I have been wanting a cute "book" bag for a while! I always really liked the look of them but actually could not find one I liked enough to buy. A lot had to do with Alice in Wonderland motifs or something fairy-tale like that wasn't subtle enough for my personal tastes as I was hoping to find something I could not only wear with lolita fashion but also in normal clothes. Although I did want one in a more neutral color I instantly LOVED these magic books bags I spotted when I came across the shop MichikoCat on Taobao!
The bags were on preorder so I had to wait some time in order for everything to be processed. I was kind of over zealous with my purchases and, being unable to choose which one to buy, I bought all three colors they were available in with the idea I could easily be rid of whichever one I didn't want in the end. I love the blue one most of all due to the color scheme of blue and silver- a combination I have always been attracted to. I mostly bought the red one to use as a functional prop when I cosplay Jibril from "No Game No Life" as her character art has her holding a red-toned book ( I also really love functional costume pieces like this ^.^;) but I knew it could easily function as a statement piece of sorts since the gold and red combo is really eye-catching!
The texture of these purses is really lovely. I would say they are a faux suede and don't have a very thick "pile" to them. They're actually rather pleasant to the touch and I love the "old book" look it gives the bag. The "natural" color is a big hard to describe. I use the term "natural" as that is what the color was described as. It has a pinkish tone to it that reminds me lot of a pale human skintone; I very nearly wish the embossing on this book was done in a blood red lol. I think it would have been a nice morbid touch but may not have self well if they did so. Regardless the materials used in making these bags are really nice! They didn't have a strong smell most common with bags I buy via Taobao and were in great conditon construction wise.
Each bag came with two straps you could connect to the sides via D-rings and clips. There is a longer strap for going over your shoulder and a shorter one for, what I assume, would make this into a more hand-bag style. Considering I'm a shoulder-strap kinda gal I have only ever used this style with these bags and can't speak much for the shorter strap. The hardware on the straps and bags are really solidly made and don't feel flimsy one bit! I've managed to carry a LOT of heavy stuff in these bags and I never felt worried about the metal giving out. I DID find it interesting that despite the blue bag's metallic print being silver all the findings were gold. I suppose this is to streamline production and the like but I somewhat feel it's a bit strange since there are two metallics on the one bag. I wouldn't say it detracts from the overall presentation though as I doubt most people will even notice such a thing.
In the end I'm really happy with these purses~ I'm on the fence keeping the peach one and may sell it off but I do think that these are some of the best book style bags I've found. And considering they're from Taobao I honestly didn't expect such a quality product! I really wish the shop was still offering these purses as I would tell EVERYONE to go and buy them if they want cute book purses!