When Bad Covers Happen to Good Books

One bookstore's effort to help people find literary love, despite badly designed jackets.

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If you're the kind of person who wanders around bookstores distracted by this cover photo, that illustration, then Blind Date With a Book is for you. Not every great novel is behind a great cover, you know, so it's time to give authors hindered by poorly designed jackets a chance!

Elizabeth's Bookshop, the biggest independent book dealer in Australia, came up with an idea to get books into the hands of those who only read the most visually appealing novels. It's the same concept as a friend saying they have the perfect match for you, but refusing to show you a photo—"It's their personality you're going to be attracted to!" So you agree to the date knowing only a few positive attributes (funny, witty, full of surprises, perhaps) and prepare yourself for the worst. Sure enough, there's no immediate physical attraction at first meeting, but over spaghetti carbonara and breadsticks, you realize that maybe it really is what's on the inside that counts.

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Similarly, each book is carefully selected by Elizabeth's Bookstore from various genres including classics, thrillers, mysteries, romances, and science fiction. The books are then wrapped up, tagged with clues to pique your interest, and tied with a bow. An adventure junkie? Pick the one that says, "Challenging Journey." A romantic? Then the one labeled "Heart-Wrenching" is probably your best bet. Once you've taken a deep breath and committed to one that sounds enticing, curl up and dive in—on this blind date, you don't have to worry about who's paying the bill.

Blind Date Books, $10-$13, blinddatewithabook.com. 

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