“ Manufacturer: Bagabrook / Type: Grab Bag „
As a massive book geek with a love of both stationary and bags, Bagabook was a must have the minute I laid eyes on it. Combining three of my favourite things, I practically drooled as I came across the website (www.bagabook.com) selling this gorgeous invention earlier this year. Bagabook is exactly as it says, a bag for your book but with a usefulness you probably didn't even realise you needed until presented with it. Rather than just being a vehicle to carry, it becomes incorporated into your book with pockets to slide your book cover into and a wrap around design, as well as extra features.
The bagabook comes in a range of styles from classic, to patent faux croc and more quirkier patterns and can also come as a 'handbag' style with an over shoulder strap, or a briefcase style with short carry handle. After a good hour of debate, I decided originally on a faux croc bag in red patent priced at £19.99, although I had been sorely tempted by the very pretty shabby chic floral design at £24.99. I placed my order very easily at the bagabook website after being convinced by glowing testimonials, paid by paypal and awaited my free 3-5 day shipping.
But the next day on returning home from work at 6.30pm I found two messages on my answering machine from Bagabook asking me to get in touch as there was a problem with my order. I'd just decided to leave it until the next day given that it was now out of usual office hours when my phone rang again. I spoke to a very pleasant and helpful man who informed me apologetically that the Bagabook I'd ordered was unfortunatly out of stock, but as a courtesy i could choice any other design, including the slightly more expensive ones for the same price I'd already paid. I immediately jumped at the kind offer and chose that gorgeous flowery design. I was very impressed with this extremely good service, it would have been far easier for them to email me but clearly found it important to speak to me personally.
My Bagabook arrived just two days later and was no less prettier in real life as it was on screen. It's made from a very high quaility and durable material with a water proof coating, offering protection for those, like me, who like their books kept pristine! At the back there's a handy zip pocket that will fit a thin mobile phone and some spare change, while inside there's a card holder for storing either a travel or library card as well as a pen holder for making notes (either in your book or alternatively using Bagabook as a notebook holder) Of course, a ribbon bookmark comes as standard and being permanently attached, it's always on hand.
So, my Bagabook looked great and I was very pleased with it's design, style and quality. But how would it stand up functionally? I grabbed the nearest paperback, which was a standard size and around 400 pages and slipped its covers into the Bagabooks pockets. It fit perfectly and while it does make holding the book ever so slightly more cumbersome, page turning works every bit as well as without. This is perfect for just popping out instead of taking a bag. Or even as a purse inside a large bag because we've all had that thing happen...where your book is in your bag and gets scuffed, creased, bits of old sweets stuck to it etc...right? Now, I'm pretty pedantic over the care of my books and hate that happening, so for me Bagabook is a godsend. I do personally tend to use it inside a bag rather than as a bag itself . It's proved it's worth by keeping my books squeeky clean and new. It can also be a discreet way for those who may be reading something on the train or bus they don't want the rest of the passengers to see. Yes, you can read Fifty Shades and no-one else will know. (Though why you'd want to is a completely different review...)
Bagabook isn't completely without it's problems however. While the magnetic clip fastner allows you to adjust Bagabook to fit the width of your book, it doesn't hold more than standard size paperback and is no good for larger trade paperbacks or hardbacks. You can fit your Kindle into one of the pockets (and I presume other e-readers) but without any way of securing it, I'm not comfortable doing this. I have noticed Bagabook are now making a design specifically for Kindle which looks great. If you mainly use an e-reader I'd recommend looking at this rather than the book design.
Apart from that, the Bagabook is pretty perfect and even those little complaints aren't great big deals...who wants to lug hardbacks around anyway? It would make the most ideal gift for a book lover. It's quirky, functional and fun. I know I would've been over the moon to receive one. While it could be seen as a bit frivolous and a novelty, I've found it does have practical uses and over the last six months have used it in my huge bag as a purse-come-book protector. It's stood up to its quality claims and still looks as good as the day I bought it, making it's price tag very reasonable. I'm confident in recommending both the product and the service from Bagabook. Now to decide which I'd like next!