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It could change dramatically, I'd say, because the experiences would be dramatically different. I deliberately chose the Rock format largely on the basis of one potentially disruptive element - noise. Typically, excessive noise (with obvious exceptions) isn't associated with forms of worship; quiet contemplation rather is. And I would assert that it's no accident that most Bibles feature quieter elements than most books - supple leather bindings that can be held near noiselessly in one's hands, quiet color tonality - blacks, dark-blues, maroons, etc. - and India paper is both thin and rag-based, as opposed to pulp-based. (Compare the noise produced by turning a page in a Bible to that of pulpy paperback.) Even the fonts are often serene. And don't forget that the act of reading itself is more often than not a silent endeavor!

What I'm getting at is that the format of a print Bible is far more conducive to inviting one into prayer or interior quiet than a Led Zeppelin performance. In my opinion, it's also more conducive to this deepening movement, perhaps significantly, than an e-version. What this means for booksellers, of course, is that print Bibles - and by extension all sacred texts in print format - are far, far from going away and present yet another attractive, long-term opportunity for us.

But there's more to be optimistic about, and for this I'll pose another question: Do you treat (printed) sacred texts with more reverence than other books? Many people do. Apparently some people even feel guilty if they drop, step on or otherwise mistreat them. Idolatry is generally a no-no in most religious traditions, but in essence worshiping a material object is idolatrous. And if you've ever seen the elaborate rituals associated with handling, disposing of, etc., sacred texts in, among others, Islamic, Judaic and some Christian traditions, you'd be hard put not to sense at least some idolatry in them. But as long as idolatry is afoot to any extent, what we have is a context where the format of a book has value as format, further solidifying the print Bible as a viable commodity for who knows how many decades to come.

Like any other niche, buying and selling Bibles requires some know-how. If you're short on this, issue #12, "Bible Mania," of the Gold Edition will help get you up to speed. Purchase it here.

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