100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

My Favorite Piece of Book Swag in the History of Book Swag

I’m not here today to blow your mind with some list of outrageous list of promotional items that sometimes arrive with books. A Fuse #8 Production has that corner well covered. Very well covered.

I am here today to say that for all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the release of some books, the most powerful promotions have one thing in common – usefulness after the fact. This once again was proven by the promo item I want to talk about today. Get ready to not have your mind blown (and rather give one of those squinty slow nods of appreciation), because here it is, my favorite piece of swag ever:

My humble Kokila canvas zipper pouch (click here to learn about Kokila – a new imprint doing great things). This little bag is the best for these reasons.

  1. It’s canvas, and not some other synthetic fabric or (god forbid) plastic.
  2. A sturdy zipper that works.
  3. It looks nice. The logo is cool – bold but not gaudy (click here to see how the logo was created – it’s a really cool post). The pattern on the other side is a nice touch.
  4. It’s not a tote bag. No offense to tote bags, but – wait, you know what? OFFENSE TO TOTE BAGS. MAJOR OFFENSE.
  5. It’s useful. When books come in fancy boxes and have lots of glossy cardboard and trap doors and stuff, it’s fun for a moment, but then that moment passes and you’re putting that packaging in the recycle bin thinking “That’s pretty wasteful”.

Here’s to useful swag.

Bonus! Here’s what’s in my great Kokila zipper pouch:

From top to bottom, left to right:

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I agree. The competition for Best 2019 Swag is tough this year, but this one is certainly in the top running. I keep it in a drawer at work. It’s almost too pretty to use.

  2. Ha! I snagged one too – they are sharp!

  3. Lisa Von Drasek says:

    So sad that I don’t have one.

  4. Also my favorite. I use it for my signing pens when I do bookstore talks or school visits. Besides the great design: Sturdy. STURDY, STURDY, STURDY!