April 17, 2005

Latter day sales

Speaking of Mormons -- something I noticed the other day. I can buy two or three different translations of the Bible, plus a translation or two of the Qur'an, at any Waldens or B. Daltons, along with (most likely) a Penguin translation of selections from the Upanishads. Go to Borders, and there's the Pentateuch, the Zohar, a few shelves stuffed with Concordances and study guides, five or six different translations of the Qur'an, Sufi texts, along with dozens of Gnostic texts, the Popol Vuh (the holy scriptures of the Mayans), the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and other assorted treasures. Go to Amazon.com, and there is everything from 14th century works by Isma'ilis on heresiarchs to ... well, the list is virtually endless.

None of these places carries the Book of Mormon, which, if I'm not mistaken, is still published exclusively by the Mormon Church. I can understand why a store might not want to stock it -- my understanding is that Mormons give the book away, so it would be difficult to make much of a percentage. Still, one would think that some scholarly publisher, or Dover at the very least, would put out a commercially available copy with a scholarly introduction. I, for one, would buy it.

Update: I was mistaken, at least according to this story, which originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune:

For the first time in its history, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is allowing a national publisher to print a reader-friendly trade edition of the Book of Mormon.

Doubleday, an imprint of publishing giant Random House, will publish the hardcover book in November. Priced at $24.95, the book excises the lengthy footnotes and cross-references that crowd pages and may be daunting to those not familiar with the faith, said Michelle Rapkin, director of Doubleday's religious publishing division. But the main text will be the same, and the book will include a brief reference section outlining key events, ideas and people.

I found the Doubleday edition on Amazon, and also this one published by the University of Illinois -- and rather pricey at $34.95...

Still, forget I mentioned it...

Posted by Ideofact at April 17, 2005 11:54 PM