• Electric Literature

Like Broad City and weed, Twin Peaks and David Lynch, and cheese curds 'n' gravy, booknerds and tote bags just belong together*, so it made total sense that Electric Literature launched the Game of Totes earlier this month. Pitting tote bags from literary journals and indie presses against each other in a fight for the Iron Throne votes from writers to advance through the brackets, Game of Totes is up there with Jezebel's Cake vs. Pie as one of the internet's greatest alternatives to March Madness. And, because we're talking about the literary community, it's kind of adorable that it didn't even launch until April.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, Why are you telling me this, crazy lady? I know YOU love books, but this is a niche-y, inside baseball hobby for New York bloggers with too much free time on their hands. Why should I care?

Guys, guys. The winning tote came from Portland. THE WINNING TOTE CAME FROM PORTLAND.

This is the winner:

  • Electric Literature

It was Tin House, who won for a tote bag emblazoned with Allen Crawford's Illuminated Song of Myself, beating out such luminaries as Melville House and The New Inquiry, and currying favor with a panel of judges that included Dan Wilbur, Bev Rivero, Saeed Jones, and Camille Perrat in a final showdown at NYC's Housing Works last night.

In celebration, Tin House is now selling the tote for extra cheap, and put up this jokey statement on their blog (LOL, Pulitzers!):

Yesterday’s big announcement may have drowned out some of the excitement around Electric Literature and Vol. 1 Brooklyn’s epic Game of Totes competition. The best of the best literary tote bags were brought before a panel of esteemed judges—Cosmopolitan’s book-editor-at-large Camille Perri, poet Saeed Jones, Bev Rivero of New Press, and funny-guy writer Dan Wilbur. (We demanded a trial by combat, but they nixed it.)

But what's really great is the trash-talking—mostly relegated to Twitter—between the Game's participants. Here's Melville House and Tin House, in SUCH A FIGHT:

It went on until the bitter end:

So, if you were hoping to find something today to be equal parts embarrassed by and proud of, this is it. Valar toteghulis, booknerds!

*If you don't believe me, consult the entire set of hooks in my apartment that exists ONLY as tote storage; yes, I have problem.