I emailed the folks at http://www.flipbackbooks.com to see if they’d be available through Hodder & Stoughton (or somewhere in America), but I haven’t heard back yet. I guess I’ll just have to wait until June 30!

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