It happened this way. When my daughter was young she was interested in dinosaurs. Most kids are. In fact, my wife and I went to a public lecture by a paleontologist in Edinburgh where he pointed out that the real experts on the subject in the audience were generally twelve or younger. I took an interest in what my daughter found fascinating, and you can’t study dinosaurs without knowing a bit of geology. Now, the professor’s lifestyle is a thing of wonder. You may have a heavy teaching and publication load, but the freedom to spend your unstructured summer time pure learning was (still is) a huge draw. I began studying geology. I joined the Wisconsin Geological Society. I was even made an officer. My, a biblical studies professor.
At one point I bought a jeweler’s loupe. Many geologists have them. To get down to the level of the crystalline structure of most rocks you’ll need something more powerful, but for fieldwork (and I’ve got a garage full of rocks to prove it) your average loupe will do. When Nashotah House decided I should no longer be a professor (and the rest of academe acquiesced) I seriously considered going back to school to study geology. Time was against me, however. I had to find a job with a family needing support, and so here I am in publishing instead. And not only that, but I’m a Bibles editor. Most people have no idea what that means. Some days even I don’t. But one thing I have learned is that you’ve got to know your leather.
This is a bit uncomfortable to me as a vegan, but I have learned that many people want their Bibles wrapped up in animal sacrifice. I’ve also learned there are many different kinds of leather. The typical leather Bible is pigskin. Yes, that’s right. In the trade you can call a Bible with any animal hide leather. Bonded leather means that it’s pieces glued together. The most expensive Good Books are “genuine leather.” Cut from whole cloth, as it were. I keep my jeweler’s loupe in my work desk. Sometimes I need to look at something closely, off screen. My loupe came in a leather case. One of the sides peeled off during our move and I could see clearly what bonded leather means. In fact, the “nded” part of “bonded” is clearly visible like a secret Bible code on the underlayer of my case. Nothing, it seems, is ever wasted.