Friday, August 19, 2016

Let's Change Cultural Norms: Have a Bookstore Singles Night

A few years ago, I wrote a nifty blog about dating in the e-reading world. It was a pretty solid blog on how I think dating would go when two like-minded people who both happen to own e-readers meet by chance, i.e. spying the opposite sex across an idyllic college campus while one has their ereader out. Any time I speak at a high school English class about writing, I always tell the boys: “Guys, you have a better chance of scoring a date by READING. Women love intelligent, well-read men.” You may remember it. If you don’t, here it is.

I only bring this up because I feel couples need to have at least one thing in common: Jen and I read, although our tastes in books differ greatly. She likes literary works, while I prefer action/adventure genre fiction. (Quick aside: When she and I first met, I said I would read East of Eden. And I did. In about seven weeks. And she's read a few of my books, too.) To each their own. We also have a love of horses and other small animals (our Inn is full, no vacancies), and cooking, and gardening. We are a pretty well-rounded, married couple.

But there are some who may not have the luck my wife and I had in meeting and getting together and falling in love over our shared interests. And that brings us to the subject of this diatribe.

A couple of months ago, there was a story about Barnes & Noble taking an idea out for a test drive: serving alcohol in four pilot stores, just to see how it would go. I refrained blogging about it; quickly highlighting it, I feel (and I'm probably unanimous in this) it should be a two-drink maximum, and you have to make a book purchase by the second drink order. A bookstore—or any book retailer—is not a damn library, and a bookstore is not a bar. I’m just saying.

With that said, I want to take that concept one further. How about a bookstore singles night?

Imagine this idea: you know you can already buy a girl a drink at a bar. It has been done countless times, ad nauseam. Shit, I've done it. Why can’t you buy her—or him; girls can buy guys a book, too; and a girl can do it for a girl, and a guy can do it for a guy—a book and forge a more interesting connection that way? Don’t you think if you were to strike up a conversation over a book, whether it be in the fantasy/sci-fi section or the romance/bodice ripper section, or whatever, you’d have a better chance of getting digits, or exchange email addresses or Facebook accounts and having a longer-lasting relationship than one started when you’re three sheets to the wind and more than likely will end with a drunken Walk of Shame?

Again, I’m just saying.

Someone, please organize a bookstore singles night. This should be the ultimate conversation starter, one which won’t end with the first flip of the page.