Readers visiting the Dimmick Memorial Library in Jim Thorpe now have a unique way to discover new authors and topics.
For the month of February, the library will be offering "blind dates" with books, each recommended by a library employee.
Like a true blind date, readers who check out a special "blind date" book won't know the title or author of their book. Each book is wrapped in plain brown paper.
"I saw this online and thought it was a cute idea," said library director Susan Sterling.
After speaking with her co-workers and online friends, she realized that this could be a fun way to introduce library patrons to new books and authors.
"We're not choosing best sellers that everyone has read, but we're also not choosing obscure titles or classics," said Sterling.
For example, don't expect to find Moby Dick among the wrapped books. Each book was chosen because a library employee enjoyed it and thought it worthy of a blind date.
To help library patrons decide which "blind date" to choose, each wrapped book carries a short, catchy description or book review written on the outside, hinting at the book's genre or theme.
On the first day of the program, a few of the books available promised a "fast and fun read," a story of "star-crossed lovers," and a "tense, thrilling, and entirely plausible" novel. It's the library's hope that this project will allow readers to discover a new favorite author or at least break out of their current reading tendencies and explore new topics. Sticking with the blind date theme, readers are asked not to unwrap their mystery book until they leave the library. They can also check out a second book to enjoy in case their "date" disappoints.
"People are creatures of habit," said Chris Becker, library assistant. "A lot of people pick a genre and stick with it. This is their chance to read new things and try new authors."
While some were hesitant, a few readers were drawn in by the short selling points on the wrapped books and quickly embraced the chance to explore a mystery book. Five wrapped books were checked out on the first day.
"I think it appeals to our more adventurous readers," she added.
The Dimmick Memorial Library will continue to offer the blind date program until Feb. 28.
The library is located at 54 Broadway in Jim Thorpe. Library hours are Monday-Wednesday, 9-5 p.m.; Thursday 11-7 p.m.; Friday 9-5 p.m.; and Saturday, 9-4 p.m.