Do you have a good study Bible? If not, get one! There are many good ones out there, just make sure you have one! I loaned my ESV (English Standard Version) Study Bible to a neighbor for the past two weeks and I was anxious to get it back!
The ESV Study Bible requires a wheel barrow if you plan to carry it to church! LOL !! I use to carry it in a large cloth bag, but decided against it - just too bulky. I would spread it out on the pew and go to work with my pen and highlighters!
The ESV is a "Word for Word" translation of the original texts. The NIV (New Interntaional Version) is also a great translation but is more of a "Thought for Thought" translation. Also, the NIV is up for revision in 2011. I am not a big fan of the Thompson Chain Reference as most of the study aids are in the back where as you will find most of the ESV study aids right with the scriptures. I have previously owned 3 Thompson Chain References.
The important thing, is to get into the Word - and study. Remember, try to get a good "Word for Word" translation - paraphrases are okay for general thought reading but are not the best for study applications. Just my thoughts! Now I need to go study!! I have A Sunday School lesson to prepare for that I teach. I love my Burgundy, genuine leather ESV study Bible - cost was around 60 bucks, the hardback is around 30 bucks.