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B&N Goes Back to Its Roots, Puts First Pages of Classic Books on Its Shopping Bags

Barnes & Noble has been many things over the years, including publisher, bookseller, failed tech startup, and toy store, and with their latest change B&N is getting back to its roots.

America’s last major bookstore chain recently unveiled its new shopping bags. In place of the cheap and forgettable plastic bags used by many stores, B&N has decided to adopt themed shopping bags. Developed by the design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, the bags feature the first page of famous classic novels, along with illustrations inspired by the books.

How would you like a little Cervantes with your Twilight?

How would you like a little Cervantes with your Harry Potter?

The bags feature a variety of classic novels, including Don Quixote, Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland (as well as what looks to be a reference to Romeo and Juliet), and they are designed to both catch the eye and act as a reminder of Barnes & Noble’s beginnings as a bookseller.

"The bag serves as advertisement and reminder of the bookstore and thus is an essential part of the brand’s communications," said Sagi Haviv of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, in a statement to Creativity Online. "However, this new shopping bag series does more than promote the brand itself; it reflects the love of books and itself provides a book experience — you can even start reading them on the way home."

Barnes & Noble has had 100 million bags made, and will distribute them in its 600 stores across the US starting this month.

I’m not usually one to shop in a B&N store (there aren’t any within a reasonable driving distance). But I’m tempted to make the trip just so I can buy something and get one of these bags, aren’t you?

Creativity Online via Book Patrol

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DaveMich March 23, 2015 um 4:58 pm

If B&N is so far away it’s probably simpler to get one off ebay. 🙂

Nate Hoffelder March 23, 2015 um 5:25 pm

It’s a half hour drive each way. That’s a little much.

Reader March 24, 2015 um 11:16 am

A while back B&N had a Nancy Drew themed shopping bag. I bought one for a friend who is a Nancy Drew fan- she has a complete, or nearly complete collection of Nancy Drew books saved from childhood.

Kate March 24, 2015 um 11:37 am

Are these paper or plastic, one time use bags, or are they reusable?

Nate Hoffelder March 24, 2015 um 11:58 am

I think they’re paper. They’d have to be pretty solid plastic bags to stand up like that.

Maria (BearMountainBooks) March 24, 2015 um 2:03 pm

They’ve also been pushing their cloth totes lately. I don’t recall what was on the front.

puzzled March 24, 2015 um 4:15 pm

One of the advantages for a book store to use plastic bags is that your books don’t get wet when outside in the rain.

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