Friday, December 14, 2012


So I was checking out Etsy the other day, and I ran across a site that makes and sells book purses.  Have you guys seen these?  You take a hardcover book and re-purpose it as a handbag.
My first reaction was delight.  I love books, I love purses--the perfect marriage, yes?  But then I got to thinking about it. How are those purses made?  Oh, that's right.  The books are destroyed.  Their pages cut out and discarded (or recycled), leaving the shell behind.

Now, a book is more than it's physical presence.  The story lives beyond the printed word, and no amount of physical manipulation will truly destroy the book.  It's just...  It's a book.  Something that is, dare I say, almost sacred to me?  Destroying a book like that feels awfully close to book burning, even though my rational mind knows they're nothing alike.

On the other hand, a book purse is an unusual thing.  I'm sure it would inspire a lot of comments.  Is that such a bad thing?  Maybe someone sees your book purse and is intrigued.  Why did you pick that book? What is it about that story that made you want to carry the book around all the time, advertising your literary taste?  Maybe they get inspired to pick up the book and get lost in the story.  Maybe you bring another reader into the fold....

I still haven't decided what I think about these bags.  Unusual? Undoubtedly.  A good thing?  I just don't know.

What do you think?  Am I being irrational?  Would you buy a book purse (or do you have one already)?


  1. A book purse? Hmmm, is right. Books are precious; then again, they are often recycled. If an author can gain followers through creative advertising like book purses, I'm all for it. Better than burning or mulching--but passing on a book to other eager readers is better. :)

  2. I agree--I'd much rather hand a book out than use it as a bag.

  3. Interesting...

    I'm a bit late to the party, but I guess if the purse was already made and was a book I loved, I'd probably buy it. Then again, I'm not a big purse person so it might sit on my shelf rather than get carried around.

    1. Hi Jen,

      Yeah, if it was already made the damage has been done, yes?

      Somehow I think if it was a plaid cover you might carry it... :)


Got something to say? Share with me! :)