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Blind Date With A Book

The blind date with a book trend – also known as the don’t judge a book by its cover trend – has been a great source of fun and engagement for bookshops, libraries and even Etsy, for many years now. By helping people find their ideal book in this creative and mysterious manner, the trend has seen a large growth in popularity and has helped many delve into books and genres that would have previously gone untouched.

What Is a Blind Book Date?

In a crafty way of bringing books and readers together, the trend is created by hiding the cover of a book by brown wrapping paper. Only a small indication of the book’s plot is written on the front, usually stating the genre and other small details. Then a book is either chosen or matched with its perfect reader, creating the sense of a blind date. The reader will know very little about the book until they open it at home and start reading. They can then decide if the date went well or if they should keep searching for that perfect story.

According to Irmas World Magazine, blind date with a book first started in Sydney, Australia by Rory Schmitz, at his family-owned bookshop. Rory stated that, “As a bookshop we are always fielding requests for book recommendations and the concept was in response to the idea of helping people choose books that they might not have picked up. One of our staff members began choosing books that were not on people’s radar but were great reads. They were then wrapped in brown paper with a few clues written on the front alluding to the book inside. It was a surprising and instant hit with the customers.”¹

Why Is It So Popular?

With over a thousand results when searching ‘blind date with a book’ on Etsy, it is clear to see that the blind date with a book trend is a popular and creative alternative to online book buying that could change the way we look at books altogether – without judging them based on cover alone.

From the 2020 lockdown, book sales were at a similar high as seen in the run up to Christmas.¹ According to book data sold through Amazon, the some of the most popular genres were fantasy, sci-fi, autobiographies and self-help books.² These high-demand genres indicate our necessity for escapism during these difficult times and how books can be a big help to us.

However, it can be easy to fall into a particular genre and stick to it, especially if you are a new reader. Though some genres are specifically designed to provide motivation and escapism, picking up a book which you wouldn’t normal read may spark deeper emotion, give you more inspiration or positively change your opinion of a genre.

In his interview, Rory continued to state that, “All sorts of people buy Blind Dates. Experienced readers see it as a way of getting around the problem of judging a book by its cover. New readers love the curated selection of books and even non-readers like the packaging and the lucky dip aspect. Some customers will stand on the street with a friend playing a literary guessing game trying to guess what the book is inside while they drink their coffee and wait for a bus.”

Why don’t you try a blind date with a book and experience the trend for yourself? If you need a bit of help to get you reading again then 15 Tips To Get Back Into Reading may be what you need. If you live a busy lifestyle and struggle to find the time for reading, check out Tips On How To Make Time For Reading.