pdf Review of Books on the Book of Mormon 2/1 (1990)  >  Book of Mormon: Wide-Margin Edition
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Review of Eldin Ricks, ed., Book of Mormon: Wide-Margin Edition. Provo, UT: Mountain West, 1987. 820 pp. $17.95.


Reviewed by Lewis M. Bastian

The Book of Mormon: Wide-Margin Edition presents the complete text of the Book of Mormon in 29 three-hole punched booklets and can be purchased with a handsome three-ring binder. It is printed in large (12 point) type in single columns on the left side of each page, leaving the right lined half of the page for writing space for notes and references. Each of the 29 booklets is numbered in the top right-hand corner with the intent that this can serve as an index for an expanding file of content-related inserts or personal notes of extra length or relevant articles.

The advantages of a looseleaf presentation of the scriptures are readily apparent. What serious student has not been frustrated by the lack of space for notes and commentary as he has used the conventionally bound scriptures? Any teacher of the Book of Mormon will also immediately see the convenience of having the text for study and discussion for a particular class period in a detachable and portable thin booklet with his previously prepared annotations right in the wide margins of the booklet. The idea of being able to file relevant background material right with the scriptural text ought to appeal to any student of the Book of Mormon. And, of course, by adding binders the extent of the file is made practically limitless.

However, this reviewer questions the appropriateness of the booklet format. It seems to add needlessly to the bulk and expense of this edition of the Book of Mormon. I would prefer to have a true looseleaf format with each single leaf being detachable, thus increasing the versatility for making insertions right with the related text and being able to remove for teaching or other purposes the exact pages desired. I also find the right margin ruling too narrow (almost a third narrower than college or narrow-ruled lines). In fact, why provide ruling at all since it limits the options available to the user? Unruled margins (really half pages) would increase the versatility and personal adaptability of this edition. I would suggest also a little more top margin for personal head notes convenient for quick reference. This edition also lacks the helpful convenience of the wonderful cross-reference footnotes in the new (1981) edition of the Book of Mormon. Perhaps these issues can be taken into account for any future edition of this admirable undertaking.