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Murrow College of Communication at WSU

Whitman County Library hosts “Blind Date with a Book”

COLFAX, Wash. – Don’t judge a book by its cover. We’ve all heard the saying, but the Whitman County Library takes it to a whole new level with employee Sarah Phelan-Blamires’ “Blind Date with a Book” program.

You may be thinking this program means going on a blind date with someone and reading books together at the library, however, your date is the book, and anyone with a library card can participate.

“Valentine’s Day is a cute, fun holiday, and a lot of times we have kid’s events or kid’s programming, and I thought it would be fun to do something for the adults,” Phelan-Blamires said.

And with the holiday right around the corner, this is the perfect time to find a new way to celebrate the month of love.

“Literally not judge a book by its cover, so they’re all wrapped up and they just have hints on each book,” Phelan-Blamires said.

Wrapped in bright red paper, with hints ranging from “WWII” to “Regency Romance,” there is a “type” for everyone on the “Blind Date with a Book” display.

Just like a real-life blind date with a human, you pick your date by reading brief hints about each candidate and choosing the one that piques your interest the most.

You then check out your book from the Whitman County Library and take it on your blind date.

The best part comes when you finally unwrap your book, revealing which kind of date you scored.

Will it be a suspenseful mystery? Steamy star-crossed lovers? The options are endless.

Even better, you can give a rating of your date on the “Rate Your Date” slip attached to the back of each book, by answering a few questions.

“What was your dates first impression?” Phelan-Blamires said. “Would you set up this book with a friend?”

Participants have until March 11 to return their book with its rating to be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift certificate to Serfes Foods, Colfax’s new restaurant, to go on a real date, maybe with a special someone.

“Or a friend, Galentine’s, whatever you want to do,” Phelan-Blamires said.

Valentine’s Day can have the reputation of feeling like a holiday only for the love birds out there, but “Blind Date with a Book” is a program anyone can enjoy.

“If people want to just quietly grab a book, read it and fill out their slip, that’s great,” Phelan-Blamires said. “If people want to really engage, they can call the library and we can set them up with a book.”

For Phelan-Blamires, the most rewarding aspect of creating “Blind Date with a Book” is seeing people return each year for the program, looking forward to finding their new date.

“I like hearing about what books they’ve gotten in the past, trying to guess the titles this year,” Phelan-Blamires said. “I feel like it’s a really successful program.”

Whether or not you are a fan of the Valentine’s Day cliches, from huge stuffed animals to heart-shaped chocolates, going on a blind date with a book can be a nice change of pace this year to celebrate.

“Blind Date with a Book” ends February 28, and books need to be returned by March 11 to be eligible for the real date drawing.



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