Monday, May 11, 2015

...a BOOK clutch REVIEW & an intervention...



This this started as a review of RoseAndThatch’s Dracula Book Purse Clutch (leather bound book and vintage After Five evening bag with a convertible handle) and somehow has morphed into a I-need-an-intervention post. But first, let me start with the RoseAndThatch Etsy post production.


The description from the Etsy site:
A literary classic, this unique book clutch purse features a new leather bound edition of Dracula by Bram Stoker. Gorgeously printed cover is in black with blood red and silver embossing.

I construct my book purses by permanently attaching a genuine book cover to a vintage purse. The vintage purse I have paired with 'Dracula' is black satin made by After Five. The interior is black satin and features a matching attached coin purse. Clasp is a goldtone dome shape. The unique satin covered handle in a rectangular shape is convertible so that it can be tucked inside and the purse carried as a true clutch. The purse will arrive in its own hand made fleece dust bag.

This would make the perfect accessory for that special evening out when all you really need is a phone, lipstick, keys and a credit card. Would also make a very special gift for a book lover, reader, or favorite teacher.

Please keep in mind that the inner part of this purse is vintage.... there may be minor imperfections due to age. However, I do not use purses that have an odor or are not in good working condition. Matching the size of the book to a vintage purse is a tedious process... no two are exactly alike.

Also, as a note for all you book lovers (as I am), I only use either new editions or old editions that have damaged pages. I will not desecrate a valuable book.


The cost was $87 but after finding a description of how to DIY these suckers (e.g. find a vintage purse and a book cover that matches perfectly), I decided that this girl works so that she can buy herself ridiculous treasures that she loves.

This also isn’t my first book clutch (mutters, it isn’t even my first Dracula book clutch. For my review of my P.S. Besitos Dracula clutch, click here). It that review, I mention that the first time I read Dracula (and I read it and teach it annually from a Norton Critical Edition) it was a library book.  I’m sorry to write that I wish I had taken the book, lied saying that it was lost, and paid the library fee. That book has become legendary in my head and I had no idea back then that I was going to grow up and be Me… the same Me I was back then basically but back then I thought the adults naturally lost their sense of fun. Anyway, I digress.

A few days ago, I was on the English Department’s Facebook group bantering with other ENG professors and colleagues from other departments about having us all coordinate our graduation purses. We were joking but then it became a thing. We needed book purses! Several of us own book purses and hardly use them because goodness, you can’t fit much in a book purse. One of my colleagues posted one of RoseAndThatch’s book clutches and I started browsing their Etsy page when I found this beautiful cover.

First, I love that there’s actually a vintage clutch in there. My only complaint that I have about this purchase is that I can hardly fit my cell phone, a compact, and tissues let alone my (janitor-size) keys and my (mega) wallet. My husband keeps reminding me that no matter the size of purse I have, I will overfill it. He’s right but still. How in the world did women get by with such small handbags?!? Well, they didn’t have iPhones stuffed in them for starters. But this is no reflection on RoseAndThatch; this is just a commentary about purses of that time.

I realize that the cover is a modern edition. I actually like the juxtaposition of the vintage bag and a modern book cover. It’s a Barnes & Noble Collectibles Edition but I think it’s unique and has some amazing details! Whoever originally designed this cover (and the back!!! OMG the back!!!) gets mad props from me. The only reason I never bought a variety of their classics in this series is that the typeface varies by book. That’s annoying so I don’t mind if she shred the pages that were between the cover. What can I say… I’m picky like that.

A B&N edition cost $22 and a vintage handbag costs at least that much. Honestly, I would have ended up spending much more for sure if I had attempted to make this myself.

This is going to be one of those bags that I want to use all the time but can actually only use it on special occasions when I have my fella along to carry my keys… or when I’m attending our university graduation and can just stash my office keys in my bag.

Overall, I love it. Dracula is a pretty thick book… nearly 400 pages. I think I would need an extended edition of Shogun to fit everything I need into a bag… but that isn’t why I bought this.  I love it and encourage you to check out her other Etsy items. 

Now a brief cry for help for an intervention-- I LOVE book decor. I have about 70 fake books (you know the kinds you can stuff knickknacks in!), a chest that looks like a stack of books, a table with a stack-of-books base, and a tiny cabinet that has faux books on the front. I've sworn off my fake book buying but it seems that now I've transferred this slight obsession to book clutches. 





14 comments:

  1. But have you seen pictures of the book staircases?

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    1. I just had someone post that on my Facebook wall last night. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I have carpet on my stairs.

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  2. Oooh, those purses are so lovely! Great post, now I think I need some old books as accessories too. :D

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    1. JADE! Johnathan and I were just talking about you. I told him I've been awful and need to send you an email to see how you're transition back home has been.

      Now I need a purse for my tiny purses :p

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  3. Oh no, those are gorgeous! Luckily i know i could not fit all my stuff in, so I won't be too tempted!

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  4. That purse is so cute! Thanks for the review and the link :-)

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    1. Absolutely! Consider me an enabler :D

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  5. Thank you so much for featuring my book purse creation! As far as obsessions go, (mine is antique jewelry), collecting fake books isn't so bad. But I think I have a cure! Have hubby build you floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall bookshelves for your own cozy library... complete with a sliding ladder, comfy leather sofa, and of course, real books!

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    1. I'm an ENG professor so I have both real books and my faux decor books... and I'm married to an MFA writer so he has more books... and he's a gamer so we have tons of games and gaming books. Oy! Simplify-simplify is simply not in our vocabulary.

      I appreciate your labor of love! I'll try to take pictures of all of us ENG faculty with our book handbags.

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  6. Oh wauw, it looks so pretty. You can never have enough books.
    It reminds me of the bags from Restyle. They also have those bookshape bags, but then bigger.

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    1. Because you're clearly an enabler too :p They each about their own positives/negatives. The Betsey Johnson bag has a longer chain strap but it doesn't hold as much as one would think considering it's fairly thick. My biggest pet peeve is that the title on the book spine is upside down. I know; I know. This is ridiculous but it annoys me.

      The orange Dracula clutch holds the most but it doesn't have a handle. I could have added one but I didn't.

      This new Dracula clutch with the vintage bag has a handle but I wish it were just a wee bit larger so I could slide it down my arm.

      Okay, not I have to check out Restyle.

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  7. Great idea, just thinking what old books I have in the loft. Hummmm Family Bible???? that`s big.

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