That Literary Bag Everyone Wants But No One Can Get Is Finally On Sale To The Public

by Kerri Jarema

It's no secret that readers love a good literary tote bag to haul the truly excessive amount of books they're lugging around at any given time. But not all totes are created equal — at least, that's definitely the case when it comes to the highly coveted Riverhead Books tote bag. The bag, emblazoned with the name of Penguin Random House imprint, has been cheekily (but sort of seriously?) labelled as the literary "trophy bag," and a recent piece on Electric Lit titled "11 Highly Literary Tote Bags" broke down just exactly why these bags happen to be so special: the red, white, and blue bookish bags are only available to publishing industry insiders. I mean, everyone knows that casual readers use New Yorker totes, right? In an article on New York magazine's website, Katy Schneider and Lauren Levy wrote, "Associate publisher of the Penguin Random House imprint Jynne Martin likes to send this bag to carefully selected friends in media." So not only have the bags never been made available for the average reader to purchase, you've actually got to be a pretty special literary insider to snag one.

But if you want to add this bag to your collection of literary totes, your time has finally come, book-lovers. A freshly redesigned limited-edition Riverhead Books tote bag is now available for purchase on their website for $20. And with one of these on your shoulder, you are guaranteed to be the envy of all your book-loving friends at every beach day, picnic, and backyard barbecue for the rest of the summer season.

Riverhead Books

Riverhead Books Tote Bag, $20, Riverhead Books

Designed by award-winning Riverhead art director Helen Yentus, the famed tote has retained the classic open-book design of the original, while embracing modern sunshiny (and millennial approved, or at least approved by this millennial) colors like pink, yellow, bright blue, and black. It's more than roomy enough for event the chunkiest paperback with extra space for notebooks, pens, bookmarks and maybe, you know, the two of three other books you're flipping through right now.

The bag is listed as limited-edition so there's no telling how long they'll be available. Head over to the Riverhead Books website right now and throw down $20 for a taste of what it means to be a quote-unquote literary insider.