What motivates people to buy nine or more Bibles? A good question, asked by Kimberly Winston in Publishers Weekly (October 9). A good answer, I suppose, would be “because they each have eight or more friends who need a gift.” Or “because they have targeted eight or more people for conversion.” Or “because they are smugglers who would sneak Bibles into more nations where that book as a document of freedom is still unwelcome.”

But Winston’s article makes clear that these nine Bibles are not to be gifts or tools for conversion. They are targeted for no one but Number One—I, Ego, Narcissus.

We learn about this from research sponsored by the Christian Book­sellers Association and Zondervan publishers. Not only have they discovered that the average Bible consumer owns nine Bibles, but that he or she “is looking for more.” Zondervan, the world’s largest Bible publisher, watched sales grow 7 percent in the past year, and the American Booksellers Association market also shows “significant increases.”