Last week a good friend told me that she was heading to the library to meet someone for a blind date. It seemed like a great idea to me - libraries are generally brightly lit public spaces that offer opportunities to sit and chat as well as stroll through the stacks, and we also have a great coffee shop. Plus it's never too early to determine if you share the same taste in books, right? (Although if having a similar taste in books is a compatibility marker, then my non-reading husband and I are in trouble!)
The Romance of Libraries by Madeleine Lefebvre is a lovely anthology of true-life stories about relationships that began (or ended) within libraries, and although many of the stories vary a great deal, the physical setting of the library as a public space always plays a role. "While most accounts are about romances that developed in a library setting, some are about romances with libraries themselves. Loosely arranged by context, the stories―happy, sad, or bittersweet―share an over-arching theme of the transformative and emotive power of libraries in our lives. Lefebvre's underlying message is that the physical library can play a role in our affections that the virtual library never can." Publisher.
Some other books for the literary-minded romantic:
The Jane Austen rules : a classic guide to modern love by Sinéad Murphy gleans dating advice from everyone's favourite Regency Era author, Jane Austen. "What's a strong, independent-minded woman supposed to do in a world of insipid dating guides? Sinéad Murphy responds by asking: Who has more time-tested secrets than Jane Austen, whose novels continue to captivate us almost two hundred years later? Whether you can recite paragraphs from Pride and Prejudice or just admired Colin Firth in his wet t-shirt, the romance of Jane Austen's world is one you'll never forget. Does love like that even exist today? Yes, it does. If you look closely at the women of Jane Austen's books, as the witty scholar Sinéad Murphy has, you'll discover Austen's countless tips for finding the right leading man, navigating the ups and downs of courtship, and building a happy, independent life for yourself." Publisher.
Much Ado about Loving : What our Favorite Novels can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-so-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals by Jack Murnighan and Maura Kelly takes a critical look at romances in literature. Rather than providing dating advice, this book is a fun look at our favourite classic books from two authors with different perspectives. The books is set up in a "he said - she-said" format, with the two authors taking alternate chapters debating the romantic feasibility of literary couples while sharing personal anecdotes. This book is a fun read, whether or not you're actively looking for love!