Lugging titles such as Lonely Planet: South America and Ian Mc Ewan’s Atonement, some people attended for a “nerdy good time” while others jumped at the chance to avoid the bar scene (the collective sigh of relief was audible).
It’s a dating formula that has grown in popularity since it was created in Belgium’s library stacks in 2006 (libraries in Australia, San Francisco, Vancouver and Victoria have hosted similar events).
As likeminded people roamed the buzzing room, it was easy to see why.
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Single book lovers on a quest for romance should head to library, and not just because it loans Fifty Shades of Grey.
The Toronto Public Library hosted its first GLBTQ literary speed dating event Wednesday night, a dating game where singles are free to judge potential lovers by their book selections.
To play, people simply bring their favorite book, CD, or DVD, rotate to chat to strangers for three-minute increments, and use their choice as a talking point.
Pseudonyms can be used to protect privacy, but be warned: The library “holds no responsibility for the outcome of any relationship that may or may not form as a result of our speed dating event,” Bloor/Gladstone librarian and organizer Raymond Lam said as more than two dozen hopeful daters awaited the first round.
“You know you at least have one thing in common, and that the person has read at least one book,” said attendee Cam Lavender, 26.
Armed with his copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Circle Game, Lavender, who works in TV broadcasting, was impressed with the turnout.He didn’t run into anyone reading self-help books (“kind of a turn off”) and indicated he’d like to contact quite a few people on his card.People might not have found love at the free event that runs much like a book club, he conceded, but they were introduced to up to 40 new books.“They learned about wonderful new titles they might not have been aware of,” he said.“By doing the event in a library it is a safe environment, it is an inclusive environment.” When Lam heard about the twist on speed dating in February, he thought it would be a perfect fit for the library, which always looks to attract people from the community. This round was aimed at GLBTQ community members between 19 and 35, although Lam wasn’t strict on ages.While there were some logistical snafus (no one really figured out how to rotate properly, and there were significantly more people looking for men than for women), the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.