The Book (Group) Of Love

Look no further than your local library, bookstore or reading group to find romance — and we don’t mean the genre! Follow these book-centric tips to meet, flirt and plan dates with other literature lovers.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

f you’re a smart single who’s sick of looking in the usual haunts and pick-up places, why not switch things up by getting involved in a book club or attending a book-related event? You’ll get some cultural edification, and you might even find love between the pages!

Store-sponsored groups are generally the best option because they attract a group of people you don’t already know (as opposed to your friends’ groups
Store-sponsored groups are generally the best option.
that tend to be more insular). I met a guy in a non-fiction book group once. We lived in different parts of town and probably never would have gotten to meet otherwise. The group provided an instant icebreaker, and the books gave us plenty to talk about. And while the relationship didn’t take, we remained friends because we’d built a foundation on our common interests — and he introduced me to someone else! But don’t take my word for it — see what the experts have to say:

It’s a great way to get to know someone
“Book groups may be good way to meet your match because they offer you the opportunity to share and explore intellectual chemistry based on a mutual interest: reading and books,” says Kailen Rosenberg, celebrity relationship expert and correspondent for the TODAY show. “We can learn a great deal about communication skills and style, sense of humor, intellect, accountability (whether they read the assigned chapters/book or not), values and so much more in a relaxed, social environment.”

What else can you learn about the people in your book discussion group or at an author event? “If they write a lot in the margins, you can tell they like to engage with what they read,” notes Emily Pullen, ordering manager and book groups liaison at Skylight Books in Los Angeles. “If the book is pristine, maybe it’s never been read or maybe the person is a neat freak. If it’s beat up, maybe it’s a favorite and [he or she has] read it 10 times. Maybe you can’t always judge a person by the books they carry, but often, you can.”

And if you’re interested in getting to know someone better, then what?

How to flirt with other book lovers
“Make eye contact, smile and engage in conversation before or after the book group,” Rosenberg says. If the chat is interesting enough, suggest moving your conversation to a nearby coffee place or
Maybe you can’t always judge a person by the books they carry…
restaurant. “Don’t think too much about what to say,” suggests “Wing Girl” Kiai Kim, author of AlphaDog, a dating guide for men that focuses on leadership principles and personality-type theory. “The reading [material] should give you enough to talk about. The important thing is to not approach the other person with any expectations. Just enjoy having conversations. Then, wait for the right time to ask for or offer [your] contact information. If asking for contact info is too intimidating, ask the person if he or she would be interested in joining you on another activity or reading as a date.”

If the love connection doesn’t hold, don’t worry, Rosenberg counsels. “If it doesn’t click, it’s an indication that he or she is not The One. And actually, it’s a gift and an opening for the right one to come along. When it’s meant to be, it will happen. Keep your heart open and don’t quit the book club!”

You might also find love amongst the stacks before or after the book club ends or the reading’s concluded. “Independent bookstores are a fantastic places to meet a potential love interest, be it at an event or just browsing the stacks, because you can learn a lot about someone by the books [that person] browses — cookbooks, books about politics, poetry books, career advice books,” explains Caroline Green, the community events coordinator for Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville, N.C. “Plus, supporting local, independent businesses may be something [he or she] values. That’s hot!”

So stop reading about romance and start having one yourself by heading on down to your local bookstore and signing up for a group or event. You could find a great read and a great date at the same time!

Margot Carmichael Lester is the author/coauthor of four books, including Be A Better Writer and The Real Life Guide to Life After College.
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