Book Speed Dating

book-112117_640A few weeks ago, I was told about a teen programming idea that sounded like it could be a lot of fun: Book Speed Dating.

After doing some research online, it appears that it is a popular idea that teens really enjoy and it gets them to read books that they may not normally pick up.

All you need to do is set up a few tables, gather the books ahead of time (these can be a mix of fiction and nonfiction or just fiction or just nonfiction), create a scorecard, and have a timer (or watch/clock) available.

The participants start by picking a book that they would like to “meet.” They get about 3 minutes with that book to read the description and the first few pages.  At the end of the 3 minutes, they fill out their score card and move to the next table. If they liked the book, they can take it to the next table with them.  If, at the next table, they find a book that they like better, they must leave the first book at that table – at no time should they have 2 books at once.  When the program is done, the participants get to check out the books they have chosen.

Another way of doing this is for the participants to sit in a circle and pass their books to someone else, instead of going to different tables each round. It may help to vary the way the participants pass the books on by having them pass 3 to the right one time and 5 to the right another time, etc.

It has also been suggested that, if a participant can’t find a book they feel connected to, there should be a “Blind Date table” that he/she has to choose a book from at random.

Have you tried this program or something similar at your library? How did it go? Do you have any tips for others who may want to try it?

Carpinelli, Tish. “Speed Dating Remix.” Library Media Connection 33.1 (2014): 40. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

Carpinelli, Tish. “Speed Dating With Books!.” Library Media Connection 31.2 (2012): 28. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

Kochel, Marcia, and Mary Childs. “Blind Date with a Book –or– Speed Dating for Books.” Book Programs & More. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

Ungier, Julie. “Speed Dating (With Books!) Program.” N.p., 20 May 2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

Example of a Speed Dating Score Sheet


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