Monday, 7 July 2014

Blind Date With A Book

Remember the other week I posted about the importance of supporting your local independent bookshops?
Well last week was Independent Booksellers Week and I always make a point of buying at least one book during this period, sometimes because they have special editions of books (like Roverandom last year) or special activities or events at the bookshop and it’s nice to be involved.

This year my local bookshop, Print Point, posted a message on Facebook about having a ‘Blind Date With A Book’ which immediately piqued my interest. I read about a friend, Fiona @ The Book Coop, who once got another friend to send her a book with the cover obscured so she didn’t know what she was going to end up reading and I loved the idea but didn’t know anyone that I could ask to do the same thing for me. But this was the perfect opportunity to experience something similar.

As soon as I heard about it, I headed to town, only to discover that the shop isn’t currently open on Sundays. I then got the opening hour wrong again and showed up an hour early on the Saturday after, the last day of the IDW! Almost a disaster. Luckily I was down town later in the day for the Armed Forces Day so I headed in.

The waiting worked in the favour of the bookshop though. I kept on psyching myself up and up and up, so when the time came to actually pick a book, I flaked out and picked two. I’m really glad that I did.

The books were in a display, all wrapped up in brown paper with a message on the top saying:

Hey I just met you,
And this crazy!
I have no cover,
So read me maybe?

Now obviously there’s a fair amount of risk involved in buying books this way, but there’s something to help us out. Each book how three features to help direct you to your sort of a read. Some of them hinted at being thrillers or autobiographical but one immediately caught my eye. Its list said ‘Fantasy’, ‘Childhood memories’ and ‘Fable’ and something about that just attracted my attention. I had to have it.

But another book had caught my eye. This one said ‘Island life’, ‘New start’ and ‘Love’. The fact that it mentioned life on an island grabbed me and I knew I had to have it. All the books were £6.99 and it’s been a while since I treated myself to a brand new book so I splurged.

Imagine my delight when the first book turned out to be Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At the End of the Lane. I’ve heard about it on Twitter ever since it was published and I’ve been determined to read more of Neil Gaiman’s works. So far I’ve only read The Graveyard Book and Stardust but I picked up a copy of Anansi Boys in Oban in April. I’m going to read that one next.

The other book, which I was told was very good as I paid for my new treats, is Sealed With A Kiss by Rachael Lucas. It looks a bit like a chick-lit book, sort of sweet and fluffy, about a woman who finds herself jobless, homeless and boyfriendless and so winds up moving to a remote Scottish island. I’m looking forward to that one of the whole island life aspect.

I’m really hoping that the bookshop does this again because I can’t count the number of times that I’ve not been able to pick which book to read next because there’s too much choice. This makes it so much easier, you just buy a book and get a surprise. They’re talking about maybe continuing doing this through the summer for tourists and possibly at Christmas. I got very excited at the thought of it being a Christmas present for myself.

It’s definitely something that I’m going to do again and I hope that it’s been as popular with everyone else as it has been for me.


  1. Now that's an interesting idea. I probably would have bought a book too. I like that they gave little hints as to the genre of the book so you'd be able to get something you might like.

    1. I was a little bit concerned that I would get something I'd read before but the two I got were fairly recent publications.

      I love reading books recommended by other people, but it's even better when it's just given to you to read without knowing anything about it first.


Let me know what you think. :-)