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Literary seduction


A confession: we're addicted to blind dates. With books.

Foyles in Charing Cross, London, keeps propositioning us with the literary equivalent of a handsome stranger - great works of fiction whose identity remains a mystery until we commit at the till. Wrapped in thick brown paper, like a prohibition era beer bottle, only an enticingly enigmatic personal ad stuck to each cover hints at the contents inside.

Just a few of the classifieds that have caught our eye:

'Dramatic romantic encounters' - Match.com goers take note

Gary Perry and Rachel Darling are the romantic Foyles booksellers behind the fictional matchmaking initiative. They said that the daily pressure of being bookselling's answer to Cilla Black sparked their idea.

"The answer to the ubiquitous 'Can you recommend me a book?' is something that can make or break your day - knowing that you have selected the perfect book for the customer is a joy, whilst feeling that you've fallen short or run out of ideas can really weigh on you," Darling said.

Politics and poker aren't usually great date fodder, but we'll make an exception for a mischievous critter

"It's not as easy as you might think," added Perry. "You need to know something of your customer's reading habits and what they want out of the choice in order to relate to their needs, but even then it can be a struggle."

Ah June, we're just a little too late for this one

Gary Perry and Rachel Darling’s Literary Blind Dates will be available at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, until mid-August

Did you guess the titles the pictured classifieds are referring to? Send us your own 50-word personal ads for you favourite book below, or on Twitter

Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Foyles



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