Remember when you met your favorite book? You would spend countless hours together, never wanting to part, you loved every ingenious line and the heart-pounding anticipation. Approximately 150 Carroll high school students had a chance this week to speed-date a variety of books and decide if one would be their next true love.
CHS librarian Candace Neal set the scene in the library with tables covered in red cloths, sprinkled with hearts and a selection of books and a slip of paper to rate the date.
Neal explained that finding the right book is like finding the right person. There is a book for everyone, but life is too short to read books you don’t like. Neal set a timer for four minutes and asked the students to look at the all aspects of the book: the cover, awards, author blurbs, copyright page, and summary. Students could start reading if they were interested or move on to another book. At the end of four minutes, students wrote down the title of the book and if it was a book they were “in love with,” “would like to meet for coffee,” or “never get together with in a million years.”
CHS English Department Chair Karen Otto said, “The goal isn’t necessarily to get through all the books, but to increase exposure to genres they might not read on their own.”
Adam Boissevain, CHS sophomore, said, “This forced me to go out of my comfort zone. I usually read fantasy and today I looked at more mysteries.”
After several rounds, most students found a book they’d like to get to know better. Others had commitment issues. Otto said, “Find the books they like and then they’re hooked otherwise it’s hard to get them on board.”
When the hour was over, many students left with a new book to court for Valentine’s Day.
CHS sophomore, Michelle Terry, said, “I think this was a fun activity. I picked out a couple of books and decided to give them a try.”