Well, the idea may be literally novel, but some people say it’s not figuratively novel – we’ll get to that in a minute. All I know is that the Kate Spade Book of the Month Clutches appeal very strongly to the book nerd residing just below my surface.

I’ve always been a reader. I used to make forts out of couch cushions in my parents’ living room and read with a flashlight when I was in elementary school, and the habit never really abated, even though my days of fort-building are probably over. I took so many comparative lit classes in college that sometimes I’d have assigned reading of 18 to 20 novels in a single semester, and I had so many credits in the department by the time I graduated that it became my minor by accident. For me to see two of my greatest loves, handbags and books, come together in such a perfect way almost brings a tear to this old blogger’s eye.

I’ve recently decided to join Megs and Vlad in New York City this spring, and that means I likely won’t be able to continue moving from apartment to apartment with my many and varied bookcases, as I’ve done since college. I’m seriously considering the purchase of a Kindle, but there’s just something beautiful about an actual, physical book that these clutches capture perfectly.

The only problem (or the problem that some people are having, anyway) appears to be that Kate Spade isn’t the first company to do a book-inspired clutch. Indie designer Olympia Le-Tan came out with book clutches before Kate Spade did, and you can find any number of ladies with similar ideas selling their wares on Etsy.

Le-Tan’s clutches have a much different feel to me than Spade’s poppy, bright handbags, and as such, I have a hard time caring that the brand perhaps piggybacked on someone else’s inspiration (plus, there’s no indication that Le-Tan was indeed the first person to have this idea). To paraphrase Coco Chanel, those who think they have been inspired by no one must not have very long memories. Buy through Kate Spade for $325 apiece.

  • Kelsey

    They also have the totes for the books for sale! They are $175.

  • qudsia

    those are so cute! slightly impractical maybe, but cute nonetheless.

    ps, i couldnt figure out where to post this, but i just read that brad is leaving the rachel zoe project. OMG im in shock wright now! heres the link:
    http://omg.yahoo.com/news/rachel-zoe-and-brad-goreski-part-ways-is-bravos-the-rachel-zoe-project-over/48082;_ylt=AvmWzIXKtI7dL3GGWKxxYBgPpxx.;_ylv=3

  • shueaddict

    what s gem of a find, Amanda thank you, I am now in a big dilemma – which one to buy.

  • !!!

    hmm if she had a salinger one i’d buy it in a heart beat! but alas, i was never a fan of gatsby haha

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I’ve always really liked Gatsby, but a John Steinbeck or William Faulkner would put me over the top. There would be wonderful irony in having “As I Lay Dying” turned into a kicky little handbag.

  • michelle

    I saw this in the store last week…they’re SO CUTE!!! I’m really tempted to go out and buy one…

  • Amy

    i love the idea but i just dont think i could part with 325 for a novelty clutch. I like Olympia Le Tan, looks better, they have that old book look to them.

  • Mochababe73

    I love the idea. I am a teacher and an avid reader as well. My favorite book has always been Anna Karenina, The Scarlet Letter, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Those would have made great clutches as well.
    My favorite chick lit is Momzillas. I would love to have seen those made into bags.

  • 19yearslater

    I love these. They’re much cuter than the Pierre Le-Tan ones imho, those look like something I could make myself. The Importance of Being Earnest is one of my 3 favorite plays but I’d really love it if there were a Sense and Sensibility. That’s probably my favorite classic book.

  • luvhautecouture

    I want the great expectations one!! Will these go on sale… sighh

  • merve

    I have to agree that books and bags are my fave things in the world. I actually have a clutch that is like a magazine http://www.lulusvintage.com/2007/06/vintage-magazin.html
    But a book would be perfect,,,especially if they have a Count of Monte Cristo or a Rebecca or a Pride & Prejudice lying around.

    • Chris

      Merve, I love your choices for a classic clutch.

  • Chris

    As an avid reader, I love the idea.
    The great Gatsby – great, confusing and sad at the same time.
    The importance of being earnest – just hilarious and brilliant and light hearted. Very british.
    And I have never read great expectations.

    Oh, and I think these clutches are a great way to start a conversation. I have met interesting and funny people while reading a book in a park or on the underground or another public place. No kidding.

  • j

    The middle one reminds me of the Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album cover…i had to do a double take, when I first saw it!!

  • LZ

    Am I the only one that is bothered by the fact that Kate Spade is not owned by her anymore? Nothing more than fancy Liz Claiborne bags. :(

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      Very few brands are owned by their originators anymore, so with only a few exceptions, the same could be said for almost any luxury item out there.

  • Ramin

    While the idea may have been lifted it is inspired nonetheless, albeit a bit pricey. For someone to shell out this sort of money for such an item in this economy will require a deep affinity for the titles referenced in the design. I’m definitely a fan of customization and these products definitely fit a niche. The price point needs work however and I think there could eventually be more variety offered up in the titles to broaden the appeal!

  • Nola

    I think it’s kind of tacky. Like carrying something that screams “I can read!”

  • eye4style

    I saw this in store last week and they are SO darling. LOVE!

  • helen

    Cute. I love Kate Spade. (ipad)

  • Amy Mayfield

    They’re still being released. I just bought Emma at Nordstrom. They also had Romeo and Juliet, would love to see a complete list!