I was recently offered an opportunity to review and give away an item from Knock Knock, which is OK by me, since I’ve purchased the Pro and Con and Paper E-mail notepads in the past (I particularly enjoy the paper e-mail, which makes a certain throwback statement when taped to someone’s monitor at work).
I chose to review the Knock Knock Personal Library Kit* because it looked kind of swell, and like something that would appeal to the typosphere, a crowd generally in favor of preserving the book in print form.
This Library Kit makes an interesting statement about a nuisance we have all taken for granted until now: that books exist, and as such can be loaned or lost. What precious book is forever lost from your collection, and who still has it? In the era of the ebook, losing an inscribed hardback copy of 100 Years of Solitude to a lost love or former friend becomes instead a tech support incident regarding data corruption or DRM.
Anyway, the product: well, here you see what it contains: 20 due date cards, 20 card pockets, a date stamp and ink pad, and small pencil, the kind you might find with a stack of scrap paper next to a library catalog computer these days.
The card envelope is nice and sturdy with a space to write your (that is, the book owner’s) name, and affixes easily to the inside book cover with two peel-off adhesive strips. The card itself has lines for the book title and author on the front, followed by multiple lines for borrower information that continue onto the back. (If you ever use checkout card in your books, I strongly recommend using your typewriter to fill in the book title and author information, to channel some 20th century card catalog style).
The date stamp runs through the year 2020 (incidentally, is there anything as mournful as an old date stamp where the latest year passed long ago? I’ve come across one or two of those in my thrift store journeys, and they always make me feel a brief mortal chill). The ink pad is serviceable (not craft-store sturdy, but OK) and the short pencil is likely to get lost within the blink of a curious preschooler’s eye, but anyway, the packaging serves as a tray that can hold the whole system, like a tiny Monopoly game, if you want to store it out of reach.
It’s charming, for sure– the cards look rather nice affixed within your favorite books, as a kind of rebuke to lazy borrowers (who are unlikely to return your tomes even with this reminder, the bastards that they are). You can find all manner of vintage or old-style library checkout cards and envelopes on eBay these days, but the modern red design of these works for me, standing out from the page a bit better than the old buff-colored classic designs. That said, if you don’t loan out a lot of books, and a lot of books repeatedly, this card set would be nothing more than a novelty for you. Oh, I know you would like to fool around with the library kit, and see how a few card return envelopes look stuck to the inside of those certain volumes within your own library, but trust me, this is a practical item and should be used as such. Any librarian would agree.
If you ARE loaning out books, and can immediately think of at least 10 whose tenure in your collection might be potentially secured by this product, I strongly encourage you to put your name (and hopefully a story about a long-lost book) in the comments for this drawing– I would love to send this right off to you.
Winner announced February 1!
*I received a personal copy of this kit gratis, in addition to the one I am giving away, which will be mailed to the winner unopened. As possibly mentioned in the past, when I do product reviews or giveaways, I will disclose the origins of the product and whether I was asked to review it. If asked to review a product, I will do so if I am personally curious about or interested in the product, but still endeavor to give an honest review.