TwelveSouth’s $70 BookBook is an iPad case designed to look like an antique book, right down to the faux-battered spine. If you happen to own a revolving bookcase that covers up the entrance to your secret lair, and want to store your iPad in said bookcase, this is the iPad case for you.
For iPad users who aren’t pirates or supervillains, though, it’s a bit of a gimmick. The outside of the BookBook looks and feels great, but the rest of the case doesn’t really measure up. It’s a zipper case, and the leather appointments on the zipper pulls flap around and get in the way. Of course, there’s a set of zipper teeth going all around the case, too.
On the inside you’ll find a soft lining and a somewhat awkward holder for the iPad (two leather straps at the bottom and an elastic band at the top, though no ports or buttons are covered), as well as a leather tassel and a stitched-in button. You can use the BookBook as a viewing stand by setting the case in an inverted “V” shape and then wrapping the tassel around the button to secure the case at that position. It’s not elegant, but it does work.
The BookBook seems sturdy enough to provide solid iPad protection, but otherwise it feels like a case that can’t decide what it wants to be. Without a zipper and with an upgraded restraint system, it would be an interesting competitor to my favorite iPad case, the book-like Dodocase. And it’s undeniably a pretty cool-looking storage case, though I didn’t like keeping my iPad strapped in the BookBook when I was using the tablet.
If you can’t resist the idea of an iPad case that looks like an antique book, and you don’t mind an iPad case that opens and closes by means of zippers—and adds a bit of heft—don’t let my skepticism dissuade you. But from where I sit, the BookBook is long on style and short on practicality.