No matter how much I travel, and how useful they have proven in the past, I still cannot fully embrace the roller bag. I like a bag I can throw over my shoulder after stuffing it with a few changes of clothing and maybe an extra pair of shoes. I like to think that this kind of bag keeps me from over-packing, which is easy to do with a roller bag since its heft is offset by the physics of wheels. So when I decided to fly to New Mexico to visit L in her dissertation purdah a few days I knew which bag I would take. I bought this soft-sided L.L. Bean suitcase back in the 1990s and it has been around the world with me. It’s not huge, but I can comfortably carry a week’s worth of clothes — even a suit in its own button-in bag — without putting too much strain on my shoulder. The books shown are optional, but I always leave room for reading material.