Out of Print and S’well have launched a literary-themed collection of bottles featuring Alice in Wonderland, The Great Gatsby, and the Classic Composition Notebook. S’well’s very own CEO, Sarah Kauss, and Out of Print co-founder, Todd Lawton, share the same fondness for reading. We recently caught up Lawton and Kauss to find out what books influenced them early on in life, what this collaboration means to them, and what they’re most looking forward to reading this season.
S’well: Was there a book that was influential early on in your life? If yes, how so?
Todd Lawton (TL): Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. My dad read it to me when I was probably six. I remember everything about the physical book, the illustrations, and the couch we curled up on to read it at night. The story was so vivid. I credit it with it being the first book to get me hooked on reading.
Sarah Kauss (SK): There are so many books that have inspired me at different points of my life. I actually read the entire Young Adult section of my small town library. I loved Anne of Green Gables, and Nancy Drew. Both told the story of smart, strong and independent girls setting out on adventure.
S’well: What does this collaboration mean to you?
TL: To work with a company you admire and share the same values is the dream scenario. We are so excited for this collection because it magnifies our founding mission: to celebrate great books and start bookish conversations. These awesome bottles are helping to make the world a more novel place.
SK: Reading has always been an enjoyable hobby of mine. This collection takes me back to a simpler time when I had a moment to dive into a good book. I’ve known the Out of Print team for years. We’ve been following each other’s journey since the beginning and they were an early inspiration, encouraging me to take the leap and start the company that I was dreaming about. It has been such a pleasure working with an innovative brand that celebrates the joy of reading and I’m excited to see this collaboration come to life!
S’well: Whose memoir would you be most interested in reading?
TL: I’d love to read a Nick Cave or Tom Waits memoir…maybe add Bowie to this list. I gravitate towards biographies and memoirs about musicians and these are a few of my favorites. This question prompted me to see if any exist…found a Tom Waits book that is a compilation of interviews over the course of his career. Not exactly a memoir, but close…added it to my “To Be Read” list. Tangentially related, The Duplass Brothers’ new memoir Like Brothers is great. It’s interesting even if you have little experience with the film industry. I started a business with my best and longest friend (Jeff and I met in 1984); I found a lot of shared feelings about collaborating closely with a kindred spirit.
SK: I am a serial memoir starter, but not finisher. I love the idea of memoirs and the opportunity they provide to pick up little nuggets of knowledge from real-life experiences. Unfortunately, I pick them up all the time and only make it 3-5 chapters in before moving onto another book.
S’well: What are your 5 favorite beach reads for the end of summer?
TL: Such a hard question to answer, but these are some of my favorite quick thrillers (and one coming of age novel) that go well with sun, sand and waves: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (definitely a rabbit hole worth exploring), Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (one of my favorite books!), The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow (never knew I would like the drug crime genre), The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (one of the best fictional accounts of small college athletics, but there’s so much more to the story!) and Slade House by David Mitchell (sick, twisted and so good).
SK: Being a new mom and entrepreneur doesn’t give me a ton of down time to read, but my dream would be to get to the books I have waiting for me on my coffee table: What to Expect the First Year, Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (which I am reading again after 20+ years).
Thank you Sarah and Todd! Shop the new Out of Print x S’well collection right here on swellbottle.com.
THE GREAT GATSBY
ALICE IN WONDERLAND