Book in hand. Or bag.

Whenever I go anywhere anymore, I carry my regular bag* as well as a canvas tote bag that holds two notebooks (that have no real distinction between them, I just have two for some reason), a crossword puzzle and a book along with the bits and bobs that tend to find their ways into bags and never find their way out.

The other week, I was walking with my boyfriend who offered to carry my tote bag for me, which I handed over gladly as my shoulder was beginning to ache. He commented “what do you have in here that’s so heavy?” for of course, my book that week was a rather thick hardback, so it wasn’t the most lightweight of reading material.

“Why do you need a book today?”

“I always take a book with me, you know that. Just in case.”

Since we had an agenda for pretty much the entire day, it took some explaining to convince him that I needed to carry an extra bag because who knows how long it would be until I could get back to my book. No, I wasn’t planning on being bored or having much down time, but you never know.

Sure, sometimes I lug a book around all day and never once even consider opening it. Either I don’t have the time, or I’d rather finish that crossword puzzle that’s been niggling at me all day. But I must have one on me!

The answer here is, clearly, a bigger everyday bag, and I am pining after several (in conjunction with Lauren’s post recently, maybe you could get your book lovin’ friends a really nice bag that neatly holds daily reading material, too…), but I’m also looking for other answers and opinions.

Am I crazy to need to have a book on me at all times? If not, what other options are there besides an electronic reading device? I have them and I don’t love them. If you know of any magical solutions (or if you have any reasons to call me out for being silly) I’m really interested in hearing!

Until then, I’ll be a cumbersome bag lady and smile through the pain. For the books. Doing it for the books.


*I hate the word “purse” for some reason. “Pocketbook” is a little better, but not great and “handbag” is just too fussy. But I guess I am referring to a purse in this case.

3 Responses to Book in hand. Or bag.

  1. Joelle says:

    Well…this might not be a very popular answer here, but I’ve pretty much stopped lugging a book around in favour of just…well…observing things around me. I used to always carry a book, and at every opportunity, I’d have my nose in it, but now, not so much. I am certain it’s improved my writing to be more aware of my surroundings and the people I wouldn’t normally see, but also, it just gives my brain a word break. And my shoulders a break!

  2. Kate says:

    I didn’t even know the other meaning of “purse” until I entered this decade, and I’m not that innocent, to quote Ms. spears.

    Anyways, go on with your book loving self. I found these weather proof messenger bags while I was in school, I think the company’s called timbuk2. You can find girly versions; mine’s decorated in plastic covered newspaper clipping. There’s a pocket for everything and room enough for your books.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

  3. Kay says:

    Well if you’re totally against an electronic device for this (I usually have a couple ebooks on my phone just in case I’m in a very dire situation!) then novellas might also be a good choice! I have a bunch from Melville House, and I tend to have at least one in my bag as an emergency read. A book of poetry, a literary magazine, or something similar might also be a good choice! It’s the type of thing you wouldn’t grab off your shelf for a long evening of reading, but it’ll save you when your friend is running late and you have to stay entertained for a bit.

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