Strand Bookstore is taking the idea of the “status tote” to a whole new level and is now selling a special Bottega Veneta limited edition black tote back for $1,500.
I hate it.
Yes, we here at Lit Hub are definitely part of the Literary Tote Industrial Complex, which traffics in superficial in-group status symbols; but unlike the Strand, we do not set our tote bags at a price* that none of our employees can afford. If this were fiction, I’d say that an exorbitantly priced luxury item from an iconic institution beloved for its bargain-browsable sidewalk shelves is a little on the nose in symbolizing life in a city increasingly livable only by the very rich. But here we are.
Perhaps this is a good time to remind everyone that the current owner of Strand Bookstore is a multi-millionaire who has invested in the single biggest threat facing independent bookstores today: Amazon. Yes, you read that right.
In summary, please do not buy this tote bag.
*They’re not actually for sale, but you can get your hands on one over here.