When You are Looking for the Literary Love of Your Life, Throw Caution to the Wind

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In a reading rut? We hear you. Every relationship can get a little stale, even your relationships with books. We continually go back to the same old genres and authors that have worked for us in the past, hoping to be surprised again. We even get into the habit of judging our next book by its cover.

Sadly, you can’t really take out a personal ad for a new novel. Or could you? Perhaps, voracious reader seeking new adventures in reading, open to new genres, storylines and an intriguing cast of characters? Okay, maybe not. But you could go out on a few blind dates. Yes, blind dates with books.

The premise is quite simple – novels are wrapped in plain brown paper and a brief description is written on the cover, as well as clues to what you might find inside. Here is where the personal ad comes into play. Some sites offer some great inspiration if you get stuck.

According to the blogger and author Anne Bogel, of the Modern Mrs Darcy blog, the first known blind dates for books occurred at Elizabeth’s Bookshop in Australia. The bookshop “began wrapping books in brown paper, hinting at the contents with intriguing clues that don’t give too much away.” Bogel blogged about her own experience with going on a blind date with a book.

Soon, what started out as a fun promotion in a second-hand bookshop would go global. Other bookshops and libraries around the world quickly joined the fun. Here are a few ways to put your toe in the blind book-dating pool:

  • Check out your local bookstore for a blind date. Valentine’s Day is a popular time for book sellers to create displays of them, but many create them year-round.
  • There are subscription services that match you up based on your likes and dislikes, just consider it online dating without the photos.
  • Many libraries across the country are getting in on the fun too, offering both their own blind dates or suggestions for creating your own blind dates. And unlike purchasing the books, there is no financial commitment.
  • You are never too young to date – literarily speaking. Some sites, such as Book Riot offer age appropriate blind dates for young adults.
  • Another fun way to experience blind dating with books is to go on a group date. Instead of choosing one title for your book group to read, shake it up and have everyone bring a favorite read. Each member can bring a book they want to share with others and wrap it up in brown paper and write a fun description about the book on the cover. Each member can choose from any book, except for the one they brought. It's a great way to reuse books!

What are you waiting for? Your perfect book may be a blind date away!