From The Independent:
You are sitting on a train, and across the aisle someone is reading one of your favourite books. This person (clearly of taste) happens to be a tall, handsome man. As you stare he looks up, catches your eye and smiles – he asks for your number… Browsing in a bookshop you reach out to pick up a book; so does the person standing next to you. The person happens to be a tall, handsome man. He catches your eye and smiles – he asks if you would like to go for coffee… So run the fantasies of many a book-lover.
Which is why Literary speed-dating is such an exciting prospect for a bookish single. The conceit is that, rather than talk about yourself, you talk about a book you have brought along. It's run of the mill speed-dating made intellectual – more Granta than Hello!. The idea has already taken off across America and Canada, with speed-dating events held at such cultish venues as the Rare Book Room in New York's famous Strand bookstore (which holds an immensely popular literary speed-date every Valentine's Day). Inexplicably, though, literary speed-dating has yet to become commonplace here.