Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

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



50 best books of the 1920s


Man Booker Prize for Fiction: 2013 longlist



Harry Potter fans, there's a Roald Dahl collaboration in the works

Are you ready for a magical Willy Wonka prequel?

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a new line of fiction books

She’s channelling her inner Carrie Bradshaw…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

New Ladybird books for grown-ups are all our work woes

Old pics, new problems

by Anna Pollitt
18 Oct 2016

These are the UK’s favourite pearls of Winnie-the-Pooh wisdom

He’s far more than a bear of very little brain, you know.

by Moya Crockett
14 Oct 2016

Bridget Jones's author on life, love and the importance of friendship

“No one can have it all”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Oct 2016

There's now going to be a Good Sex in Fiction award

“We have laughed enough”

by Amy Swales
12 Oct 2016

Meet the winner of Stylist’s gothic short story competition

The big short

by The Stylist web team
10 Oct 2016

9 important life lessons from cult feminist Instagram poet Rupi Kaur

Happy National Poetry Day.

by Moya Crockett
06 Oct 2016

Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz to star in adaptation of Disobedience

They will bring Naomi Alderman’s debut novel to life on the silver screen

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Oct 2016

Watch eerie trailer for Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events

We’re sorry to say that the trailer you’re about to watch is extremely unpleasant…

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Oct 2016