The Hobbit Bag

Josie Leavitt - July 24, 2012

It’s finally happened. The staff is fighting over swag. An all-out war for a Hobbit bag. Katie McGarry, my new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt rep, has no idea what bringing me a lovely Hobbit bag of galleys has done to my normally calm staff.
I kept the bag, because, well, I took the meeting.  To my mind, this lovely bag should remain with me. But not everyone sees it that way. PJ, our college student staffer, who seldom asks for anything,  saw the bag and asked, “What are the chances I can have that Hobbit bag?” I told her that one was mine, but I’d see if I could get her one.
Then, my partner, Elizabeth, an avid bag collector (to a fault) assumed that the cute bag would be hers, even though this bag was already in my car. I don’t normally covet bags. But there is something about this bag that I love; its lovely Hobbit cover from the original book and its thick cotton straps that are long enough to go over your shoulder make this old-fashioned bag a keepsake. I just love this bag, but now I’m scared it will go missing. PJ would never steal my bag, but I can’t say what Elizabeth would do.
So, I have to wait for the fall trade show to get two new bags. In the meantime I will protect my bag and hope that others will behave as Bilbo Baggins would and leave the bag to its rightful owner.

16 thoughts on “The Hobbit Bag

  1. Alison

    I know what you mean about the Hobbit bag! I got one at Book Expo by appearing at the booth very early. It is mine, mine, my precioussssss…

  2. barbara kelly

    I know what you mean – don’t have the Hobbitt bag yet but the year they were giving out the Lord of the Rings bag at BEA I almost got mugged for mine!

  3. Rose

    I didn’t even have a chance to nab it because the day our HMH rep brought it in I wasn’t there and someone on the Tuesday staff is now hoarding it somewhere!

  4. Josie Leavitt Post author

    Technical issues prevented me from getting the bag in the post. But I’ve added it. And am happy to note that my Houghton Mifflin Harcourt rep just put two bags in the mail for us!

  5. Andrew Porter

    I have not dared use my “Rocky Horror Show” tote bag, acquired at an ABA (that’s before BEA) show 20 years ago, for fear it would be torn from my shoulder on the street.

  6. Kirsten Cappy, Curious City

    I understand completely, Josie.
    I was meeting literary, groovy YA clients at BookExpo. They said, “Yes, we want to go to lunch with you [as scheduled] but we cannot leave the building until we get a Hobbit bag.”
    Off to HMH we went…
    By the time we got to the booth the desire for the bag by one author/reader had created a formally unknown need for the rest in the party. Suddenly we needed 4 bags not one.
    I count myself (blushing) in the suddenly “needing” category as I thought of my dear old Dad who read me Tolkien starting from age 2. Should I not give him a bag for Father’s Day to celebrate my literary upbringing?
    As I stood in front of the-long-devoted-to-booksellers Katie McGarry and held up (blush, again) 4 fingers…I wondered…would not the spirit of Golum franchise understand the desire for the “precious”?
    HMH, forgive us our literary greed and know that thou property (and swag) makes us all go Misty (er…Mountains).


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