Put me into a car, and I turn into a window-watcher. It’s a product of a childhood spent 350 miles from my extended family, with a father who liked ‘the scenic route’. Drive up and down the UK, and you will realise some things look identical from South to North, East to West and slant-wise over.
One of those things is the primary school book bag. These things came into being 20 years ago. I know, because I was 7 or 8, and everybody in the school was given one. Mine is somewhere in the loft, (those flog-stuff-from-the-attic programmes? You would believe everyone in the UK had valuable treasures hidden between the rafters. My house is filled with priceless stuff, like primary school book bags and gnawed-on recorders. We couldn’t face a wade through before we moved across the country, so we boxed it all up and made sure to buy a house with a decent loft.)
It’s strange that canvas tote bags are sold in their masses. You can fit a couple of books in, which is all well and good until it rains. Then the books need wrapping in a plastic bag to prevent them from turning to mush. It is easy to spot people with paper wonders in their reusable bags. They’re the ones clutching the tops closed, with a hand under the bottom to keep the books straight.
Those primary book bags did their job. They sealed at the top, kept the contents dry and, so long as you didn’t over stuff them, kept the books straight. Add a shoulder strap and they might have been the perfect bag. Stamp one with the Hogwarts crest and I’d be sold.
A satchel is another option. Predecessor to the velco-stripped book bag, and definitely higher in the fashion stakes. I’m not convinced about ruck-sacks – overload them with books and you get back ache, and you have to buy a special cover to keep them waterproof.
Here are a some bags I’ve found online. What do you reckon? Have you found the ideal book bag? What makes it perfect?