You might like crossbody bags then. They’re easy to carry and you can drape across your body.I don't carry a purse. Too much chance of loss or theft.
I'd rather things were in my pockets or a hidden pouch, etc.
I do have an old denim soft purse that has zippers AND a flap with a zipper compartment and multiple compartments and an outside pocket. that's good for shoving a paperback in. Very easy to keep organized and efficient access to stuff that might need to be accessed quickly, but far too easy to cut the purse and steal what's inside, or cut the strap and steal the purse.
If I have to take my netbook, I have a small inexpensive computer bag, but I'm thinking a ratty looking tote modified with a steel cable in the strap and metal mesh hidden in the outer layer to prevent cutting might be a good idea.