SCENE: A library basement. Men and women of various ages participating in a “Read-dating” event.
(holding a copy of Northern Lights)
Hi, I’m Lyra Belacqua.
(holding a copy of Lolita)
Hi. Um… I’m Humbert Humbert.
FADE TO BLACK.
Picture yourself in a basement room at the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library the night before (or after) Valentine’s Day, tables covered with tablecloths, soft rock playing in the background. You are carrying a book, one that says something about you. You’re going from table to table, looking for a literary connection or, in the best case scenario, a love match.
You are Read Dating.
The VPL tried this out for the first time this winter: a book-club/speed-dating hybrid, where singles rotate around the room, spending four minutes each with about 20 others, all armed with a favourite book (or DVD or CD) to break the ice; something to help fill in those awkward pre-first-date gaps.
To protect privacy and add another layer to the literary high jinks, each single is provided with a bookish pseudonym: Scarlett O’Hara, Jay Gatsby, David Copperfield. Imagine the fun when Yuri Zhivago meets up with Lara!