Literary Speed Dating

I Like Your Glasses! Literary Speed Dating with CoverSpy and Harper Perennial
Tuesday, March 2 at 7pm / $15 tickets include 1 free drink

It’s the most wonderful semi-regular time of year! The next literary speed dating is coming SOOOOON!

Bring a book to break the ice and meet other readers for a chance connection you might otherwise have missed on the F train or browsing the stacks, hosted by our friends @coverspy and @harperperennial. Tickets are $15 and include a drink (beer or wine) and 10% off all books that night; your ticket purchase goes to Housing Works’ mission to fight homelessness and AIDS. Presented with CoverSpy. Registration required, so we can make sure there’s someone for everyone to check out (library pun intended).

More info about tickets & sign-ups here.


Anyone who bookstore-hops in this fair burg knows Housing Works in SoHo; they’re fucking great. And if the type of woman in whom you’re interested can be described by this, or by the below gif:

Then buy a ticket for their speed dating event on February 12th! I don’t work for these guys; they just sell a product I agree with. Namely, books with potential sex/romance thrown in from time to time.

Here are some reasons why you should buy a ticket.

1) There’s a discount code, "QUEEQUEG" (an odd choice considering that he and Ishmael were clearly not into chicks, but I don’t make the rules) that knocks $3 off tickets, so just $12 (includes a free drink). 

2) The tickets for women seeking men are SOLD OUT so if you’re a guy, statistically, you’re golden. As a guy who exclusively dates reader ladies/publishing ladies, I’ve experienced all of the following:

A) Every sexual desire fulfilled and then some
B) Intensely fulfilling conversations punctuated by the fulfillment of every sexual desire and then some
C) Dates that provoke me into visiting all the awesome places in New York, ones that my trifling ass would never end up in if I was on my own reconnaissance
D) Women who can drink and smoke and cook me under the table, under which they commence to fulfill every sexual desire and then some
E) Someone else’s bookshelf from which I can, and will, and do, borrow. 

3) The chance to support a bookstore that’s cooler and better for you than anything else you might be doing that night.

You have no excuse. Buy a ticket. Take a shot at romance. Flirt. Discuss Teju Cole. Drink. Don’t be dumb. Wednesday 2/12. Save the date.

You know you want it.

Literary Speed Dating

This just happened on a TV show on ABC.

You have to take a book with you, no particular specifications but the characters on the TV show seemed to think the best track was a book that says something about you as a person.

Fast forward to the event, each pairing gets 30 SECONDS together! In the spirit of fairness, that’s 15 seconds each to talk about your book and decide if you’re interested.

Totally fucking crazy, but I’m already in love with this idea.


  • Anything from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series by Douglas Adams, there’s some great perspective on life (the universe and everything!) in here, and it’s FUNNY, and spacey wacey!
  • The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman, let’s explore the tumultuous nature of growing up and living through things that you don’t understand but have to, plus it’s so Gaimany! 
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, close to me because it’s the first Vonnegut I ever read and the worst of humanity never learn, man. It’s chilling to think maybe they never will. Man.
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne. M. Valente, how much time have we got? *DEEP BREATH* (it’s a long title! I LOVE VALENTE!)
  • Cosmos by Carl Sagan, if you don’t want your mind blown, don’t even sit down, motherfucker, I’m about to to explain the distance of a lightyear in terms you can quantify.

Then again, maybe 30 seconds is ample. Because if you’re connecting with someone about the medium of literature, that’s immediate and electric. You will make the connection, with something like 28 seconds to spare.

(I actually just bought that badge because SO COOL.)

Attention NYC ladies seeking ladies!

If you are a woman seeking a bookish woman, mark Wednesday, April 29th at 7pm on your calendar because you have plans. 

We’ve teamed up with housingworksbookstore once again to bring you I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating for queer ladies. One ticket gets you 10 dates, 10% off of books all night, and a drink.

Get your tickets here and spread the word! We’ll spy you there.

On the night before Valentine’s Day, a crowd of people gathered in the cramped Housing Works Bookstore Café for a bookish speed-dating event to find their perfect match–with literature preferences as an icebreaker. Speed daters connecting over books. Photo by Tiffany Lew. Couples were paired up based on their favorite book–or the book they were currently reading. Each person wore a “Hello, my name is…” sticker labeled with a character from their favorite book, also known as their “literary pen name.” The 94 participants rotated through 14 dates, with guys moving to their left on long rows of tables reminiscent of the ones in the Hogwarts dining hall. Four minutes per person–no more and no less. Strewn along these wooden tables were Pabst Blue Ribbon cans and Brooklyn Lagers, along with white placards with titles such as “Middle Earth,” “Walden Pond,” and “Swamp-landia!” all referencing participants’ favorite books. Many of the attendees said they appreciated that an interest in reading was a helpful common denominator because conversation would be eased. (via Finding true love (or not) in literary speed dating | Starring NYC)

We’re still hoping to do another speed dating event in the future based on the success of this one. Don’t fear, lonely bookworms, your time will come!

Are you a single gentleman? 

A book-lover?

Lookin’ for a literary lady?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, boy do we have an event for you! Gentlemen, sign yourselves up for Literary Speed Dating at housingworksbookstore on October 16th at 7pm. Your ticket will get you ten 6 minute dates, a drink, 10% off of books all night, some great book recommendations, and lively conversation. Buy your tickets here, gents. (Ladies, if you’re interested, sign up for the waitlist, we’re currently sold out at this time.) 


This week at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, our events look at Valentine’s Day from every angle! And then teach you how to be funny while writing, which is maybe something you need after Valentine’s Day week.

Tonight is the first night of The Recital, a new series in which writers and performers turn the bookstore into an old-fashioned red schoolhouse so they can recite by heart 1-3 minutes of poetry or prose they have memorized. Hosted by writer Rachel Syme and Slaughterhouse 90210’s Maris Kreizman. The theme for this week is Swoon!

Tomorrow join us for The Moth StorySLAM! This time the theme is Love Hurts. Tickets are $8.

Wednesday Coverspy helps you find your bookish mate with I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating. This event is sold out, but if you missed it this time be sure to sign up for the waitlist so you can hear about the next one!

On Friday, double the events and also fun as our weekly Slush Pile Happy Hour (4-8pm) is joined by funny lady country trio Ménage à Twang’s return to the bookstore for My Country Valentine: an Alt-Valentine Mixer at 7pm!(Notice: This event was previously ticketed but is now FREE.)

Sunday morning Gotham Writers’ Workshop presents a free humor writing workshop with writer, playwright, and fiction writer Ryan Britt!

Men of the NYC Bookternet! Are you finding yourself feeling lost before Valentine’s Day because you haven’t yet found your Amal? Well, fear no more, because CoverSpy and housingworksbookstore​ are here to solve your problems!

On 2/18 at 7pm, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating, where for just $15 you’ll be able to talk to at least ten smart, kickass literary ladies, matched by age and book interests (and you get a free drink!).

Plus, you can do your best Clooney impression, since you’ll get 10% off books at Housing Works all night.

But wait - there’s more! Our after-party at Botanica Bar, complete with drink specials just for this event, gives you the chance to chat up any of these lovely ladies the old-fashioned way.

Seriously, though, this is a guaranteed good time, and you should definitely make it a priority! Reach out to us if you have any questions!

Ladies tickets are currently sold out for this event, but sign up for the waitlist at the link and our monthly newsletter to hear about the next one!


I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating was such a fun party to throw. Hosts Dan Wilbur and Jo Firestone kicked the night off with a demonstration of how not to date…and we think it worked, by the lovely stories of connections being reported to us this morning. Thanks to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe for partnering with us. Thanks to Dan and Jo for keeping us laughing. Thanks to Jesse Chan-Norris for capturing the night. And thanks to the 90+ book lovers who came out, met, and mingled. We’ll do it again.


Another week, another lot of amazing events. That’s just how things go here at Housing Works.

On Monday, we’ll be hosting The Last Banquet; a lively celebration of food and literature. Novelist Jonathan Grimwood will be joined by Charlotte Druckman, Matt Grossand Gideon Lewis-Kraus. While our very own executive chef, Emily Casey will be preparing dishes inspired by The Last Banquet!

Wednesday night will feature I Like Your Glasses, our hotly anticipated Literary Speed Dating event. This event is sold out, but sign up to the wait list to keep abreast of future events and grab yourself a ticket if someone drops out.

On Thursday, the storytellers of The Moth StorySLAM will be waxing lyrical on the subject of ‘Home.' 10 stories, 3 teams of judges, 1 winner. $8 at the door. This event always sells out. Limited seating; please arrive early.

Friday sees us celebrate the release of’s first book, appropriately named The Book of Jezebel in The Age of Ladyblogs.The book’s co-author Kate Harding will be joined by Jessica Coen, Anna Holmes, Edith Zimmerman and others for a discussion that promises to take in everything from pop culture to politics to modern womanhood.

And on Saturday, we’ll be hosting Then and Now, a book club reveling in history and pop culture. This week’s book is Sam Kean’s delightfully titled,The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. 

“I remember I signed up for this literary speed dating thing, dragged myself out of my apartment in my favorite cardigan, and got ready. And you know what? It was exactly what I needed. An event where everyone was in love with the same things I was, and everyone just wanted to meet someone else. We were all intentionally vulnerable, which is terrifying, but there were the books and the glasses and the beer so it’s okay.”  –M, 20s, on our first I LIKE YOUR GLASSES: LITERARY SPEED DATING event We’re doing another one! Tickets are now on sale! Open to ages 21-39. October 23 at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Sign up at I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating, Hosted by CoverSpy. Poster illustration and design by Andrea Sparacio