LDS Books – Thoughts of a Mormon Bookseller: Facsimile Editions of the 1830 Book of Mormon

By: Ryan T. Roos

In the spring of 1980, and in honor of the sesquicentennial of the publishing of the first edition of The Book of Mormon (Palmyra: E.B. Grandin, 1830), Deseret Book released a handsome, full-leather reproduction of the 1830 edition of The Book of Mormon that stands apart as the finest facsimile of that work produced to date. Far from settling for the stiff pages and paper boards commonly associated with the popular Herald House facsimile editions, purchasers of this new and limited edition were treated to a reproduction that was truly built to stand the test of time. In recent years, the press closest to matching Deseret Book’s anniversary edition in quality was that of Stratford Books (2007). But, with a limited distribution and modest print run, this moderately priced reproduction soon found its way off of the bookstore shelves and into collector’s catalogs at prices often exceeding $200.00. Aside from a series of novelty printings which have seemingly grown popular in recent years–and are intended to function as works of art rather than usable texts–the 1980 Deseret Book facsimile stands alone in its combination of quality and affordability.