I love reading my Bible and I love digging, searching, cross-referencing, trying to find the deepest meaning from the scriptures. So I like my Bible, at the minimum, to have a cross-reference column that helps me compare verse to verse, especially when the subject at hand has to do with important doctrine.
I also like to compare one version with another. I like the readability of the English Standard Version (ESV) and also the New King James Version (NKJV). And even though my first Bible was the King James (KJV), and even though I read it as a child, I much prefer the versions that use a more readable English. (I've read the pros and cons of the KJV-only crowd and respectfully decline to believe that all other versions are inaccurate.)
Right now I'm using the New American Standard Bible (NASB) even though I prefer to read the ESV. Why not use the version I prefer? Because I teach a number of women in an institutional setting and the most affordable paperback that we can find is the NASB. I want to be on the same page with them. Unfortunately the paperback has no cross-reference columns.
There are inexpensive Bibles available for these settings but in my opinion inexpensive almost always translates "cheap". We can find Bibles for $1 or $2 each but the paper is coarse, the print is incredibly tiny, and cross-references are non-existent. My question is this...why do the publishers not put out a reasonably priced, reasonable quality, reference Bible that new believers could pick up and read? And, for those who are confined to jails and prisons, why are there not quality paper-back study Bibles available at a reasonable price?
Oh, I'm not faulting the publishers for not providing great Bibles. They have done an incredible job of producing study Bibles of every variety in hardcover, bonded leather (worthless and soon reduced to cracks and tears in my experience), genuine leather, trutone (which is some type of very nice sturdy vinyl that looks similar to leather), and gorgeous calfskin and other premium covers. There are study Bibles galore.
But for those who need to buy in quantity, for use by serious students in a prison setting, there are few choices available for an affordable price. Give us, at the least, a quality paperback with a generous cross-reference system at a reasonable price by the case. Please!!!