I think it's a personal question of what motivates or irritates you the most. If I know that I'm going to be walking a fair amount then I am irritated by having to hold a bag briefcase style. On trips, I find that I prefer the backpack straps on my Aeronaut over the Absolute Shoulder Strap. I just get very annoyed (quickly) with something on my shoulder.
Originally Posted by mep
But if I'm on a trip and out dining with a bag then the backpack annoys me. If I'm sitting I want my bag stable at my feet or on an extra chair. A backpack never sits perfectly like a Co-Pilot type bag would. I'm always fussing with the bag to make sure no one trips on it or it doesn't fall.
For your situation it depends on how often you'd have to load/unload the backpack. I don't take a bus or train so I'm only guessing but I can't imagine having to load/unload many times at all when commuting to a destination. If my walks to and from the mass transit location were even moderately long then I'd go for a backpack very quickly over the briefcase style. But that's me.
I used to use a modified letter file (a plastic sleeve open on 2 sides) which I cut and sticky-taped together to form a pouch with one opening where I could neatly slide the book.
Originally Posted by MtnMan
Nowadays I've decided that my morning commute isn't long enough to justfy lugging a book around with me all day. If I still did, I would use a Tom Bihn organiser pouch of an appropriate size.
Tom: this could be a good application for some "vertical" pouches, with the zipper on the short side and not the long side?
I think that you have identified the problem. Different solutions for different situations.
Originally Posted by pretzelb
Mtman, I have been using Bihn organizer pouches to carry my books that I don't want messed up. I have a very nice leather bound Bible that I carry and I put it in a large dyneema pouch. Hasn't got messed up yet.