How to bring books back into the spotlight? With a unique idea! Elizabeth’s Bookshops in Australia started Blind Date with a Book, which was soon available in England and to the rest of the world from their online shop.
Curated, nicely wrapped books which are hand-picked from all genres like romance, fiction, classics, horror, adventure, science fiction – a perfect idea for the book lover who will be surprised and finds him- or herself being inspired and led to new ideas by choosing a book that would have probably been overlooked by just walking into your regular bookstore. We had a chat with the founder and owner Rory Schmitz.
IRMA: Who and what started the idea for Blind Date with a Book?
RORY SCHMITZ: Blind Date with a Book started on a cold and rainy night in Elizabeth’s Bookshop in Sydney, Australia. As a bookshop we are always fielding requests for book recommendations and the concept was in response to the idea of helping people choose books that they might not have picked up. One of our staff members began choosing books that were not on people’s radar but were great reads. They were then wrapped in brown paper with a few clues written on the front alluding to the book inside. It was a surprising and instant hit with the customers.
IRMA: Who is in charge of the selection of books?
RORY SCHMITZ: The books that become Blind Dates are chosen by the staff from Elizabeth’s Bookshops in Australia. Our staff have interests covering a wide range of genres with many years of combined eclectic reading experience. We pick books that readers may have missed by great authors or other great books that perhaps did not receive the publicity that they deserved.
IRMA: What book will NEVER become a Blind Date?
RORY SCHMITZ: There are a few reasons why we might not turn a book into a Blind Date such as it is been read by many people (Bridget Jones’s Diary), the subject matter may have gone out of fashion (Twilight) or it should never have been printed in the first place (Moon People).
IRMA: What kind of people buy your Blind Dates?
RORY SCHMITZ: All sorts of people buy Blind Dates. Experienced readers see it as a way of getting around the problem of judging a book by its cover. New readers love the curated selection of books and even non-readers like the packaging and the lucky dip aspect. Some customers will stand on the street with a friend playing a literary guessing game trying to guess what the book is inside while they drink their coffee and wait for a bus.
Find out more about Blind Date with a Book.