Arts and Entertainment

Kitsap singles: I lost my ISB number. Can I have yours?

Suzanne Droppert knows how to set a mood. Afterall, two strangers searching for titles in her Poulsbo store, Liberty Bay Books, met cute over coffee and ended up husband and wife.

"I already have one under my belt," Droppert said.

The happy couple may be the first of many, as Liberty Bay Books will host Book Dating, a literary version of speed dating, this week.

It's hard to meet someone

"It's like speed dating, but with a book," Droppert explained. The formula goes as such: An equal number of single men and women over 30 years of age, each bearing a favorite book, meet for drinks and appetizers at the waterfront shop. They'll chat in pairs in five-minute increments, until the buzzer buzzes and everyone swaps.

If two people feel a mutual crush, an email address exchange will ensue, perhaps leading to a happily every after.

Droppert ensures the event is safe — no personal information will be given without permission.

She's no stranger to the fun possibilities Book Dating presents. Years ago, she and a few friends tried out a similar event in Seattle. She met someone and they dated for a short time. Overall, she said it was a good experience.

"It was entertaining. It was interesting meeting and chatting with people," she added.

Goes the eternal beef of the single person: "It's hard to meet people." Droppert said her store's event can be as much about making new friends as it is meeting that special someone.

"We're just trying to provide a free, safe place for people to meet," she added.

Turning the page

Book topics can be fodder for great conversation, whether or not someone is an avid reader.

"I think everyone has read a book," Droppert contended. "They can bring a book from childhood if they're not a reader now. People can bring whatever kind of book they want. It can be 'Calvin and Hobbes.' It's just to start the conversation."

Unlike the slurred advances delivered in bars, she said these conversations can be neutral and non-threatening.

"It's a nice ice breaker and it's nothing to do with how much money you make," she said.

So far, several have signed up — though more of them women than men. They range in age, some in their 30s and others in their 50s. Droppert has received plenty of messages from people saying they're glad an opportunity like this has come to the area.

She will look to this first group for feedback and suggestions for future events.

Book Dating will begin at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Liberty Bay Books, 18881 Front St. NE in Poulsbo. Sign up by calling the store at (360) 779-5909 or visiting www.LibertyBayBooks.com. The event is free; bring a book of your choice.

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