The One-Stop Shop for Love and Literature

Photo by @niznoz/Flickr

Sure, I could blather on about the love to be found within the pages of a book, but I speak more literally when I tell you that Penguin Books wants to be your matchmaker, not only with great literature but also with great romance. Introducing… Penguin Dating: Where Book Lovers Meet!

My reaction when I learned of Penguin’s new dating site? Genius. Because, as was revealed in a semi-obnoxious (though relatable) NYT essay earlier this year, book lovers can be a notoriously uppity lot when it comes to their partner’s reading preferences. So let’s say that Joseph Heller’s Something Happened is the most brilliant book you’ve come across in a year, but reading Samuel Beckett makes you want to stick sharp objects in your eyes (just as an example), you could note this in your profile and be matched to someone with similar literary inclinations. Right?

Well no, I don’t think so. Ignoring for now the question of whether you’d even want a partner with precisely the same literature tastes (it is, after all, nice to have someone to introduce you to new authors), I think the more pertinent point is that Penguin Dating is not in itself a standalone personals site. It’s the offspring of Penguin Books and and, so far as I can tell (I, uh, have a friend who has a profile), will yield you the exact same pool of potential dates. In other words, it’s just the same product marketed to a different group.

To stop myself from being a complete killjoy, I suppose you could counter-argue that by attracting new members via a different vehicle, the core of available choices grows: more book lovers signing up for means more book lovers with whom they can be matched.

Well then, in the words of the Bard, let me not to the marriage of true business partners admit impediment. (Alright, so I paraphrase.)

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