From Michael Hyatt’s weblog, From Where I Sit, this post:
The December 18 issue of New Yorker magazine has a great article entitled, The Good Book Business: Why Publishers Love the Bible.
It focuses on the Bible publishing industry in general and Thomas
Nelson in particular. It mentions several of our own employees—and
former employees. Here’s an excerpt:
The familiar observation that the Bible is the
best-selling book of all time obscures a more startling fact: the Bible
is the best-selling book of the year, every year. Calculating how many
Bibles are sold in the United States is a virtually impossible task,
but a conservative estimate is that in 2005 Americans purchased some
twenty-five million Bibles—twice as many as the most recent Harry
Potter book. The amount spent annually on Bibles has been put at more
than half a billion dollars.
Robin here: I confess that I buy many Bibles. I buy new ones for my own study and I buy new ones to give away. I am also given new Bibles by my publishers. I have been given so many Bibles in recent years that I recently gave away ten unused ones to a women’s prison in Idaho. Sometimes when I think how persecuted Christians in other countries are overjoyed just to get their hands on a few lines of Scripture, let alone an entire Bible, I feel guilty. Can it be a sin for a Christian to own so many Bibles? Sometimes I think it must be.
I have my favorite Bibles, of course. They are underlined and highlighted and have notes scribbled in the margins and at the top and bottom of the pages. They worn and torn and wrinkled and are beloved because God has used them to speak to my heart. I like to have different versions of the Bible so I can compare translations and gain a deeper understanding. But there is something quite sad about an unused Bible. Better for me to have one less translation than for someone who needs a Bible to do without.
In the grip of His grace,