The Bindery Blog

  • Kindle Cover Protection: What Are Your Best Options?

    How many times have you dropped a book? Spilled water on it? Bent back the cover by accident? Now think about your Kindle. What happens if you drop it? Spill water on it? Scratch the screen? You might proudly display a well-loved book with tattered edges and a worn spine, but your Kindle deserves a little more protection.
    Kindles are a lot more expensive to replace than books, and if damaged, your Kindle might not be usable anymore. That's why it's a good idea to protect your device with a cover, especially if you read outside or carry the device in your bag with other stuff that could scratch it (like car keys).
    Here are some of your cover options for the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Paperwhite, and other models.

    1. Book Style Kindle Covers

    Love the Kindle but miss holding a book? You can have the best of both worlds with a book style Kindle cover. These covers provide the most protection and convenience. Your Kindle fits snugly into a frame inside the book, and the book closes to cover and protect the screen and buttons on the front of your Kindle. You can hold the book with both hands or fold back the front cover for one-handed reading.
    Book style covers for the Kindle are available with deluxe options like a book light, a built-in reading stand, and an on/off smart cover that turns your Kindle on when you open the case and turns it off when you close it. Since the case looks just like a book when closed, it also provides a unique form of theft protection.

    2. Sleeves

    A Kindle sleeve is similar to a laptop sleeve—just smaller. The Kindle tucks inside a padded pouch (usually nylon) that's just the right size for your device. Zip it closed for protection from dust and other hazards. The padded fabric absorbs some of the impact in case you drop your Kindle. The downside of using a sleeve is that since you need to take the Kindle out of the sleeve to read, your Kindle is only protected when you store it away.

    3. Skins

    A Kindle skin is more about style than protection. It lets you distinguish yourself from the pack of Kindle users and get a little bit of scratch protection for the back of your Kindle as an added bonus. The silicone skin fits snugly over the back of your Kindle and includes slots for the buttons on the front. The cover may lessen the impact of a drop slightly, but don't count on it.

    4. Kindle Screen Protectors

    Like your Kindle naked? You can still get a little protection from damage with a screen protector. Trying to read a book with a jagged scratch across the screen is distracting. For double whammy protection, use a screen protector and a Kindle case together—full protection for the front and back of your Kindle device.

    Kindle Covers and Screen Protectors

    Looking for a Kindle cover with style? Look no further than Pad & Quill's selection of cases for Kindle, including the Fire, Touch, and Paperwhite devices. Zagg screen protectors for Kindle are also available. They come with a lifetime warranty—free replacement for the life of your device.

  • Art and the mini

    We are VERY excited to announce our newest handmade cases for the iPad mini



    The Graduate Artist Series #1
    We are very excited to announce the first series of our handmade, locally designed and screen printed cases for the iPad Mini. 'The Road Home' and 'The Apple Tree'.


    The Octavo 


    Our classic Spanish bonded leather journal case for the iPad mini.  5 gorgeous interior colors to choose from and on sale during pre-order!



    The Graduate Edition


    A bindery cloth classic.  3 New Gorgeous color combinations to choose from and on sale during pre-order!


    As we have experienced with our Little Pocket Books, put your order in now as demand can cause delays in shipping!


    Mr and Mrs. PQ
    (Brian and Kari)

  • Is the iPhone 5 Worth the Upgrade?

    There's a lot of hype around the iPhone 5, but is it worth trading in your old iPhone? Take a look at some of the differences between the iPhone 5 and the 4S.

    Bigger screen

    One of the most obvious differences is the 4" screen, up from 3.5" in the 4S. A longer screen means less scrolling and more space to work with for apps, gaming, and video. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the iPhone 5 is heavier though. It's actually 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S and 18% thinner.

    Faster processor

    You can cut your download time in half with the new processor in the iPhone 5. Reviewers point out that the iPhone 5 processor is even faster than the new iPad. Smoother graphics and faster photo capture are two more benefits of a faster processor.

    Longer battery life

    The iPhone 5 battery life is longer than the 4S model, which allows for longer browsing and standby time before charging. The difference isn't huge, but if you're due for an upgrade anyway, it's another win for the iPhone 5.

    What else do I need to know?

    If you upgrade to the iPhone 5 from an older model, keep in mind that the dock connector and size have changed, which means the iPhone 5 might not work with your current accessories. Charging cables, docking speakers, and alarm clock docking stations may no longer be compatible. You can use an adaptor for most of your docking accessories, but the iPhone 5 won't fit quite the same, since the adaptor makes it taller.
    You'll also need a new iPhone 5 case, since older iPhone cases won't fit the new model. With a longer screen, you'll need a new case to fit it.
    Also, keep in mind that some users have complained about scratches on the iPhone 5, which comes with an aluminum coating. That means it's even more important to protect your phone with an iPhone 5 case. If it's too late and your phone is already scratched, a new iPhone case can cover those up at little cost.

    Upgrade your iPhone case

    Need a new case for your iPhone 5? Check out our Little Black Book or Little Pocket Book for scratch-free, worry-free protection.

  • Apple EarPod Review

    I was very curious what the new Apple EarPod's would be like.  Considering the fact they spent years and many millions developing this new design.  The last update was about 6 years ago and that was just an internal speaker change.  These headphones are totally different.


    The first thing I noticed was the strange shape and multiple speaker/sound outlet's.  The shape is said to fit the vast majority of ears.  The speaker positions and sound outlet's are designed to reproduce quality high and low sounds similar to more expensive headphones.


    Well along with my new iPhone 5 I received these headphones and was eager to try them out.  The first thing I noticed was the they do NOT fit like a typical round earbud.  Those are designed to 'stick' in your ear socket, EarPod's do not do this.  Instead they hang at the bottom of your lower ear canal.  The feeling is strange and your sure they are going to pop right out.  When you turn on music (I had the new Muse album playing) you also note that sound is designed to work with the gap that occurs in your ear instead of being 'stuck' in your ear.  The base and highs are amazing for a $30 headphone set.  My next question was if they would stay in your ear, especially if your running.  I figured that might be a problem with these as they just hang there.  Sure enough after several hours of running, my EarPod's have yet to fall out unless I turn very quickly and unnaturally.  As a runner, the one bummer on headphones is the cord slowly yanks them out of your ears, but the way Apple designed these when the cord is yanking at them, they go no where because they are secure in your lower ear canal.  Genius.


    My overall opinion is that these are the best sounding and functioning headphones for the price on the market.  That is a huge advantage for Apple over other headphone manufacturers.  The ability to produce 10's of millions of headphones with their iOS devices gives apple great supply chain leverage and allows for high quality audio headphones at very good pricing.

    Mr. PQ

    Image via

  • How to protect your iPhone from damage, loss, and theft

    If you're anxious about scratching up your new iPhone 5, you're not alone. Most smartphone owners with a new phone are worried about scratches, spills, cracked screens, and theft. The cost of buying or replacing a smartphone is enough to keep you up at night. But by taking a few extra steps to protect your phone, you can let yourself relax a little.
    Here are a few tips for protecting your new iPhone:

    1. Install a security app.

    One of the first steps you should take when you get your new iPhone 5 is to install an app that allows you to find your phone in case you lose it, lock the device remotely, and wipe the device clean in case of theft. It only takes a few minutes, but you'll be glad you did it.

    2. Use an iPhone case to prevent accidental damage.

    For added protection, use a full case that protects the screen as well as the body. A well-made iPhone case will last longer than your smartphone and prevent minor damage as well as the major stuff.
    Keep in mind that the less your case screams, "I'm an iPhone!" the better. The design for Pad & Quill's iPhone 5 cases is similar to a small leather notebook. No one would know that it holds a device worth several hundred dollars.
    iPhone cases for prior models will not work for the iPhone 5, since the screen is longer. If you upgraded from the iPhone 4 or earlier models, you'll need a new case for the iPhone 5.

    3. Keep track of your iPhone.

    We know—you can drive yourself crazy trying to keep track of your smartphone all the time. One of the best ways to stop losing your phone is to get in the habit of keeping it in the same place all the time.
    For example, when you're at home, leave it at the charging station. When you're out and about, keep it in your purse or in a pocket that's deep enough to keep the phone from falling out. If you make the effort to consciously keep track of your phone, eventually it will become a habit that you don't even need to think about.

    4. Purchase insurance for your mobile device.

    Accidents happen. So does theft. A mobile device insurance policy can give you peace of mind for the unexpected.
    Compare insurance plans between AppleCare, your mobile service provider, and independent companies such as eSurranty. Check what types of damage they cover, how often you can make a claim, the cost of coverage per year, and the amount of your deductible should something happen to your iPhone.
    Does the policy include lost and stolen iPhones? What about cracked screens or water damage? If they replace your phone, is it with a new or refurbished model? Know what's covered before you buy so that you don't end up with any surprises later on.

    Pad & Quill Case for iPhone 5

    Is your iPhone protected? Check out our selection of handcrafted iPhone 5 cases. Durability, style, and theft protection—all in one simple case.
    Image Credit: Michael Gil on flickr

  • iPad Mini is here

    This past Tuesday Apple announced the iPad Mini along with updates to the Macbook Pro's, iMac and Mac Mini lines.  We've decided that making a handmade case for the iMac might not be all that practical so were going to keep our focus on the iPad Mini.


    There are many opinion pieces about the iPad Mini, some negative and some positive.  All the reviews we've seen of hands on with the device are positive.  Well built and well thought through design from Apple seems consistent in the reviews.  Aside from build,  some think Apple missed the mark by not competing in price with the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD.  These smaller 7 inch tablets are between $75 and $130.00 less then the entry level iPad Mini which starts at $329. Others seem to think the price point is justified as the Apple eco system of iOS apps, movies, and books offers a compelling reason to spend a bit more for entry into the Apple walled garden.  As with every Apple release, time will tell as the market will clearly show what interest there is for a 7 inch iPad from Apple.


    We cannot wait to show you our handmade cases for the new Apple iPad Mini.  Let's just say that 3-600 dollar Mini iPad should be protected with handmade love and attention.  We are here to meet that need!


    Mr. PQ


  • Should I Get a Case for My iPhone?

    Do you really need a case for your new iPhone? One of the big reasons why smartphone users buy the iPhone—including the new iPhone 5—is because of its sleek styling and thin profile. So why cover that up with a case? Is the extra protection worth it, or does it just add bulk?


    Why Get an iPhone Case?

    No matter how careful you are, it's inevitable that you're going to drop your iPhone one day. Or maybe your cat will knock it off the counter, or a friend who isn't as careful as you will borrow it and scuff it up.
    An iPhone 5 case will lower your "new iPhone owner" anxiety about denting the case or scratching the screen. Minimizing damage from dropping or mishandling your phone is one of the biggest reasons to get an iPhone case. Scratches on your camera lens could affect the quality of your photos, and damage to the screen can affect the functionality of your phone.
    Besides keeping your iPhone looking new, using a case can protect the resale value of your phone. The better condition it's in, the more you can sell it for later on.
    One reason to get a case that you might not have considered is theft deterrence. iPhones are a target for thieves, but when your phone is "camouflaged" with a case, no one will be the wiser. What looks like a leather datebook is actually your iPhone 5 in disguise.

    Things to Consider When Buying a Case for iPhone 5

    Protecting your iPhone 5 with a case doesn't make sense if you have to remove it every time you want to use certain features. Make sure the case you buy still allows you to use features that are important to you—like the camera, ports, and power button.

    Adding a case to your iPhone 5 adds bulk—even for the slimmest cases. And for hardcore minimalists, any bulk is too much. If you want the most protection for your iPhone with the least bulk, look for the smallest, thinnest case you can find. And remember—you can always take off the case when you know you won't need it.

    Using a case for your iPhone 5 won't guarantee that you won't damage your phone when you drop it. If you have one of those Murphy's Law moments and run over your phone with your Jeep, a leather case isn't going to help you out much. You still have to be careful with your phone. Plus, it's always a good idea to get an extended warranty—especially if you're a bit on the klutzy side.

    iPhone 5 Cases by Pad & Quill

    Take a look at our line of popular cases for iPhone 5 users. Pad & Quill's iPhone cases are handcrafted with genuine leather and durable enough to outlast the life of your phone.

  • Fire Keeper for Kindle Fire HD 7

    We want to start by thanking so many of our customers for the HUGE response to our new cases for iPhone 5.  Kari, Brian, Tom, Jeff, Eric, Will, Jill and the rest of our team are thrilled. Thank you for keeping US Bookbindery jobs alive and thriving!


    Amazon Folks! We have a new case for the Kindle Fire HD 7!  The Fire Keeper has gone through a major improvement to match the greatly improved Kindle Fire HD.  We have included our Sure Lock Bumper system on this tablet book cover.  Holds your Fire very secure while making the wood frame much stronger.  So go ahead and snuggle up for a good read, or prop up on your bed for watching a great flick!





    - Hand made in Minneapolis employing traditional bindery techniques

    - Smart cover on/off feature

    - Covered in onyx black Italian bonded leather cover

    - Beautiful satin finished Baltic Birch frame

    - Interior lined with book bindery cloth in 5 colors!

    - Spine provides 'paperback' reading with full wrap around folding

    - Provides unique theft deterrence

    - Classic PQ 'bookmark' for device removal

    - Traditional Elastic strap closure

    - Pocket Option!


    Thanks again for your support of handmade goods, we are truly thankful for your business.


    Brian and Kari
    (Mr. and Mrs. PQ)

  • The Little Pocket Book for iPhone 5

    When our little idea turned into a little company and we introduced the first handmade bindery case for the iPhone back in 2010 we knew that something very unique had just been invented.  A real wood case holding an iPhone that was wrapped with traditional book bindery techniques.  This had never been done and was warmly welcomed by our customers and the press.


    Over the past two years we’ve updated the PQ shelf of Little Black Books with various changes and nice improvements. With the launch of iPhone 5 this year, we made a decision.  Set out to create a case that deserves a new bookshelf all to itself.  We introduce the Little Pocket Book for iPhone 5.  The best iPhone case we've ever crafted.

    • Thinner:  This is the thinnest case we’ve ever made.  We sourced a very unique baltic birch that allows our wood tray to be only 9.4 mm thick.  That means a 40% thinner case then our original!
    • Unique.  A case made with real baltic birch, finished to a gorgeous satin finish then covered in genuine leather.  Your iPhone just gained another talking point.
    • Leather.  Genuine, hand-stitched leather cover, custom designed by PQ to meet our high standards of quality.
    • Practical: This case does it all, with slips to hold your license, credit cards, and cash the LPB protects your iPhone in handmade glory.
    • Durable.  This one can handle a lot of abuse continuing to protect your iPhone.  Our strongest wood frame to date combined with soft leather offer excellent drop protection. (video coming soon)
    • Handmade?  You Betcha!
    • 30 Day Money Back Promise

    Also check out the new Little Pocket Book for iPhone 4/4S and the Little Black Book for iPhone 5 as well.


    We think your going to love these new cases for iPhone and our so thankful for your support of our local Minneapolis company!


    Mr. and Mrs. PQ  (Brian and Kari)




  • Getting Closer

    Stay tuned as we will be announcing the brand new iPhone 5 cases late next week as well as new Kindle cases!

 just featured an article about PQ!  I am interviewed talking about prototyping our newest cases for the iPhone 5 and the challenges of getting to market with these unique handmade products.  Although not mentioned in the article, we are taking care of you Kindle lovers as well!  We are working hard on case design regarding the new Kindle Fire HD 7" and the Kindle Paperwhite.


    As I mentioned in the article the challenge for companies like PQ is being able to quickly turn around and get a high quality design and product out to our customers. We've had many folks wonder if we get early samples from Apple and Kindle for our products.  Nope!  We order them like everyone else and get to the store or mailbox early in the morning to begin the final gold prototyping of our products.


    We do a great deal of work prior to actually getting a Kindle Fire or iPhone 5 in our hands! We scan the rumor mills and eventual spec details before launch.  We measure dimensions down to the millimeter and carefully examine unique features of each device.  We even start cutting wood frames before the product is in hand to ensure a solid mechanical build.  The whole process is very hectic and at times quite stressful.  Mrs. PQ always interjects at this point, "Oh Right! love it"  Yeah, y0u got me there dear, guess I do.



    Mr. PQ

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