The “Note Takers” ultra-wide margin Bible is probably the most undervalued wide-margin Bible in the market. It features a nice soft lambskin covering, raised ribs on the spine, and smythe sewn binding. It has sewn edges, a nice yap, which possibly could have been a bit more generous. The paper is gold gilded and heavy enough to mark on. It has the traditional layout of a classic KJV with the words of Christ in Red, presentation letters, color maps and the KJV translators preface (nothing new here). The Bible also includes two somewhat thin ribbons. Honestly, a Bible the size of the Note Takers should include at least four thick ribbons; two for the Old Testament and two for the New Testament.
In terms of the value verses quality the Note Takers is probably the most reasonably priced wide-margin on the market today. Most quality wide-margins like the Brevier, the Canterbury, and Concord can set you back anywhere from $200 dollars and upwards towards $350 dollars. On the other hand the Note Takers Bible comes in at an affordable $110 dollars.
As far as readability, the Note Takers is a really enjoyable read. Partly, this is due to the combination of the large 11 pt. font and the single column layout. Additionally, it has no notes or cross references which adds to the ease of reading. While some readers may like having the cross references and notes, personally, I find devotional reading to be more enjoyable without them. In my opinion references and notes are better suited for a study Bible.
Lastly, what really sets the Note Takers apart from other wide-margins is what the designers refer to as the ultra-wide margin. It is a single outside margin with a whopping 2.5 inches of note taking real estate. The designers of the layout accomplished this by reducing the inner margin and increasing the outer margin. Likewise, the top and bottom margins have been reduced by about a half inch to accommodate the 11 pt. font. What is evident is that readability and writ-ability were the top concerns for the designers of this layout.
What this means for the reader is a larger area of writing space. With smaller margins it is sometimes difficult to write detailed notes without taking up to much real estate. Personally, sacrificing the inner margin in order to have more writing space on the outside margin is a win-win. I have always found it difficult to write on the inner margin because of the fold or bend in the binding. For someone who doesn’t have the best penmanship writing notes on the inner margin never turns out well. It seems that the additional writing space makes for neater, more legible notes that easily align with the text that is being noted.
On a personal note, my primary reasons for purchasing the Bible was to have a canvas for recording devotional notes, and to create an heirloom for my children. As I read through the Bible I consistently find myself writing notes on my own personal insights, and I often direct the notes towards my children. My hope is that when I pass on to be with the Lord they will have a resource where they can hear their Dad’s voice encouraging them to draw on the scriptures to navigate through the ups and downs of life.
In my opinion, the Note Takers may be the best value in the wide-margin market. It strikes a nice balance between afford-ability, readability, and writ-ability. It would be a stretch to say that Note Takers is on par with the top wide-margins in the market, and that’s because the Brevier, Canterbury, and Concord are in a class all their own. Either way, if you’re willing to sacrifice on name recognition the Note Takers may be the right wide-margin for both your notes and your wallet.