Friday, February 8, 2019

The Only Blind Dates I'll Ever Go On

Hey'a, everyone! It's almost Valentine's Day, and you know what that means — it's Blind Date with a Book time! As a quick note for those who aren't aware: Blind Date with a Book is basically an event where the library staff wraps up a ton of books in pretty paper and puts some kind of clue or hint on the paper. Last year it was the genre and the first line of the book; the year before it was the genre and a few key descriptive words. You pick whichever book sounds most appealing based on the information given, take it home, and read it. Usually, there's a little card with the book that you can fill out to be entered in a drawing as well. It's basically my favorite library event of the year. Anyway, now that that's sorted out, let's get on with explaining why this is so awesome.

Why Blind Date with a Book is the Best!

  1. It's a good way to get out of a reading rut. Generally, at least for me, reading ruts are caused by one of two things. Either I've figured out all the books I want to read way in advance and now what I planned doesn't seem appealing anymore, or else all my reading options are so familiar to me that none of them sound appealing. Blind Date with a Book effectively nullifies both of these, because whatever I end up reading is unplanned and mysterious and exciting. It's wonderful.
  2. It puts reading at a temporarily higher priority. You know how I said there's that bit with the card that you have to fill out to get entered in the giveaway? Well, obviously you have to have that card back by a certain date . . . and you also have to finish the book by that date so you can rate it on the card. Also, if you're a Book Blind Date addict like me, you end up reading your first date fast so you can go back and get another . . . and another . . . and possibly another after that. (The fact that, by February, I'm generally mentally exhausted and so I want to read something that I don't have to think too hard about helps quite a bit, but y'know.)
  3. You sometimes discover good books you never would've read otherwise. For example, last year I ended up reading Court of Fives and The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I'm not going to say that either of these is an amazing book, because they aren't . . . but they're still good, if flawed by cliche characters. Court of Fives, in particular, is African/Roman-inspired fantasy and so I'm happy that I read the book just for that, even if I did lose patience with people more than once.
  4. You sometimes end up being pushed to read books that you've forgotten about! Like, two years ago I ended up reading East, which is a retelling of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" that people had told me to read multiple times and I never got around to. And last year I read Watership Down, which was, by the way, pretty amazing. It was also pretty dark for a book about rabbits, but you know. I'd been meaning to read it for ages, and getting it as a Blind Date Book was just the push I needed.
  5. You're taking a risk! Without actually taking a risk! So, yeah. For an ISTP, I'm an astoundingly non-risk-prone person. (For context: ISTPs tend to be stereotyped as impulsive daredevils, among other things.) It's not that I don't have a sense of adventure; it's just that, in any conflict between Tookishness and Baggins-ness, the Baggins side has the better arguments, namely "You have assignments due; you don't have time for [X, Y, and Z potential consequences]." However, Blind Date with a Book allows me to satisfy both the Tookish desire for adventure (because the book is mysterious and WILL I LIKE IT? WHO KNOWS. I HAVE TO READ IT NO MATTER WHAT IT IS!) and the Baggins-esque desire for stability (because what's more stable than a good book and a cup of tea, I'd like to know?) and so it's basically perfect. And yes, it is possible to overdo it, but . . . I haven't yet? We'll see what this year brings.
What about you? Have you ever participated in a Blind Date with a Book event? Would you want to? Please tell me in the comments! (Also, if you came here hoping that I was HOSTING a Blind Date with a Book event . . . sorry. Though, on a serious note: is that something you'd be interested in? Because I have an idea and I'm debating whether or not to try to pull it off. Again, let me know in comments.)
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)  


  1. Of the three blind dates with a book that I've done, only one was a success, and I've given up. (Well, that and the fact that I almost never get to the library these days.)

    The first year, I received some random non-fiction on Egypt. Now, I like studying Egypt, but I'd been ... expecting fiction.

    The second year, I received the High King of Shanara by Terry Brooks. Not a bad book - I since went and bought the book, and will be taking it with me to Realm Maker's this year to get it signed. But despite being first chronologically, it's not a good entry point for the series, and I just couldn't get into it.

    Year three, though, was good. I received Walk Two Moons by Sarah Creech (I believe). Totally outside of normal reading, but I found a lot of pieces of my own story in there, and it made me cry.

    1. Aw, that's a tragedy. It sounds like your library (or wherever was holding the blind date program) needed to do a better job labeling book genres or something. I mean, I've had some misses too, but they've all at least been in the genres I asked for.

    2. THEY DON'T DO GENRES. They have this short, weird blurb to the tune of "This book involves a girl going on a journey." (Walk Two Moon's, if I remember right.) *bangs head against wall* My mom and I have come to the conclusion that they seek out the least-checked out books for this, and it isn't working. Their selection is always horrid, and I've given up on them.

    3. What the pumpernickel. That's a stupid way to do a blind date with a book event. Even if they're using the least-checked-out books, they should let you know what genre it is — then you have a shot at finding a little-known treasure.

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