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COLUMN: Don’t judge a book by its cover

Library branch offers Blind Date with a Book event

One day, I was out in the stacks at the library when I heard a conversation between a mom and her young daughter.

The mom told her daughter “to find a good book, just pull it out from the shelf and look at the cover, if you like the way it looks…then we will take it home.”

I remember thinking to myself, “This mom just taught her daughter to judge a book by its cover in the most literal sense of the phrase.”

Quickly I realized, however, that I myself am guilty of doing the exact same thing.

Fast forward to just a week ago. I had generated a list of books that were sitting on our shelves without being circulated for over one year.

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I then went out into the stacks to pull these books for our Blind Date with a Book event in hopes to get some good reads that our patrons may have missed while browsing.

As I began pulling the books, I caught myself looking at the covers and thinking “Oh no, that looks cheesy” or “I don’t think anyone will want to read that,” which is exactly what the whole concept of Blind Date with a Book is trying to avoid.

Blind Date with a Book involves a selection of books wrapped in brown paper, so you can’t see what you are getting ahead of time. Instead, there are some clues written on the front to help you determine if the book is the right fit for you.

So what I ended up doing instead of eliminating the books I had deemed “unworthy” by the covers is I added them to my pile and then looked them up on my computer to get a better sense of the book.

I read reviews, checked to make sure they weren’t the last book in a series, and then decided whether they would make the cut. I was surprised by how many of these unattractive books actually had amazing reviews and how the “cheesy” looking books had some deep and moving plot lines.

With that said, I encourage you to check out one of our blind date books from the library and see if you find a hidden gem.

When you open up your book you will find a card inside that allows you to write a ‘Love Letter’ if you really liked the book or a ‘Dear John’ letter if you would like to break up with the book and never hear from it again.

Bring this card back to the library, so we can display it, and you will be entered to win a fabulous gift bag.

This event starts on Tuesday, Feb. 2, and continues throughout the entire month, with the draw taking place on Tuesday, March 2.

Kayley Robb is an assistant community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library and has learned her lesson – no judging books by their covers.

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