Cambridge Pitt Minions, a Tale of Three Covers.

Comparison Review of Morocco, Calf Split, and Goatskin Leather Covered Pitt Minion NASB Bibles.

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I’m fortunate to have been sent review copies of the same Bible, covered in three types of leather that Cambridge uses. They have sent me three Cambridge Pitt Minions in NASB Bibles. One of them is covered in black Morocco leather, another in black calf split leather, and the last one is covered in brown goatskin leather.

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This review will depart from my other reviews in that I am not covering the same points over again. You can read about the Pitt Minion typeset and binding information here. Instead, I am going to compare the different types of leather covers. You can view the Cambridge page with information about their leathers here.
Here is their definition of what Morocco leather is, “Leather taken from a split hide – sheepskin, calf or cowhide. Slightly thinner than the other grades of leather and therefore relatively flexible and soft even when new. A French Morocco binding offers high-quality real leather at an economical price.” This is the cover material for the lowest priced Pitt Minion at approximately $60.00 available at online retailers.

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Here is their definition of what calf split leather is, “A superior grade to French Morocco leather, tanned to approach the quality and feel of full-grain calfskin leather.” This is the next step up from the Morocco leather and can be purchased for about $80.00 online.

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Finally, here is their definition of goatskin leather, “A beautiful and very resilient top-quality, natural grain leather. Traditionally known as ‘Morocco’ leather, it is strong yet supple and is used in the finest bindings.

The best goatskins for bookbinding come from an area of northern Nigeria where environmental conditions are ideal for producing hides with the necessary balance of strength and suppleness. Here they are partially tanned using the same vegetable materials and methods that have been used for several thousand years. Traditionally, they were transported by camel across the Sahara desert to merchants in Morocco (hence the term ‘Morocco leather’) from where they would be distributed throughout the ancient world.

Cambridge uses Nigerian goatskins finished in the United Kingdom for our top-of-the range bindings.”

I understand there can be some confusion when talking about cover materials. There really isn’t a standardized nomenclature. I hope this information clears it up for anyone with questions as to why the Morocco covers were more expensive than the calf split covers. I know I’ve been asked this question before. I’ve included plenty of pictures and a video to help you see as much of the differences for yourselves, but I have to tell you, only by handling these Bibles will you be able to appreciate the qualities of each one. All three are wonderful Bibles and offer specific benefits. The price of the Morocco covered Pitt Minion makes it exceedingly affordable. You get all of the great features of the Cambridge Pitt Minion text block, like the sewn binding, thin profile, compact size, complete Bible, clearly printed modern digital font, references, and red letter text. This cover has a bit of a glossy look to it and the grain is not pebbled. It is also quite a bit thinner than the other two. However, it is vastly superior to other Bibles on the market that advertise having, “genuine leather” covers. Many of the lower quality Bibles that claim to be genuine leather are covered in split pigskin leather with an artificial grain pressed into it. They almost look plastic and are very shiny. This Morocco cover is much better and the price has remained very affordable.

For just about $20.00 more you can get the calf split leather, again with all of the great Pitt Minion features, plus a more supple, thicker, leather with a deeper natural texture. The calf split is also less shiny or glossy than the Morocco cover. This gives it a much more tactilely pleasing feel in your hand. I’ve also noticed that it softens up quite well after it is broken in.

For about $100.00 you can acquire the Pitt Minion covered in goatskin leather.

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I know it seems like a lot of money, but when you pick one up you’ll understand why it is more. The goatskin covers have a finer pebbled grain that is soft to the touch. It is softer than the calf split or top grain leathers while remaining durable.

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If you have ever held a sheepskin leather Bible you would find that it is very supple, but susceptible to scratches and tears. The goatskin is great because it has the best features of both types of leather. It is soft and supple while remaining effective at protecting the text block. None of these three are edge lined so you won’t be doing any, “Bible yoga” with them. I wouldn’t recommend bending them that much regardless. Even if a Bible is flexible enough to bend like you might see some people do online, it isn’t a good idea.

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Over time it will loosen your binding too much and prematurely wear it out.
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No matter what your budget is you can find a Pitt Minion to fit and be assured that it will last long enough for your kids to enjoy if you treat it with respect.

Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on the flickr page.

You can purchase these Bibles on Amazon, Christianbook, or Cambridge Press.

6 thoughts on “Cambridge Pitt Minions, a Tale of Three Covers.

  1. John W. Kreitzer

    Hey Bother, thanks for your review. I am a minister currently looking for a reading and ‘work’ Bible. I have a few things that I’m looking for specifically that I cannot find all in one Bible. 1. NASB 2. Red letter 3. Chain reference (preferably single column) 4. parallel in-text references. I wonder since you have a great deal of experience with Bibles and publisher options if you would know of a good durable Bible I could find with these options.

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    1. It is almost impossible to get every feature we want in one single Bible. I have not seen a Bible with all of the features you want in one volume. You might prioritize the features into ones that are must-have deal breakers and others that you can compromise on. More often then not, we end up getting one for each purpose. For preaching, most people prefer a verse by verse format. For reading/devotional time paragraph format Bibles are generally prefered. I myself, love the verse format for all my reading. AS for your requests, Lockman Foundation and Zondervan are two of the only ones making Red letter NASB’s. http://kirkbride.com/ kirkbride makes the chain reference Bible, but not in the format you are after. I think your best option is to get a couple of Bibles for the specific purposes you have in mind.

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  2. Miles

    Hey, i really like your video review on the Pitt Minion Reference Edition bibles. I have a black Goatskin Pitt Minion Reference Edition coming in the mail and i am trying to get a good idea of how soft ,or rigid, the goatskin leather is on the Pitt Minion. Does it have the buttery soft feel to it that I have always thought it to have? I have always thought Goatskin leather, on a bible, to be so soft that it would, basically, ” melt ” in the hands when picked up, even fresh out of the box. Any info on this you can give me would be most appreciated.

    Thank you and keep up the great reviews.

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    1. The Pitt Minions are case bound, not edge lined. Since this is the case, they won’t, “melt” in your hands. Think of a regular, genuine leather Bible from any other publisher, but instead of being covered with genuine pigskin leather, is covered with a softer, goatskin leather, with natural grain. If you look at the youtube video I made you can see for yourself how they look when opened. https://youtu.be/U95OnPKMcFA?t=4m53s I hope this helps. https://snyderssoapbox.com/2015/06/14/the-nasb-pitt-minion-reference-edition-ns446xr-in-brown-goatskin-leather-is-the-best-compact-nasb-you-could-purchase/

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      1. Miles

        Okay, so, while it won’t melt in my hand, it is at least a soft type leather. Does it at least have a soft enough feel to it that it doesn’t have that hard, cardboard, stiffness to it like a lot of genuine leather covers do?

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      2. Yes, it is softer. The hard cardboardish, shiny, plasticy feeling of pigskin leather is what you get on the 50$ Bibles advertised as genuine leather. Even you $100 calfskin leather Bibles are much softer than the pigskin leather. Bonded leather is the worst. The goatskin is not as soft as a meriva calfskin, but it has a nice pebbled grain to it compared to the smoother grain of a meriva leather. The goatskin is the softest of the three covers I reviewed. I am waiting for the Schuyler Personal sized NASB Quentel to come out in the next couple of months. It will be much smaller than the full sized, a bit bigger than a Pitt, with bigger font. I am going to get it in edge lined goat. It would drape over your hand if it were bigger. As it is, i think it will be about the perfect Bible for me.

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