December 29, 2012 (revised January, 2017)
A look at the Revised Grail Psalms Deluxe Edition
I love the Revised Grail Psalms and had been carrying the paperback edition in my bag. So I was very happy to hear that they would be available in a smaller deluxe edition, and pre-ordered my copy several months in advance.
The descriptions of this book at Amazon and at the publisher's web site told me surprisingly little, and the only photo was actually a computer vector illustration of what the cover design ought to look like.
I had to order this book in the dark, hoping for the best. So I hope to supply valuable missing information with this article.
The cover is a sort of rubbery material which is common on cheaper compact Bibles today. It is slightly stiff. No leather texture at all. If anything one might mistake it for a hardbound book, but not a leather bound book. The design is raised (like embossing) so you can feel it.
The page corners are rounded. It has one ribbon similar in color to the cover.
I was very disappointed to discover the book not sewn bound as one would expect on "deluxe" edition with this type of cover and ribbon. It is actually glue bound like any cheap paperback and the pages will not lie flat.
To be fair, after I used this book for a while, I discovered I could bend the covers back so they touch, and the pages would almost lie flat. The flexible spine allows this, which is something a stiff spine paperback will not allow.
This edition is only slightly smaller than the paperback edition which I also have, and it is actually slightly thicker than the paperback. The weight of both books is identical at 573 grams.
This book is 6 5/16 inches high, and 4 11/16 inches wide and 14/16 thick or 160 mm high, 119 mm wide and 21 mm thick.
I was hoping for a smaller, portable flexible copy with pages that lie flat, so this book falls short of my expectations.
I carry this book everywhere and use it to sing Psalms (with St. Meinrad Psalm tones) during prayer time at home and during spare moments outside the home, but it goes in my bag and not my pocket.
For such a valuable and well-used book, a leather cover and gilded page edges would be nice, too.
But it's still the best edition of the Revised Grail Psalms available right now -- by a slim margin, the other option being the paperback.
And I do love the text; it is based on the latest biblical research and manuscript discoveries and is simply the best English version of the Psalms that I have found.
At first I thought the English was odd in parts -- it certainly does not read like a modern newspaper -- but I was later informed that this is intentional and the English phraseology is reminiscent old British poetry.
Also, this Psalm text has been "road tested" during daily prayer at a Benedictine monastery for a number of years where there was plenty of opportunity to work out all the bugs, so it would be impossible to let some unintentional strange wording slip through the cracks. Once I discovered that, I had a much higher respect for this unique Psalter.
So my bottom line is that you ought to seriously consider buying and using the Revised Grail Psalms. But whether you choose the paperback version or this "deluxe" edition is your call. And now you have the data to make an informed decision.