Published February 2, Updated May 3, If you're looking for love and you'd rather cuddle up with a book than belly up to a singles bar, read on. 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.
Story continues below advertisement The VPL tried this out for the first time this winter: To protect privacy and add another layer to the literary high jinks, each single is provided with a bookish pseudonym: Imagine the fun when Yuri Zhivago meets up with Lara! They feel comfortable in the library. Everyone seems to want younger chicks.
Stornebrink has always wanted to try speed dating, but figured she was too old. She's signed up for the library event to try something new and maybe, just maybe, find love. Story continues below advertisement Story continues below advertisement "It would be a great side benefit," she says, "but I don't have any expectation that oh my God, this will be it. At 29, the suburban Vancouver mortgage broker has had a few relationships, but has never had a girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Thinking he might break the pattern — and, frankly, curious — he signed up for last November's Read Dating event.
I thought it was going to be epic. But I was kind of caught up in my own conversations," says Mr. Then there's Caleb Lee, 28, who has had "zero relationships. Lee came out two years ago and is looking for ways to meet men. He finds online dating stressful, and the club scene isn't his, well, scene.
He was interested in speed dating, though, especially at the library. Lee, an ESL teacher. He brought two books: Young's The Shack a Christian-themed novel his mom recommended , and Gregory Stock's The Book of Questions, figuring he could rely on its contents example: Lee didn't feel sparks fly at the library, but a group of read daters moved over to a nearby pub afterward. He and another guy connected over matters spiritual, and made a coffee date.
Around Christmas, there was a second date, where they visited both of their churches. It may sound like a match made in literary heaven, but Mr. Lee got cold feet. Story continues below advertisement If there were any happily-ever-afters that resulted from either night, Ms. Maier is unaware of them. Kwong may be single again this Valentine's Day, but he got something else out of the experience: He has been plowing through the reading list he acquired that night: And hey, if you don't connect, you've got a great list of books to read.
May not believe in happy endings. Pride and Prejudice A hopeful romantic. May also be a gold digger. The Scarlet Letter Likely won't stray. The Stone Angel This person will be kind to your grandma.
Also may have a lit. The Happiness Project Chances are, if they're reading this, they're not. Then again, they aspire to be. No Logo Politically engaged. The Joy of Sex Really? American Psycho Run faster. Follow Marsha Lederman on Twitter marshalederman.