I always joke that my goal with speed dating events is to create an experience which doesn’t require years of therapy to recover from. For this reason I usually like to add an interesting element to speed dating, something to elevate the conversation from the typical “what’s-your-name-and-what-do-you-do”, and also a way to stave off those dreaded long silences. I noticed I was meeting a lot of readers on my matchmaking coffee dates, so I designed a speed dating event for them.

Each person brought a favorite book or two to use as an icebreaker/conversation starter. Instead of going from table to table, pairs found a cozy spot on a couch or elsewhere in the private lounge of a condo building. The feedback I got was that it felt like discussing literature in someone’s living room, and that having books to talk about instantly brought the conversation to a deeper level.

One woman later told me “I thought the event was well put together, comfortable and non-nerve racking!” We heard from one guy: “Super laid back and fun. Honestly, even if I don’t date any of these women, I’d definitely hang out with them. I also liked the guys there – people were just cool.” Ten first dates and one serious relationship (that we know about) came out of this event!