The Center for Fiction is inviting Brooklyn bookworms to write their own love stories at Booking for Love — a new speed dating event for those looking to create their own happily ever after this Valentine’s season.
On Feb. 9, romantics will get to chat with about 12 single literary lovers at the Downtown Brooklyn bookstore.
Celeste Kaufman, senior manager of marketing and community engagement with the Center, said the team was inspired to create community events that encourage people the come and celebrate their mutual connection of books and writing.
“We were seeing that, in the wake of the first phase of the pandemic, people were eager to find ways to connect and meet new people, and we have this wonderful space that we saw as a gathering place for the literary community,” Kaufman told Brooklyn Paper.
Meeting new singles in the real world is almost a lost art in this era of online dating apps. To help attendees shake off those first date jitters, the Center encourages them to stop by the café and mingle with participants before the speed dating begins.
“There’s definitely a little bit of nerves,” she told Brooklyn Paper. “It’s always kind of sweet watching the long line of people getting drinks and the nervous energy before the event starts.”
Guests won’t have to worry about what to talk about. According to Kaufman, participants often spark conversations around literature and immediately find common ground since they host the event at the bookstore.
“The idea is that the literary speed dating is hosted by a literary organization in a bookstore. We figure it’s kind of a self-selecting group of people who would want to come to an event like this,” Kaufman said. “Everyone feels a little more comfortable knowing that they have common ground with people as opposed to a generic speeding dating where you have no idea what the people are going to be like.”
The team also provides conversation starters surrounding books, which often lead to the exchanging of reading recommendations. Even if people don’t walk away with a match, Kaufman said that everyone typically walks away with a list of book suggestions.
Booking for Love isn’t just a seasonal thing, said Kaufman. The Center fo Fiction hosts the speed dating event three times a year — in February for Valentine’s Day, during the summer for those summer flings, and in the fall for “cuffing season.” The non-profit also hosts programming like happy hour, trivia night, wine and book pairings and writing workshops.
Whatever your dating preference, everyone has a chance to turn the page on a new love story, Kaufman said.
The Center for Fiction is located at 15 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn. Upcoming events are posted on their website.