I'm a bit of a bibliophile - I like reading books, but I really like the physical presence of nice, good-looking volumes. One of the required courses in graduate English at the University of Toronto was "Bibliography", which was mainly about old books and how they were made, and included numerous visits to the Fisher Rare Book Library. Shortly after that I inherited my grandfather's 57-volume collection of The Britannica Great Books. I also became a member of the The Folio Society, who have been sending me gorgeous hardcovers every year for over a decade now.

One of the things I really liked about keeping a pen-and-paper diary was the daily opportunity to write in a nicely-bound volume. Every year around my mid-December birthday I would go to Laywine's in Toronto's stylish Yorkville neighbourhood and pick out a pretty new daybook to use as a diary. Sometimes it was a Moleskine, sometimes a stylish Nava "Day by Day", sometimes a Cavallini - whatever I ended up getting, I always enjoyed that moment on New Year's Day when I would open it up and start writing on the first page.

When I switched to using Remembary on my iPad every day, I missed the joy of handling a nice book. The iPad is of course very stylish in its own sleek steel-and-glass way, but not in the 'bookish' way that I like for diary writing (and reading). Well, I've found the solution. As an early birthday present, I got a DODOcase.

The DODOcase is a library-grade hardcover case for the iPad, hand-made by book-binding craftsmen in San Francisco. The iPad nestles closely in a hand-routed bamboo frame (with holes for the dock and controls and headphone jack), and the hefty cover is secured with a Moleskine-style elastic strap. The inside cover is in a rich green (they also come black, red, blue, and other colours) and, as a final touch that shows that they know they're dealing with bibliophiles, includes an "Ex Libris" sticker.

At about US$60 plus shipping, it certainly isn't the cheapest iPad case (although it costs less than many of the nice journals I have), and it does add some bulk and weight if you're going to be carrying it around on long hikes - but it brings back the luxurious tactile feeling of working with nice books.

I gather that DODOcases are the de rigeur new hip accessory in the Bay Area, so much so that their manual production process was back-logged for several months earlier this year. They're still a rarity up in Canada, so for once I can be ahead of the curve on something.

AuthorAndrew Burke