Florida State Romances the Campus With Blind Book Dates

By Erica Gleeman on March 15, 2017

Photo by WerbeFabrik via Pixabay

As the ‘romance season’ comes to a halt, we show appreciation for the book wrapping outreach done by one of Florida State University’s libraries. Strozier Library at Florida State University has been taken with the love in the air, attempting to fix you up on a blind date … with a book that is. Bookaholics have rejoiced! This semester, the month long escapade used Valentine’s Day as its muse.

Was it love at first line? I guess you’ll have to keep on reading to find out.

To start, what even is a blind date with a book?

Imagine walking into a bookstore and closing your eyes; without sight, you then pick up a book at random to purchase. This concept of going in blind sighted is consistent with the blind date with a book aesthetic. The blind date gives you controlled opportunities to be uncontrolled. You can loose the stress of overthinking titles, pursuing a genre bias, and just an all around ruckus.

A blind book date is just what it sounds like; all of the books are glamorously wrapped up and on display, hence the blind book title. The books’ covers and contents are completely encrypted, with exception to the first line of the text.

You then have the opportunity to select a book from the display and read the first line. After you have come to grips with the decision of taking a gamble on a book you have only read a line about, you can check it out and unwrap the love. Reader’s Tip: If you desire to be more daring, do not glimpse at the exposed line at all before checking out.

What is the point of a blind book date?

What if the love of your life was right in front of you, but you never noticed because he is different than your normal type? Would you really pass up an opportunity of happiness just because of divergent means? The purpose of a blind date with a book is the same in theory: not to judge a book by its cover.

Many times, avid readers stick to the same few genres they are comfortable with, not realizing the neglect they are inflicting upon other genres. The blind date with a book is varied amongst all genres and can bring recognition to what has been under your nose this whole time. This blind date can take you out of your comfort zone, and invite you to try something new.

The blind book date promotes reading and makes it more exciting to those who wouldn’t normally be reading, with the fun gift-wrapping and elements of surprise. The blind books can bring publicity to great reads, which are not well known or just hastily overlooked. The possibilities are limitless.

Where would I go to check out the display for the blind book dates?

Once you have accessed the university’s grounds, walk across Landis Green to enter Florida State University’s signature library on campus, Strozier. Simply ask the front desk associate to point you in the direction of the circulation desk, and you are practically there. The display for the blind date with a book is set up right next to it.

Photo by FSU Libraries – Twitter

•Location: Robert Manning Strozier Library, 116 Honors Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306

•Website: https://www.lib.fsu.edu

•Contact: (850) 644-2706

What happens if I don’t like the book I chose?

Absolutely nothing happens if you do not like the chosen book. You do not even have to finish reading it if you do not want to. There is no harm, no foul here. Disappointment may wash over you, but just remember that you were a good sport and that deserves some acknowledgment. Give yourself a pat on the back for trying something new. You get an ‘A’ for effort.

Now come on back into Club Stroz (Strozier Library, that is) to return the book. Why not go for round two with another book blind date? You are there after all, and you could end up with a great read. Reader’s Tip: Beware not to choose the same opening line as the book you just turned in.

Now, why would I want to know about Florida State University’s blind dates with books if the February love fest is over?

Have no fear, the disappearance of Florida State University’s blind book dates is only temporary. The blind book dates will be back in action at Club Stroz in the fall of 2017. Learn about the blind book wrappings from this year so you can be prepared for the next go around. Florida State University has been offering blind dates with books for almost four years now. They have several other outreaches a year as well.

Why should I be involved in a blind date with a book?

A blind date with a book is a fun and exciting way to discover new books, probably books you would not have looked at before. If you want to get inspired to read again or are just looking for some mystery to spice things up, then this is the perfect gamble for you. You likely won’t be able to resist the urge to find out a book’s hidden identity beneath the secretive wrapping paper.

Check out the video Youtuber Little Owl Book left for a review of her first blind date with a book. You can see how cool it is for yourself.

Is there somewhere else I can try the blind book date before Florida State University’s next outreach?

Open up your search engine of choice, and type out ‘blind date with a book near me’ and that should give you local offerings of public libraries or bookstores.

Now there is somewhere else you have the opportunity to indulge without leaving your home. This option is not free though and is based out of Australia. Check out the website: Blind Date with a Book.

Erica Gleeman is a New York native, but was raised in Boca Raton, Florida. She is a senior at Florida State University currently pursuing a degree in English - Editing, Writing, and Media with a minor in General Business. The Editing, Writing, and Media track re-conceives the English major for the 21st century. It still preserves the traditional core of English, the creation and interpretation of texts, by combining practice in writing and editing with the study of cultural history and criticism. However, it transforms both writing practice and critical study to confront the new challenges of digital technology, visual culture, and the Internet. The Editing, Writing, and Media major uniquely prepares for communications related skills.

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