We have been told for years: Never judge a book by its cover.
Well, now there is a website that ensures you never will.
Blinddatewithabook.com is a fairly new service that shows you a library of books available for purchase, but it doesn’t show you the book’s cover, the author’s name, or even the title of the book. All you have to go on are five brief bullet-point descriptions about the book itself and nothing more.
I had seen a few promotional posts about the site popping up on Facebook for a while and, last week, I decided to give it a go.
Boy, was I NOT disappointed!
First of all, the site itself is well laid out and easy to navigate. You have the option to order books on an individual basis, or you can sign up for their Book Club, which sends you one book per month for six months, in a range of genres selected by you.
I opted for the individual option just to test the water’s and here’s how it went…
When I first started going through the site, I couldn’t help appreciating the novelty of it. So many times I have perused the shelves of bookshops and found myself admiring cover art and poring over the blurb, trying to make a decision, or even a judgement as to whether or not I would enjoy the book itself. And suddenly, all the indecision was stripped back to its absolute minimum. With only five brief bullet points in front of you for the entire decision process, the choice actually became a lot easier.
The book I chose to buy was billed as:
- Spoof Fairy Tale
Those who know me will tell you that, when it comes to stories, this description (brief though it is) is not just ‘right up my street’, but is already through my front door and making itself a cup of tea with no questions asked! Whatever book this brown paper wrapping was concealing, it was definitely for me.
So I ordered it. An individual book on the site is priced at £7.99, plus £2.99 for postage and packaging. Given that this is the average you would pay for a paperback book these days, it seemed more than reasonable here.
With my book order placed, all I had to do was wait. And anticipate.
Instantly, I started thinking over what it could be. Would it be a book I had heard of? Or even one that I had read before? Would I find I was wildly disappointed with the selection? Or maybe find that it did not live up to its description? All of that was going through my head on Tuesday evening as I clicked “Buy”.
On Wednesday morning, I received an email confirming my book had been shipped.
On Thursday evening, I returned home from work to find it waiting for me on my door mat. You would not believe the excitement this caused me!
Think of it this way: here is a website that allows you to buy yourself a gift and still retain the surprise of not knowing what that gift is until you open it. It is really quite clever.
So this is what I received:
It was so beautifully wrapped that for a moment, I didn’t want to open it. But eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I tore into the packaging.
The book inside is everything the description said it would be: A Spoof Fairy Tale, full of romance and adventure, with plenty of fantastical elements, and it is altogether hilarious! There have been times, while reading it, that I have had to stop for a moment due to bouts of full-on belly laughs at some of the descriptions and narrative quirks.
Before you ask, I am not going to tell you the title of the book. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for you if you happened to order it for yourself.
What I will say is that Blind Date with a Book is a service well worth checking out if you enjoy surprises and reading in equal measure.
As for me…
I will certainly be going back for a second date.