Would you agree to read a book without knowing its title, author, or plot?
That's exactly what you're asked to do at the Dimmick Memorial Library in Jim Thorpe this month.
Their "blind date with a book" program encourages library patrons to check out a wrapped mystery book. Each book is recommended by a library employee, but you won't know what the book is until you get it home all you'll see is a short summary or phrase written on the wrapper.
In theory, readers go on blind dates with books all the time. Many of the new books I read have been recommended by friends or co-workers. I also get caught up in the latest literary trends and best sellers. And most of the time, I consider myself better for the experience. So when I saw a mystery book at the library described as a "fast, fun read," I took the bait. It sounded like the perfect book for a weekend snowstorm.
I made it halfway to the car before I gave in and opened the wrapper. To my disappointment, it was a Young Adult book geared towards adolescent boys. But in the spirit of any blind date, I told myself I would read the first chapter or two before I made a decision.
That night, I started reading. It was silly. It was slightly crude, with lots of jokes geared towards teenage boys. But more importantly, it was just humorous enough that I kept reading. I finished it in just two days.
By the end of the book, I loved it. It was so different from anything I've recently read and refreshingly silly. The last few chapters had me really rooting for the main character. I was proud of how much he had grown, from an immature 15-year-old to someone who had learned an important life lesson.
That's the point of the blind date program to get readers outside of their comfort zone, expose them to new authors and ideas, and share new "date-worthy" books with library patrons.
While I'm not sure that I'll be checking out more Young Adults books in the near future, I really enjoyed the experience. I might even grab another mystery book before the program ends.