Date Me! I Read!

Two penguins

"Yeah, I used to read mysteries, but I found the plots a little fishy." "Speaking of a little fishy, want to grab a bite to eat?" hide caption

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Ever since The New York Times ran a piece in March about dumping prospective suitors because of what they read (or don't read), there's been more talk than usual about the way literary tastes may influence our choice of romantic partners.

Now, inevitably, a publisher has started a dating site where you can search for people to date who read the same books you do.

Discouraged by love? Saddened beyond anyone's ability to console you? PenguinDating is there to help you find that Proust-reading person of your dreams.

The pleasures and perils of PenguinDating, after the jump ...

There to help you, that is, if you live in the UK. But given the proliferation of dating sites, expect the service — a partnership with — to make its way to our shores as well.

(Take note: The Independent article refers to the site as, which is not the correct address. Perhaps the domain was snapped up recently — or perhaps, more intriguingly, it was reserved for a project actually having to do with ... you know, dating penguins.)

But that's beside the point. Which is: Is dating people who read the same things you do really all it's cracked up to be? Is it mostly a way to screen out people who don't read at all? And what book-reading habits really would disqualify someone as a prospect?



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I think the only non-starter for me would be somebody who didn't read at all. Or read only magazines. I can't think of any genres that would really disqualify a romantic applicant--I've dated people who read a lot of sci-fi and horror, even though I'm not into those genres. I can think of plenty of disqualifying MOVIES (anytime I encounter someone who has watched any of Saw I, II, or III, I know we will never have anything to talk about).

All my "favorite" genres are covered by another family member anyway (I talk about my murder mystery addiction with my sister, for example), so I think it's better to date someone who can tell me about books I never read. And, who knows, maybe I'd pick up Stephen King or Orson Scott Card.

Sent by Katie | 10:24 AM | 9-2-2008

I understand wanting to find someone who shares your interest... but going so far as to look for someone who reads the same thing I do seems a bit extreme to me. And a bit close-minded. The fact that the guy reads should be a point in his favor.

I guess it's a way to filter like any other, but I think it's a bit too narrow.

Sent by AnnieBe | 10:36 AM | 9-2-2008

My only dating requirement is that a gal CAN read.

Sent by Keith May | 7:28 PM | 9-2-2008

My partner is not a reader, where as I read voraciously, yet we have been together almost half a decade and are in love now more than ever. He is a math person, I work in human services. There is something to opposits attract, when there is some common ground.

Sent by Meg M | 9:45 PM | 9-2-2008

Ayn Rand. Not merely having read her; I'm not a fascist. But an Ayn Rand FAN? Dealbreaker.

Sent by Sarah | 3:41 PM | 9-3-2008

An article from NYTimes a while ago about love and books that seems to fall in line with the discussion.

Sent by Nathaniel | 4:31 PM | 9-3-2008

O'Reilly and Limbaugh. If you read that stuff because you believe/agree with it, we have no future.

Sent by PW | 4:33 AM | 9-4-2008

I always assumed that I would end up with someone who loved to read as much as I do, but my guy of the last 3 1/2 years hasn't read more than 1 or 2 books in that time. However he does read magazines and a lot of internet sites and we like to do a lot of the same things so it works for us. Plus, I'm a children's librarian, I run a book club at my church, and my mother reads as much or more than I do, so I have plenty of outlets for discussing what I read.

Sent by Jen | 12:17 PM | 9-4-2008

I have to agree - the only real problem is a total nonreader. And that only if he cannot understand my need for reading time. I'm likely to share anything I read with someone, anyone, so I can deal, so long as I still get to read.

Sent by D.Lepp | 10:35 PM | 9-21-2008