WORD bookstore in Brooklyn was recently recognized by the Village Voice for “Best Off-Line Personal Ads - 2010” for its matchmaking board – a success that has spawned bookish love connections and press coverage since its debut last July. WORD has also hosted similarly themed mixers.
The bookstore’s matchmaking service began with a customer who had noticed two books on the hold shelf that happened to be two of her favorites. She immediately wanted more information so she could set her sights on marrying whoever it was that had her precise literary taste. It turned out that the books were for two people who were already married, but store manager Stephanie Anderson saw the book-based matchmaking potential, and “Between the Covers: A Matchmaking Service for Book Lovers” was born.
The bookstore displays a bulletin board where interested customers can fill out and post a basic form, including information about the books and authors they like. “People laugh at it when they first walk in and see it, but then get very serious when they start filling out their slip,” Anderson said.
The board has served its purpose and several couples have gotten together. Anderson said, “I hear anecdotes about them from time to time – people will come in and say their friend went on a date as a result of the board, or something like that.” Still, she’s after bigger game. “I personally would love to help someone out with a wedding proposal in the store,” she said.
The WORD mixers, held at local Brooklyn bars, have also been responsible for some romance. “We had a solid turnout for each one, and there were definitely matches made,” Anderson said. “And people making out in the back of the bar.”
Aside from generating neighborhood goodwill, WORD’s Between the Covers matchmaking board and mixers have caught the attention of the New York Times, Time Out New York, and other local press, in addition to garnering recognition from the Village Voice. All of this notice led Anderson to say that a matchmaking board would probably work well elsewhere. “It's been very fun for us so far, and I'd recommend it to any store.”