TwelveSouth’s Early Christmas Gift For Bibliophiles Is The BookBook For iPad Mini [Review]



I’ll admit it: I loved the BookBook for iPad. Yet less than a week after I’d written the review, the BookBook Case for iPad was already in a bin with all the other iPad cases that I’ve tried (and failed) to love longer term.

Why? The issue is pretty simple. The BookBook for iPad is a wonderfully made case, but at the end of the day, I find myself using needing a case for my iPad that is effortlessly pulled off and re-applied. Ironically, the reason why is because I’m constantly using another TwelveSouth product with my iPad: the HoverBar, a fantastic articulating arm for the iPad that I’ve got attached over my bedboard as a makeshift streaming video and audio console. Ironically, there’s just no way to fit an iPad into the Hoverbar if you’re using a BookBook as your case.

Now that the BookBook for iPad mini is here, though, I think I finally have a BookBook that will stay on my iDevice for more than a week or so. The iPad mini is simply the device the BookBook was made for.

Like previous BookBooks, the BookBook for iPad mini is a folio-style case for Apple’s smaller iPad that looks, to the untrained eye, like a distressed leather volume plucked from the arcane shelves of some Ninth Gate style book collector.

How much you like this conceit depends upon your sensibilities. If you’re the sort of person who gets an electric thrill from the hidden book or bottle squirreled away inside an empty book, the BookBook Case is right up your alley. Likewise, if you’re as much bibliophile (or more so) you’ll love the BookBook. In my experience, walking around with a BookBook is to garner constant compliments and admiring inquiries, but there’s no doubt that some would look at the product as pretentious.

If you do buy into the BookBook’s conceit, though, the Mini version is actually probably closer experience to carrying around a real book than the BookBook for iPad, iPhone or MacBook. All of those are either too big to plausibly be books, or a little too small. The BookBook for iPad mini, however, is exactly the size of a Library of America hardcover. It feels great.

Otherwise, this is the same case as the BookBook for iPad, only smaller. The same gorgeous construction applies throughout. A leather sleeve inside the BookBook holds your mini in place, allowing you to “unfold” your iPad mini from the binding of the “book” to take pictures with the back camera, prop it up for watching a movie or even type upon by folding back a small leather flap. A couple of tiny brass buttons snap it into place, so it stays secure in the binding without flopping around.

What it all boils down to, for me, is that the BookBook for iPad mini feels right in a way that the BookBook for iPad or BookBook for iPhone didn’t. I love the “fake book” conceit, but the BookBook mini is the first TwelveSouth case that made me actually feel like I was wandering around with a real book and not a tablet.

If you treat your iPad mini more like a dedicated e-reader than anything else, the BookBook for iPad mini is the perfect case for it, although be warned: the BookBook for iPad mini costs $69.99, just like its big brother.

  • diefldrmas

    Well if the bookbook is just sitting in a bin I would be more then willing to give it a home where it will be used daily and enjoyed.

  • bdkennedy

    If you knew how much this costs to manufacture you would feel robbed.

  • craigburdett

    I’m so glad you included a comment about the HoverBar. I spent two days searching for a quality iPad holder as a gift for my recently disabled mother-in-law and found the AirHolder today but the company’s terms of sale are pretty much no-refunds-for-any-reason so I was hesitant to plunk $200 into one since I could be stuck with a sub-par pile of parts.

    I just bought two HoverBars (one for me and one for mom) and can’t wait to try them out.