The Shannon Municipal Library in Sexsmith is hosting a series of blind dates for book lovers without any of the awkwardness.
“Blind Date with a Book” is an event that the library has hosted for some time to get bookworms out of their reading comfort zones by taking the classic “don’t judge a book by its cover” trope literally.
Readers who are interested in participating can select a variety of wrapped books that feature the book’s genre, and a short synopsis on the back, similar to what a dating app profile would have.
Chrystal Widsten, Library supervisor and one of the organizers of the event says all the books are available in the library, and consist of “great books” that simply need more circulation.
“You never know what you’re going to get with a blind date I guess, so it’s kind of the same thing with the book,” she says. “They are books from our library so they would be able to recommend it to a friend.”
Widsten says the event allows readers to avoid getting stuck in similar stories and genres, and the surprise element helps readers discover new books and authors if they are willing to give them a chance.
“Sometimes you might pick up off a shelf and say- oh I wouldn’t like this, but with these you aren’t able to judge the book by its cover,” she says. “It might not necessarily be a book that you would pick off the shelf for yourself, but because you kind of committed to it in the library at least you might want to give it a shot and who knows you might really like it.”
Additionally, Widsten says some of the books are even the first in a series, opening up greater avenues for curious minds, and presenting the opportunity for readers to discover entirely new worlds between the pages.
“If they do really like the book, they could continue on with that series or that author.”
The library recommends library goers check the book out as normal, and take it home before opening to commit fully to the exercise. Upon finishing the read, participants are invited to complete a short review on the provided sheet within the book.