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 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.”
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.
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.
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.