Ideal font size and Bible style?

Discussion in 'Translations and Manuscripts' started by tellville, Aug 10, 2009.

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  1. tellville

    tellville Puritan Board Junior

    What do you guys think is the ideal font size for a Bible which is read for about an hour at a time?

    Also, if you had to choose between these two Bibles:

    1) Larger lighter font, thin pages, more bleed through, more helpful notes but little cross references


    2) Smaller darker font, thicker pages, less bleed through, less helpful notes but more cross references

    What would you choose? My old main Bible has completely fallen apart (which was a really cheap temp Bible so as to confirm my like of the translation) and I am debating between two different Bibles of the same translation.

    What would you choose?

    I don't want to discuss things like translation or notes. Suffice to say one Bible has more helpful notes than the other. I'm mainly asking about preferences in format.
  2. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I don't like bleed-through or small fonts, so I'd keep searching. I don't have good eyesight so that is a contributing factor. I keep my computer screen @ 120%-150% to help with that.
  3. Hungus

    Hungus Puritan Board Freshman

    Most reading Bibles are going to be similar enough that differences will be personal rather than global. I personally prefer 14pt sepia on ecru (yes I am being serious). However I am both on the Autism spectrum and have synesthesia.
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I'd say a minimum of 12 point. And if you can see the type from the other side with the page on the pages underneath, the paper is too thin.
  5. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    I like a font size that I don't need a magnifying glass to read, and paper thick enough that I'm not reading the first chapter of Acts backwards when I'm trying to read the last chapter of John forwards.

    Judging from some Bible editions out there, my preferences are not universally shared.
  6. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    At my age the official font size needed is called humungous.
  7. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

  8. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    My Bible (Cambridge Pitt Minion) is set in 6.75pt/7pt in Lexicon No. 1 (presumably the font name). It sounds small, and I have glasses, but I've never had a problem reading it. It's the perfect size Bible to hold in one hand and for carrying to worship services. Might be out of your price range, but it'll last a long time if you take good care of it. I used to prefer the big study Bibles, but I got tired of carrying around bricks. :p
  9. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Paper first: a good quality paper may be thin, but retain the opacity for high legibility. I'd suggest not letting the "feel" throw you -- try it out for yourself to see how easy it is to read. Its rag content -- and the presence of acids -- can make a difference in how well the pages hold up over time.

    Many variables affect ease-of reading. The leading (loosely defined as the vertical space around a line of type) can make a smaller font seem much easier to read. Its x-height (the relationship of the lower case letters to upper) and counter space (the room inside closed figures) can also make a big difference.

    Most folks find 10+ point type with a fair amount of white space on the page (whether in leading, the other measures, or the margins) generally easiest to read. I mentioned the other measurements because one 10-point font can appear to be much larger (and easier to read) than another because the other properties come into play. Some older publications -- with little white space on a page and tiny x-heights -- can be difficult to read because of these latter factors, not just because of the overall font size.

    Different translations -- and their willingness to break sections out by paragraph and to add section headers -- can also make reading easier. (Although I have difficulties with those headers on an "addition" level -- a whole other topic).

    Personally, I find the cross-references to other verses to be my most-used "reference" in a Bible and that would guide my choice greatly. I'd also want to know something about who put those notes and/or references in there.
  10. Berean

    Berean Puritan Board Doctor

    I believe that's also the official font size for medicine bottle labels. :lol:
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