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15 Geeky Tote Bags For Lugging Around Your Books

Society6
Society6

Ever have too many books to possibly hold under one arm? We know the struggle, and that's why we did some digging to find you some excellent tote bags to hold all your stuff—books or otherwise.

1. STAR WARS; $70

Whether you're with the Rebels or the Empire, this bag has the right patches to match your current alliance. And, should you ever change your allegiance, just flip the bag over to display the correct designs. The twill and faux leather tote has a document pocket on the Imperial side that closes with a magnetic snap. There's also an interior pocket with a zipped pouch for transporting important memory drives across the galaxy.

Find it: ThinkGeek

2. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE; $18

Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak once drew an illustration for a child who was so excited by it, he ate it. We assume you won't bite into this canvas tote bag, but it is still a pretty thrilling design. The double-sided bag features an extended version of the iconic cover printed in vibrant color. And, when you purchase this tote, a book goes to a community in need. 

Find it: Amazon

3. GIANT CAT FACE; $19

Turn heads with this bold statement tote that's shaped like a gigantic cat head. No one can question your love for felines while you're slinging this 23-inch polyester bag with added ears on your shoulder.

Find it: Amazon

4. DINOSAURS; $18

Is there anything more exciting than a parade of dinosaurs? Dustin Harbin researched dinosaurs and other creatures who lived among them for this highly detailed design. Each ancient beast is drawn to a relative scale and gets its own nameplate stating its length. The design later spurred a leporello (a 6.5-foot infographic that folds out), which features over 100 illustrated creatures.

Find it: Society6

5. COMPOSITION NOTEBOOK; $20

Now you can put your writing journals into a bag that looks like a giant composition notebook, sort of like how you put all your grocery bags into another grocery bag for safe keeping. This cotton canvas bag comes with a small inner pocket for things like pens and knickknacks. 

Find it: Amazon

6. POKEMON; $60

This faux leather tote features the four starter Pokemon from the beloved Japanese franchise. Each pocket monster is designed in a traditional sailor tattoo style with flowers, leaves, and banners that say "Gotta Catch 'Em All!" There's even a matching wallet that you can store inside. The 16-inch tall bag has plenty of room for all your potions and Pokeballs.

Find it: ThinkGeek

7. RICK AND MORTY; $20

Need to get something done? Maybe have some books carried with ease? Mr. Meeseeks is here to help with this blue, polyester tote. Just make sure you follow through or you'll have a lot of angry Meeseeks on your hands. 

Find it: Redbubble

8. MOBY-DICK SENTENCE DIAGRAM; $22

Lovers of order and diagrams are definitely a fan of the classic Reed-Kellogg system, which converts sentences into organized trees. This 16-inch wide tote sports the first and last line of Moby-Dick in parsed trees on either side of the bag. 

Find it: Pop Chart Labs

9. UNICORN TAPESTRY; $18

Even a unicorn can be prone to tsundokuThis book-centric tote is based on the famous tapestry "The Unicorn in Captivity." Thankfully, in this version, the unicorn is free and surrounded by books. 

Find it: Society6

10. GUDETAMA; $40

Japan's favorite lazy egg cartoon now comes in bag form. This faux leather tote is 18 inches tall and comes with two little egg arms that hang from the side. The inside is lined with a yellow and white polka dot pattern and has an inner pocket for smaller items. And, it comes with a sunny-side up Gudetama coin purse that closes with a zipper and clips into place.

Find it: ThinkGeek

11. THE LEGEND OF (FOX) ZELDA; $18

What if Link was a fox? It would certainly make running through Kokiri Forest a lot easier. This charming design is featured on both sides of the bag, which comes in three different sizes. 

Find it: Society6

12. BROKEN IMAGE; $30

Sorry—the tote bag image you were looking for is no longer available. This internet savvy design is printed on an American Apparel cotton tote. Hopefully items inside won't become corrupted like the outside. 

Find it: BZA

13. SOLAR SYSTEM; $18

The whole solar system (sorry, Pluto) is lined up on this colorful tote. The vibrantly printed bag is covered on both sides and comes in three sizes. 

Find it: Society6

14. COLLECTION OF CAMERAS; $25

Cameras have undergone a lot of shape and design changes through the years. This collapsible canvas tote shows a variety of camera incarnations, starting with the first Kodak in 1888. The design cuts off before contemporary times, but its matching print shows modern options like the iPhone and GoPro.

Find it: Pop Chart Labs

15. NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS MOVIE; $9

This screenprinted, light-weight tote takes an old expression and modernizes it. We have to agree, there are a lot of great books out there with terrible movie counterparts.

Find it: Etsy

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Ker Robertson, Getty Images
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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
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Design
This 1907 Vision Test Was Designed for People of All Nationalities
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain

At the turn of the 20th century, San Francisco was a diverse place. In fact, Angel Island Immigration Station, located on an island in the San Francisco Bay, was known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” processing some 300,000 people coming to the U.S. in the early 1900s. George Mayerle, a German optometrist working in the city at the time, encountered this diversity of languages and cultures every day in his practice. So in the 1890s, Mayerle created what was billed as “the only [eye] chart published that can be used by people of any nationality,” as The Public Domain Review alerts us.

Anticipating the difficulty immigrants, like those from China or Russia, would face when trying to read a vision test made solely with Roman letters for English-speaking readers, he designed a test that included multiple scripts. For his patients that were illiterate, he included symbols. It features two different styles of Roman scripts for English-speaking and European readers, and characters in Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, and Chinese scripts as well as drawings of dogs, cats, and eyes designed to test the vision of children and others who couldn't read.

The chart, published in 1907 and measuring 22 inches by 28 inches, was double-sided, featuring black text on a white background on one side and white text on a black background on the other. According to Stephen P. Rice, an American studies professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey, there are other facets of the chart designed to test for a wide range of vision issues, including astigmatism and color vision.

As he explains in the 2012 history of the National Library of Medicine’s collections, Hidden Treasure [PDF], the worldly angle was partly a marketing strategy on Mayerle’s part. (He told fellow optometrists that the design “makes a good impression and convinces the patient of your professional expertness.”)

But that doesn’t make it a less valuable historical object. As Rice writes, “the ‘international’ chart is an artifact of an immigrant nation—produced by a German optician in a polyglot city where West met East (and which was then undergoing massive rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake)—and of a globalizing economy.”

These days, you probably won’t find a doctor who still uses Mayerle’s chart. But some century-old vision tests are still in use today. Shinobu Ishihara’s design for a visual test for colorblindness—those familiar circles filled with colored dots that form numbers in the center—were first sold internationally in 1917, and they remain the most popular way to identify deficiencies in color vision.

[h/t The Public Domain Review]

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