The pocket book must hold a pocket book

I came across this post in which a man boldly comments on the woman’s purse. He daringly stated that we women do not need such things. At most (because of his observation of his wife), we need just a tiny hand-held clutch (hence its name). Not one comment agreed with him (or was written by a man). But one thing lept out:

The biggest reason for toting a tote is to have something to read. Just about every woman who could not make due with just pockets (I try, but I hate the tell-tale bulge even a tiny lipstick makes) or the clutch, stated that she needed something to carry a book in. One commenter even noted that there were an awful lot of readers reading and commenting.

Count me in. I have always had a purse that is big enough to hold a Reader’s Digest, at least, or even a whole book. I keep trying to downsize my purse, but have always been thwarted by the desire to have room for something to read. Waiting for the bus, eating alone in a restaurant, waiting in a line: These are the times when I read.

I bought a fancy “fanny pack” on my vacation. It doesn’t look like a typical fanny pack, but rather like the Gucci version of one, and wouldn’t look right worn to the rear. It can hold a lot of stuff, and goes easily around my waist, but unfortunately there are two things it can’t fit: My reading glasses and my reading material.

I have often looked at my souvenier since I brought it home, wishing I could start using it as my regular purse, but the desire to bring along a small magazine or book has constantly stopped me.

At least now I know I’m normal.

PS: “Pocket book” was Grandma’s word for “purse” and it always amused me.

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

7 replies on “The pocket book must hold a pocket book”

I carried a PDA for a while, mostly because I enjoyed not just the ability to always have something to read with me, but also the fact that it allowed me to carry several options! I wouldn\’t want to read that tiny screen for very long, but for short periods, (like standing in line and eating alone), it was just fine. Eventually, I\’d like to get another such device (hopefully combined with my phone, so I don\’t have to carry more than I do already).(My grandmother also called it her pocketbook.)


My paternal grandma called it that (I don\’t know what the other one called it), and so does my mother. It bugs the hell out of me. I don\’t know why. Anyway, besides my wallet (which would never fit in a pocket — and I don\’t always have pockets), I need my giant thing of keys, my sunglasses, tampons, meds, tissue, pack of store cards (the ones they punch to give you a free whatever after so many purchases), etc., so poo on that idea!


I no longer use my PDA. My cell phone has replaced the address book and calendar function. I never used it for reading.Lessee, contents of my purse: Wallet (too big for pockets), phone, glasses, tampons/pads, USB drive, magazine, note pad, pen, gum, fold-up shopping bag, keys, lip stick, tissues. Wallet contains a number of cards, and it drives me batty that modern life requires I cart around so many pieces of plastic.


Being of the half-blind variety of human, I can never go out without my glasses (even when I\’m wearing my contacts – you never know when they are going to fail, and fail spectacularly!) plus a contact lens case. Now I need reading glasses as well, plus sunglasses. That\’s already *3* pair of glasses, and I DEFY!!! anyone to put those in a \”clutch\”. Then there\’s the billfold, lipstick, cellphone, PDA, keys, tissues… I\’m almost to the point where a purse is not big enough!I *love* heading out with an itty-bitty clutch. But I can only do that when I have all the rest of my stuff in a tote bag. – oh, and Keera… even more important than a book: KNITTING…;)


Nuh-uh. Books are way more important. ;-)The post that inspired me was about decluttering. And the point you make about needing another bag if you were to scale down the purse itself, was actually what some of the commenters were pointing out as adding clutter (two items to carry instead of one).


I need to carry all the stuff you guys mention, plus my camera — it goes everywhere with me, because you never know where you might see something cool!Around here, the family doesn\’t refer to the stuff I carry as my purse — they refer to it as my luggage! ;-D


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