Herefordshire's Aadvark Books, St Boswell's the Mainstreet Trading Company and Oswestry's Booka Bookshop are among the 10 destinations chosen to be showcased as “perfect bookshops for a date” on Bookshop Day (7th October).
The selected retailers will be highlighted to users of dating website eharmony after it partnered with the Booksellers Association for this year’s Books Are My Bag promotion.
Others to have been selected are Jaffe and Neale in Chipping Norton, described as selling “epic Fifty Mile Fruit Cake – the ideal sustenance for romantic walks in the Cotswolds”, Richard Booth’s Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye which boasts a “cosy” cinema and Octavo’s Book Café and Wine Bar in Cardiff which holds “Sunday Sessions of music and poetry every fortnight – ideal for a romantic afternoon out”.
In London, those highlighted are Books for Cooks in Notting Hill which has a Test Kitchen, where recipes from the cookbooks on the shelves are tested daily by one of the resident chefs, the London Review Bookshop, in Bloomsbury, “a place for people who love books to meet, talk, drink excellent tea and coffee”, Foyles in Charing Cross Road, which has an “airy fifth floor café serves delicious breakfasts, lunches and teas – ideal for a romantic stop off” and Waterstones Piccadilly “Europe’s largest bookshop” with “superb views of London” from the 5th View restaurant and cocktail bar.
Any of eharmony’s 1.3m UK users logging onto the site will be recommended the 10 bookshops as stimulating rendezvous spots.
The partnership follows a survey the dating site conducted revealing that users who mention they enjoy reading on their profiles receive 10.7% more messages on the dating site.
Verity Hogan, relationship expert at eharmony, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Books Are My Bag to celebrate National Bookshop Day and the power that reading has to bring people together. Books are a great interest for couples to bond over. In fact, a shared intellectual curiosity is one of the key personality traits that we use to match people at eharmony. There’s something inherently romantic about bookshops – falling in love surrounded by literature - and this group of 10 will be a great addition to our Great Date Guide library.”
The promotion joins a string of events taking place around Super Thursday, the day when the most hardback trade titles get released in the run up to Christmas.
That day 505 new hardbacks scheduled to hit shelves on, all competing for a slice of the Christmas-gifting pudding.
The stakes are high, with booksellers vying for their portion of more than £558m worth of book sales; 66 million books were shifted between 2nd October and 24th December last year, according to Nielsen BookScan, with the success of key titles making or breaking many businesses in the last quarter.
Super Thursday will see the release of Five Escape Brexit Island by Bruno Vincent (Quercus) - the follow-up to Five on Brexit Island, which finished second in the race to be Christmas Number One last year - Tom Fletcher’s The Creakers (Puffin) and Mary Berry’s Mary’s Household Tips & Tricks (Michael Joseph). Also out that day are Richard Branson’s Finding My Virginity (Virgin Books), David Jason’s Only Fools and Stories (Century), Nadiya’s Bake Me a Festive Story by “Great British Bake Off” winner Nadiya Hussain (Hodder Children’s) and Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair (Picador). And pipping Super Thursday titles to the post by just two days is Dan Brown’s fifth Robert Langdon book, Origin (Bantam Press), out on Tuesday 3rd October.