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We sat at low, wooden tables and talked literature for four minutes - to the sound of other punters gently playing ping pong in the background - before it was time to move on to the next bookworm. We used an app (Mixeo) to record any romantic intentions and added book recommendations, too.Thanks, perhaps, to the advert for the event, I’d expected a lot of hipsters with modernist poetry in their pockets.It read: 'Perhaps you need someone a little more on your wavelength. Prepared to defend Buckowski's misogyny while praising the economy of phrase of George Eliot?
Then brush off your bookshelf, pull out that barely worn tome you bought thinking you'd absorb its contents through osmosis while it sat, never opened, between Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography and Bridget Jones and get down to the wonderful Nordic Bar in Fitzrovia for a night of literary speed dating.' But the crowd was largely senior professionals.
There just weren’t as many genuine book lovers as I’d hoped.
A couple of my 'dates' admitted they didn’t actually read more than about two books a year.
But no matter how much we have in common with an avatar, sometimes we do miss that human connection.
Once we’re tired of endless left swiping, compliments (ok, I can never tire of those) and the odd naked selfie, we start to long for something else.
Enter Original Dating, an events company that combines shared interests with face-to-face interaction.It organises themed speed dating, so there’s a talking point for when you hit that wall of awkwardness, and don't know what to say next. But I knew it was worth a try when I spied their next event: literary speed dating. I grew up an avid reader, and studied literature at university.I always carry a book around in the often vain hope that I’ll get around to reading it at some point during the day – and obviously I took one with me to last week’s speed dating evening. Some participants had brought books with them, displaying them as though they were back at school doing 'show and tell'.My tome of choice was Alice Munro's collection of short stories.It doesn't say anything about my personality especially, but it was a useful prop when conversation faltered.(And speaking as someone who recently forced two South Koreans in the smoking area of a pub to listen to an hour-long outpouring about the book I was reading on North Korean defectors, this is an area I’ve got form in). When one man kept my book gripped in his hand while he coughed all over it. Around 30 of us had gathered at Nordic, a Scandinavian themed bar in London's Soho -an equal split of men and women.