As a board game fan (I don’t think I’m quite hardcore enough to earn the title of “enthusiast”), I appreciate a rousing game of such classic titles as Clue, Monopoly (though I prefer the cat version), and Scrabble. Some classic games, however, I’ve never had the pleasure of playing. Perhaps most regrettably, I’ve never gotten to play Mystery Date, a game that supposedly takes the anxiety-laden activity of blind dating and somehow makes it fun. Players move around a game board assembling an outfit, with the goal of eventually opening the mystery door to find out if they’ll be paired up with one of the four ostensibly desirable dating partners or the dreaded dud. It’s safe to say the concept hasn’t aged entirely favorably, but the game seems worth a try purely for the silliness factor, and the call of mystery is always a tantalizing hook. As exciting (or terrifying, depending on your social disposition) as it is to meet a mystery human, the library is betting you’ll find even more excitement in meeting mystery books.
For a third glorious year, we’ve rolled out our “Blind Date With a Book” display in an effort to set you up with a literary companion (or two, or three) for Valentine’s Day. In true Mystery Date fashion, the identity of each potential suitor is concealed by wrapping paper, so you can’t make your decision based on looks; your selections must be made purely on the perceived merits of each book’s dating profile, which contains its age, physical attributes, interests, turnoffs, a statement about where it wants to take you, and a succinct summation of its character. Here’s an example of one of our book bachelors:
After you find a desirable match, check it out and take it home to unwrap and enjoy. Unlike with Mystery Date and actual blind dating, you always win, because you’ll always be unveiling a book, which will never reject you, die, change, say you’re not good looking, or suddenly move out to the guest house. In the unlikely event your date turns out to be a disaster or dud-like for any reason, simply return it to the library and pick up a new one; there are plenty of fish in our sea just waiting to be reeled in.