Book in for a novel way to find yourself true romance

BOOKWORMS are being encouraged to leave the library and find love at the city's first literary speed dating event.

The Edinburgh Bookshop hit on the idea as a way for readers to find a partner who shared their interests. The shop has already had a flood of interest, with people snapping up tickets within the first few days.

Participants will have to leave the comfort of their sofa or local bookshop to visit the stylish One Below bar at the Rutland Hotel, but they are being asked to bring along their favourite book as a way of breaking the ice with potential partners.

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Like a conventional speed dating evening, the male and female participants will have three minutes to speak to each other. They can then mingle over a drink, before ticking names on a form to say who they would like to see again.

However, this time, the women will be sitting at stations named after authors, and instead of being stumped for small talk, they can take a cue from their chosen books to start a conversation.

Organiser Becky Hearne, from the bookshop on Brunswick Street, said the idea had seemed appropriate in the City of Literature.

So far, the shop has had slightly more interest from female readers, but hopes the numbers will even up by the night.

Ms Hearne said: "We really want to be a community bookshop, and we thought this would be a nice way to bring people together.

"Speed dating can seem a bit scary, but books are such a good icebreaker. If you're coming to chat about your favourite book, then it sounds like a more appealing idea.

"Edinburgh's such a literary city and so many people seem to be writing a book. Even if you don't find a partner, you might find new friends with a shared love of Jane Austen."

The event is on Tuesday, 9 February at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the bookshop, priced 5, which includes a drink on arrival.

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It also plans to give participants goodie bags, containing books and other items.