In praise of the Pocket Canons

Pentagram’s latest publication, Decipher, is a handsome book of cryptographic puzzles. I hoped to show you a couple, but haven’t been able to find anything online.

While clicking through the design firm’s portfolio of book projects, though, I was reminded of the Pocket Canons.

Published by Grove in 1999 as a radical repackaging of the Bible, the series consists of books from the King James in slender volumes priced at $2.95 each, with introductions from Barry Hannah, A.S. Byatt, E.L. Doctorow, Doris Lessing, and many other writers.

It looks like the project stalled out, but you can still find the existing books online. There’s no more portable or inconspicuous way to delve into Ecclesiastes or Job or (the sometimes surprisingly funny) Proverbs on the train.


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