The Bindery Blog

All things iPhone Cases, Apple Watches, Leather Bags, Tech News, and More

  • A Book by Its Cover, an Ode to the eBook’s PR Problem

    The internet has been abuzz lately with news proclaiming the death of ebooks as an industry. Start with a little decline in sales, mix in a bit of predatory pricing, and garnish with the lack of evolution in the medium, and you have a recipe that seems to spell disaster for ebooks. Or does it?

    As with most matters on the internet, dissenting opinions abound. Indeed, the writing is on the wall, even while the future of literary consumption itself remains unwritten. So what is going on? Is this more than just a PR crisis for a burgeoning industry?

    A Book By Any Other Name…

    Growing up, a lot of us read voraciously. At any age, stepping into a used book store was to step into a world of possibilities. It’s a way to kill an afternoon in a socially accepted fanciful manner. There is much to be said for the experience of reading a paper book: the dog ears, the rumpled edges, the trusty weight, crinkled spines that crack as they are opened, the musty scent of the pages, the texture and taste they leave on your fingers. It is visceral, real, nostalgic, and you can trust it. But you have heard all this before, likely as part of the obituary of the eBook industry being espoused today. Is there really any place left for books in today’s tech age?

    The magic in the pure physicality of paper books is something that has been opined through the ages. Alonso of Aragon, noted that there were just about 4 good things that came with old age: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old books to read. When your eyes graze the lines of the printed crafted prose, when you turn a page, you leave behind a wisp of emotion, a hint of yourself, an experience all your own. Then, when you finally finish the book and place it on your shelf it becomes a time capsule, a piece of you preserved in time. Years later that portal is still open for a reread. To do so is to become Marty McFly in his DeLorean, to take a trip with the Doctor in the TARDIS. You meet yourself again, your old self, liberating those wisps of memory from between the pressed pages. You can see yourself from afar, and reflect upon how far you have come. But is that unique to paper books?

    That is one side of the coin, from the perspective of the reader. What about the writer? Writers that have toiled with ink and pencil, still do, only they come out with a refined product that can be dispersed to audiences unimagined in times past. There is now a marketplace for independent writers to self-publish and break into a literary world that never existed before. They can write and self-publish their stories no matter the market potential, or the coldly calculated estimations of publishing companies. They have the freedom to write what they want, price it as they wish, and answer to nobody in the process, except their own creative demands. But does that just mean inundation?

    The Freedom To Unplug

    These days, to break away from a screen for a little while, to disconnect, and rest your eyes upon something that doesn’t glow, is a rarity. A book won’t pop up with Instagram notifications, calendar reminders, and mail inbox numbers. It won’t quietly beckon you to google a completely unrelated matter when there is a lull in thought. It just is what it is, paper and ink. No more, no less. That simplicity is refreshing to the soul, much the way a breath of fresh air and a campfire marshmallow is to weary city folk out in the woods for the weekend. But then the weekend ends. And they go back to the city and its comforts.

    This is the way of eBooks. As much as there is to be said about the feel of a book, there is something to be said for reading about a book online and, in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee, have it downloaded on your device ready to be consumed. There is a new-to-our-generation magic in browsing from your pillow open-source sites like gutenberg.org and discovering a random literary work with the press of a button that may or may not change your life forever. It is liberating to carry your entire library in the palm of your hand as you travel, commute, and move about. But now we often face interruptions in our journey of escapism. We can easily be dragged into the material world with notifications and pings.

    The Fix: It's All About The Container

    There is one line from the article Craig Mod wrote that really sticks:

    “Containers matter. They shape stories and the experience of stories. Choose the right binding, cloth, trim size, texture of paper, margins and ink, and you will strengthen the bond between reader and text. Choose badly and the object becomes a wedge between reader and text.”

    That particular statement resonates as an answer to eBooks’ PR problem. As the future continues pouring in on us from all angles, like a leaky canoe in a downpour, technology keeps changing faster than we can keep up with, we don’t dare get attached anymore. We don’t dare fall in love with a smart phone or a particular device because in 6-8 months a new one will replace it. We live in a disposable culture of cold steel and glass where my phone looks exactly like your phone, swipe left for something new, everybody wants your attention with pushes and pokes and texts and tweets, while we’re all staring at the same retina display screen. No wonder people are feeling the craving to disconnect for a bit and enjoy the stability and mind space that paper books provide.

    Something Borrowed, Something Blue...

    What is most needed in this age of “what is new,” is a bit of “what is old.” By simply improving the vessel with which we consume our ebooks in, we can improve the overall reading experience. Numerous companies have caught on to this and are designing with these principals in mind. There are tablet/smartphone covers that look like books, covers that look like leather journals, and covers who fuse both modalities with the modern. And it is catching on.

    As phones get slimmer, so does the imprint they leave on us as we touch them. We are all enough acquainted with the hand wringing process of the post iPhone purchase case hunt. That’s why cases are largely moving away from being just a mere protective item, and into being a statement. Cases, when done right, turn a piece of cold, albeit brilliant, product design into a personal, warm, and visceral experience. And people are paying more and more for that experience. Sure, cheap cases will always have a place, but high quality materials, like leather, wood, and cloth are being sourced more and more in iPhone cases, iPad cases, and slowly in the Android case market as well. That's a trend that will continue growing regardless of phone size or shape.

    If you are, or once were, an avid eBook reader because of the convenience, but maybe you miss the feel of a book, or you just know something is off about reading an eBook, try finding a case that feels like home to you. Maybe it looks like a book or a journal. Maybe it doesn’t. But you will know when you find it. Put your phone into airplane mode when you can, and dive into that book, undiverted from the pull of the world. Then, you just may find that over time, even as phones and tablets change, your reading experience doesn’t.

    Remember, it’s all about the container.

  • Nothing Cool is Flat

    Mr. PQ and I have taken a break from all the iPhone 6S hoopla to travel to the Great state of Texas to convene a meeting with our marketing team.  Intent on best serving our customers by keeping them up to date on all things Pad & Quill.

    Mr. PQ, seeking some mental motivation, ventured to the hotel’s snack bar and returned with a box of Cracker Jacks.  iPhones and MacBook pushed aside, we embarked on a philosophical conversation about Cracker Jack prizes.  Back before choking hazards were found in every thing Froot Loops to Kinder Eggs, there were real prizes in cereal and Cracker Jack that would inspire civil war in most families.

    Our conversation turned nostalgic as we recalled the best prizes like the little parachute man, super balls and decoder rings.

    Mr. PQ got a sticker.  Not just any sticker, a Toronto Blue Jays sticker.  But we are in Texas where the Houston Astros are on the verge of cinching a American League playoff spot and the Texas Rangers have already sewn up the AL West division.

    We concurred that prizes simply aren’t what they used to be, causing Stephen to quip, “Nothing cool is flat”.  Hence the reason he still carries an iPhone 3g.  I on the other hand was happy to jump to the candy bar style of the iPhone 4.  What woman doesn’t want a reminder to buy chocolate every time they open their bag?  Now with iPhone 6 or 6s, who needs Cracker Jack, I’ll get my own darn prize ☺

    Mrs PQ


  • iPhone 6S line waiting

    Mr PQ has left me to stand in the iPhone 6S line at our local Apple Store, because, in case you haven't heard iPhone 6s and 6s Plus arrives at retail stores tomorrow. I haven't been much of a line stander since he had us queue up in our sleeping bags and overnight on the sidewalk to snag an iPhone 4S in 2011. I had to hide my shoes inside my bag so they wouldn't "walk" away in the middle of the night, and I'm still scrapping gum off my bag.

    Well there is no line as yet, so I'm off to run the lakes, because after all, what Mr. PQ doesn't know won't hurt him.

    Mrs PQ


  • Good Idea, Naked Idea

    Good Idea: maximize your time by fitting in a workout between training clients.

    Bad Idea: Leave your work out clothes at home.

    Good Idea: Decide to do your weight sets in spite of wearing your personal trainer uniform pants. Should work, you move in multiple planes while training clients, how is this any different?

    Bad Idea: Going with “should work”

    Good Idea: Walking lunges with arms extended overhead and holding a 35 pound weight to build stabilizer muscles for hiking and rock climbing.

    Good Idea: Listening to a sweeping rendition of Con Te Partiro on your iPhone 6 while doing said lunges.

    Bad Idea: pay no attention to static sound that has never been present in this piece before.

    Good Idea: don’t allow distractions to interrupt your workout, keep lunging.

    Bad Idea: Keep lunging until you realize that “static noise” was really your work pants splitting open from crotch to knee, exposing you for all the world to see.

    Good Idea: remembering to throw on jammers when you got dressed as a little extra insurance against wardrobe malfunction.
    Insurance that anticipates wardrobe malfunction is priceless when walking down the hallway at the Y with your leg gaping out of your work pants.

    The other day I read a great article at The Loop Insight about Apple iPhone 6s upgrade program. I’d summarize UP like this: The iPhone 6s upgrade program is essentially like leasing a car, except Apple provides the insurance against theft or damage via Apple Care and you can opt up to newer model without breaking your lease. Seems like a win win for Mr. PQ who can’t resist an technology upgrade.

    Mr. PQ also can’t resist redundantly dropping his iPhone 6 Plus from his desk, the table, his Jeep, all just to prove the point to me that our new leather Traveler Case for iPhone 6s/6s Plus is indestructible.

    Being trained in the detection of concussions, I would highly recommend the average person not drop their iPhone repeatedly to prove this point, Apple Care or not. An iPhone has no neck muscles and doesn’t wear a bite guard, so I can just see it’s poor little brains getting squished around with each impact like it’s been popped by an NFL linebacker.

    Being popped by an NFL linebacker is a bad idea, just ask Peyton Manning.

    Buying a gorgeous leather iPhone 6s/6s Plus from Pad & Quill is quite possibly the best good idea you could have all day.


    Mrs PQ

  • Mom, I want your iPhone 6S

    “Mom, can I see your phone?”
    “Mom, how is your iPhone?”

    Normally when one of my kids wants my iPhone it is either to play a video game that requires a larger screen like the iPhone 6S or it is because they want to enact some treachery on their technology deficient mother, like planting “shortcut” bombs into my keyboard or switching the home screen to something unseemly.

    However, with the pending arrival of iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, two fortunate Quills are getting an upgrade as the release of each new Apple model generates a succession of hand me downs that rivals the excitement of opening day for Star Wars,The Force Awakens. Oh, who am I kidding? Mr. PQ will have us lining up for the midnight of the midnight showing in December.

    The fortunate kiddo who inherits my iPhone 6 is diligently insuring that it is well tended. Dear, it’s been in a Luxury Pocketbook since day 1, and it is in immaculate condition, except for the fact that it replaces the word “four” with a naughty word every time I type it, but I’ll leave you to figure that out.

    While we await Star Wars and the new Apple Tv to arrive in stores, we have iPhone 6s and 6s Plus cases to make ready. Our design team has been busy crafting new cases and reengineering old ones and we are pretty darn thrilled with what has evolved.

    The Traveler for iPhone 6/6 Plus and for iPhone 6s/6 (you have no idea how nice it is that the “S” models keep their original body) takes all the great features of our original bumper case, and rolls them into a rugged, clean-cut case that defies drops, and drags (but not drips-it isn’t quite otter proof).

    Sadly, none of our cases are water-bottle proof as Mr. PQ discovered last week when he left his iPhone 6 Plus on the seat with a open squirt top, it slowly dripped the life out of his phone; this made for an anguished heir until we discovered Dad had Apple Care. #abrandnewphoneareyoukiddingme?!

    On the Customer Service front, we would like to announce that all of our gorgeous leather wallet and sleeve style cases will accommodate an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. Did I mention how happy we are the dimensional specs didn’t change?

    So, after you finish mentally downloading and sorting the span of data from Apple Event, pop over to the Pad & Quill store and commence accessorizing. For all you hand me down-ees, nothing says brand freakin “new” like a gorgeous Pad & Quill iPhone case, so live it up with some coupon love from Mrs. PQ. (can we have a #youngersibling coupon for 10% off iPhone 6/6P inheritors?)

    For 10% off any order, Coupon Code: MOMS6


    Mrs PQ


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