You may have noticed that there are different types of leather that your preferred Bible is available in. One costs more than the other, or in some cases, much more. Is it worth the money? What are the differences between the different Bible covers?
Paperback – This Bible cover is fairly self explanatory. A paperback Bible is great for taking your Bible on the go but it won’t stand up to much abuse. This isn’t recommended for everyday use but is good for use as an occasional reference or to take on trips where size and weight are important.
Leather like – There are various names that this goes by depending on the publisher, but all make it apparent that while the cover looks like leather, it is not actually leather. These are commonly found in cheap bibles such as gift and award Bibles. There’s nothing wrong with them but they are a synthetic material that will not hold up as well as leather.
Hardback – Just about all Bibles have a hardback version. This is a cost effective Bible cover although not always attractive. Many people put their hardcover Bibles in a Bible case. While a hardback Bible will last a long time, after extended use the back and/or the binding will break at which point you will need to purchase a new one or have your old one rebound. Some Bibles are only available in hardback.
Duo-Tone or Tu-Tone – These are multi-colored Bible covers. They vary greatly from Bible to Bible. Some are real leather while others are leather feel or just synthetic overall. These aren’t necessarily a special leather but simply two different colors combined in one cover.
Bonded leather – Bonded leather is real leather. It is made from strips of leather and leather fibers and combined together as one sheet. They are bonded with an adhesive and pressed into flat sheets. For those who are familiar with wood, it is similar to the process that particle board is made from. Bonded leather looks, smells, and feels like genuine leather because it is genuine leather, just pressed together.
Genuine leather – Genuine leather is cut from one solid piece of leather. This gives it added strength and durability. It will hold up longer than bonded leather but bonded leather is less expensive and is a good alternative if price is a factor.
Moroccan leather – This is a premium leather that is not found in many Bibles. It is harder and more pliable than genuine leather and is considered a higher quality.
Calfskin leather – This, too, is a premium leather that is used in only the finest Bibles. It is very soft and has a feel that is almost like suede. Nelson’s signature series Bibles use this very fine leather.