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Dear Aunt Paige,
I recently decided to try a dating app for the first time. It feels overwhelming. I’m trying to polish my profile to make myself seem more appealing, and reading is a big part of my life, so I want to make it part of my profile as well. Do you have any advice for books I should (or shouldn’t) mention?
Bumbling through Bumble
I hope you aren’t looking for the one perfect book that will make you seem irresistibly charming. You won’t find one and potential dating partners can smell trying-too-hard even through a screen. Sure, you can list Shakespeare’s Sonnet 47
and Love Poems
by Pablo Neruda in hopes that it will give your profile an air of amorous intellectualism, but if you haven’t read Shakespeare since high school and your interest in poetry doesn’t extend past limericks, it will feel phony and forced. (Also, Neruda is problematic and overrated. If you need to list Nobel Prize in Literature-winning poets, go with Louise Glück
or Octavio Paz
.) You’re thinking about this in the wrong way. Online dating, like any sort of dating, isn’t just about attracting people, it’s about making a genuine connection with the right people. Do you really want to date someone who thinks your love of action thrillers is silly?
What books do you genuinely love? What interests would you like your future partner to share? Proclaiming your love for The Silmarillion
might mean that potential dates who disdain fantasy swipe… Left? Right? (You know, whichever one means they aren’t interested.) But it could also help you match with your date for next year’s Tolkienmoot. Be yourself and focus on quality rather than quantity. You’ll do just fine.
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Send your most embarrassing book questions to me at [email protected] by February 28 for a chance to be included in my March column.