The NIV Books of the Bible edition is the best reader’s Bible available, typographically speaking. The binding, the typeface, and tiny details of the layout could all be improved, but the basic idea is unsurpassed. This is what a Bible should look like. Narrative looks like narrative, epistle like epistle, poetry like (Hebrew parallel) poetry.
The ESV Reader’s Bible is a fairly close second. I prefer the ESV over the NIV for most (not all) uses, and this Bible’s typeface and layout make up for what The Books of the Bible edition lacks. However, this edition retains numbered chapter divisions, a mistake in my opinion. Leave those in study editions.
The Bibliotheca project is fascinating, and may prove to be the best available reader’s edition when it comes out this summer. The translation is a bit of a question mark—the progenitor of this edition, a dedicated and passionate book designer, is spearheading some revisions to the 1901 ASV text. I can’t make a judgment on those revisions until I see them.
Check out my discussion with gracious pastor Kevin Boling on his call-in radio program, Knowing the Truth: