Sunday, February 12, 2006

Love Among the Bookshelves

I was tickled by an article I read in the Malay Mail yesterday:
Librarians across Belgium are putting aside their reading glasses for arrows as they play Cupid. Using candles and romance to lure single readers to the library, they hope it will become the next trend in dating.

Dubbing it 'bib-dating' in Dutch - literally, library dating - they hope to draw more people to books by appealing to their hearts - while giving singles a new place to find love.

"Basically it's speed-dating, but in a new setting - with books," said librarian Eric Van der Straeten.

He and fellow librarian Danny Theuwis are hoping their idea will blow the dust off stereotypes of libraries as stuffy and suffocating.

Theuwis experimented with the dating idea three years ago, combining 14 single bookworms - most between 18 and 35 years old - with novels.

"I got some flowers for the tables, got some candles and gave those who came a glass of red wine," Theuwis said.

The informal setting and two people huddling to discuss their favorite books was all that was needed to break the ice and let relationships blossom, he said.

The idea of speed dating (aka bib dating!) with books has apparently taken off in the UK too in both libraries and bookshops.

Wouldn't it be fun to try it out here?


lil ms d said...

Sharon! If we do that here, we'd be in trouble! Have you seen the specimens in KL? Eeeeeyyyyyyyyoooooooowwwwww dowan dowan.

cheng sim said...

hahaha =)
its a cute idea.
then again, if such practise were to get a head start here in Msia,
the library will no longer be a quiet place.

Msians talks really loudly. so, it'll turn out to be a pasar malam event! haha. but its a good idea though cuz its SO hard to find guys who loved to read in the streets.

bibliobibuli said...

guys - lil ms. d is talking about YOU!!!!! please reassure her that there are some caring, manly men still out there

cheng sim - no library has to be silent ALL the time!

The Visitor said...

i can imagine this conversation:

Guy: "So hat's your fave books of all time?"

Miss D: "oh anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Haruki Murakami."

Guy: "Doh! say what? is Mah-kez related to Ricky Martin?"

Miss D: ".... (???) .... anywayyyyy, whats your fave book of all time?"

Guy: "oh, The Da Vinci Code. man, that book is awesome. kick ass!!!"

(insert sound of glass breaking)

Kak Teh said...

sharon, our courtship was conduted among the bookshelves of bookshops all around KL, a book on The Marx Brothers being the first to start something (how so unromantic) a book on "The Family of Children" to show an indication of what was to come, a book by a certain Dr Alex Comfort, (if you know what I mean, to show the seriousness of it all and all too soon, he was buying and reading books on pregnancy and childbirth...So, yes, yes, I admit - not romantic at all - but very practical.

In our old agem we arrange meetings at bookshops too.*sigh*

lil ms d said...

aiyah make fun of me somemore. choy.

went to art gallery anniversary. met gal pals there. they have certified that i am a magnet for really strange gonks. they even asked me to go mandi bunga.

i tell ya, with my luck, if i meet a guy in a bookshop, he's probably wanking between the bookshelves.

bibliobibuli said...

visitor - that little exchange truer than you know

lil ms d - gonks? *LOL*

kak teh - that does it ... i have my topic for tomorrow's blogging thanks to you and dina

qaminante said...

Well this hasn't shown up yet at the library I belong to in Brussels, which is the main Flemish Community library, with books not only in Dutch (although that is of course its main raison d'ĂȘtre) but in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Polish. I'll be sure to look out for it, although as most of the other habituĂ©s are Flemish students and I'm a middle-aged Brit, I'm not sure it would help!

bibliobibuli said...

qaminante - i think you should demand that your local library get involved what with all the worldwide publicity ...

RheLynn said...

That really is a great idea! My own DH and I sort of fell in love at a library ;o) But, that was in eighth grade, and he didn't know it yet. *wink*

Anonymous said...

Candles and books ? are you sure that's such a great idea ? :)

Walker said...

It never occurred to me until reading this, but I suppose the City Library is, and always has been, one of my pick-up joints. ;)

bibliobibuli said...

rhelynn - nice story!

anon - you know the thoguth of conflagration ('cept of hearts) had not crossed my mind

walker - now you have to tell some stories!

Anonymous said...

hahaha...somehow that made me think of ipoh libraries, and how teens get into trouble just holding hands while walking in parks or something.

that sounds like a good idea - though i don't even like reading from the same menu, much less sharing a book, but tis always nice to see what someone likes to read (or that they like to read at all).

Anonymous said...

(laughs at what the visitor said)

Anonymous said...

haha..those two comments up there were me, i have no idea why i'm logged out of my account.

Walker said...

LOL! Just read Joe Orton's diaries and substitute the library for the public toilets and me for Joe. And obviously, ignore all the stuff about him er.. me being a successful playwright, etc. ;)

(I think that's my most surreal comment ever.)