Try McMinnville Public Library’s new service, “blind dates” with books.
Librarians have selected the “dates,” books from a range of genres -- classics, romances, teen fiction, fantasy, cookbooks, general nonfiction. There’s something for everyone, from teen to adult, in the mix.
Here’s the catch: The books are neatly wrapped in red paper, so you won’t know exactly what you’re getting -- making it truly a blind date.
The librarians have added some hints, however. Notes on the outside of the wrapping list the way people describe the book, what it’s likes and hobbies are, and the kind of reader it’s seeking.
“Everyone says I’m hilarious -- and undead!” one book’s description notes. “I love cats. My hobbies are frozen turkey bowling. I’m looking for someone who’s willing to live and love forever.”
Another wrapped book’s description goes, “Everyone says I’m alternative. I love history and steampunks. My hobbies are sailing the world in my airship. I’m looking for someone ready to join a teen in his exciting adventure.”
The description on still another readds, “Everyone says I’m beautiful. I love being the center of attention. My hobbies are dancing, late nights and bathtub gin. I’m looking for someone older, wealthy and not afraid of fun.”
Kirsten Stoller, a reference librarian, came up with the Blind Date with a Book program for Valentine’s Day to attract more readers and get them to try different books. She said she’d read about other libraries doing similar programs.
She and her fellow librarians picked the books, choosing ones they liked or found interesting. They had fun writing the clues.
The blind date books can be found on the second floor of the library, near the reference desk. They should be check out as usual.
If you don’t like your blind date, Stoller said, you can just return it to the library -- you don’t have to make any excuses or worry that it will keep calling.
But even if you love it, you’ll still have to return it eventually. The check-out period is three weeks.
Blind Date with a Book will continue throughout February. For more information, call the library, at 503-435-5565.