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I’ve read about some great Ask-A-Librarian programs advising patrons on their next read, as well as one focusing on Readers Advisory for the Romance genre. Other libraries have developed the latter program to encompass other genres.

How many of you have gone on blind dates? Speed-dating? Well transfer that thinking onto matching Romance novels with readers.

I saw a Chicago Tribune article tweeted by the Syosset Library. Cinnamon Dokken said “It’s the only blind date that you’re sure won’t stalk you later” (Holmquist, 2016).

Libraries, as well as bookstores, are putting a positive spin on past negative reader practices of hiding “bodice ripper” book covers; as I mentioned in my earlier post, A Valentine Tearjerker. Veiling covers and using appeal factors instead to promote romance novels matches the right book with the right reader, without the distraction. Appeal is by far the most important way to find your next read, surpassing the visual “appeal” of a book cover.

Holmquist indicates that this should resolve the embarrassment some people still have with Romance because of their book covers. Friday Reads Event: What Appeals to You? and Reading for Pleasure. Fiction Anyone? discuss why appeal is so important in determining a patron’s next read and why romance should not be scorned, but instead valued.

Do you like this idea? Does your public library also offer these “blind dates?” Check their event calendar; it might be listed on their website. If not, you could suggest it. Some libraries have a Readers’ Advisory department and others a physical or virtual “suggestion box.”  Those who are already participating, “just don’t expect [a romance novel] to buy you dinner”(Holmquist).

Holmquist, I. (2016). Bookstores, libraries offer ‘blind dates’ to match readers with romantic novels. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 30, 2016, from: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-blind-date-books-20160127-story.html