May 23, 2024
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February brings hearts, flowers and sweet treats in a valentine-shaped box for some.

For others, there’s nothing better than cuddling up with a sweet read.

For the third year in a row, Muleshoe Library presents Blind Date with a Book, starting on Feb. 1 and lasting throughout the entire 29 days.

Muleshoe librarian Frances Recio and her staff are busy disguising the outsides of books for readers to check out.

“They’re wrapped, so you cannot read covers or summaries,” Recio said.

The instructions are simple:

1. Read the clues or hints.

2. Pick your book.

3. Check it out.

4. READ it!

5. Fill out the “Rate Your Date” form.

6. Enter the drawing to win a prize!

During the first year, the blind dates were for adult readers only.

“We tried to make it something special for moms and dads the first year,” Recio said. “But younger readers said, ‘We want one of those secret books.’ We tried telling them this is for mom and dad. You get special programs in the summer. They said, ‘Yes, but we like to read!’”

“When they say that, you’ve got to act on it. You need to let them read,” Recio concluded.

Adults, teens and kids each have their own set of books wrapped in different colored paper. Since the younger ones don’t date, their category is called Be My Valentine.

“They receive a little trinket every time they come in to check out a book,” Recio said.

Adults are often surprised to find themselves enjoying a genre or an author they’ve never tried before.

“They say, ‘Where was this author that I never saw before?’ or ‘I didn’t think about reading this genre, but it was really neat,’ or ‘Science fiction is really all right.’ Sometimes a guy will say, ‘I didn’t really think I’d like a lovey dovey book, but this one was good,’” Recio said.

Sometimes a blind date doesn’t work out, and that’s OK. Readers can simply bring the book back and check out another one.

“If the cart starts to go empty, don’t worry, there will be more,” Recio said. “If the library workers see the books going down, they’ll replenish the cart.”

Last February with kids and adults borrowing “secret books,” the cart had to be replenished three times in one week.

By the way, February is Love a Book Month.

“Love and books go together, so that in itself a perfect date,” Recio said. “That’s the big thing about coming to the library. It’s an adventure every single time.”

Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, Muleshoe Area Public Library is located at 322 West 2nd Street. For information, call 806 272-4707.

Gail M. Williams

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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