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.


Dear men of the tri-state area who feel hemmed in by the swipe-left philosophy that extrudes the dating process through a series of sterile tubes: STOP.

There is hope. There’s also beautiful women. Real ones. Not just avatars. Note that I said beautiful - beautiful in soul, spirit, bookshelves, and probably glasses. Not just pretty. Beautiful.

  • Do you wish that there was someone out there who shared your deep abiding love of Alice Munro AND could keep you warm at night?
  • Do you sometimes wish that the dating process was less deterministic and more like a gentle flow of current, bringing you ever closer to true happiness and satisfaction?
  • Is your bookshelf filled with books you haven’t read yet?
  • Do you know who Roxane Gay is?
  • Do you tire of visiting bookstores and rightfully keeping your graceful pickup lines to yourself, wishing that there was an appropriate context to politely compliment women who are for the time being tolerating your presence?
  • Do you wake up all alone and wonder where you are? 

Then stop fucking around and go to literary speed dating at housingworksbookstore on 10/16, courtesy of coverspy

I’ll be honest with you - the joke of “oh wow if you’re a straight (Editor’s note: or straight-passing) guy in publishing you really just have an embarrassment of dating options” IT’S TRUE IT’S TRUE IT’S TRUE but you NEED TO MEET THE RIGHT PEOPLE. As the Cat In The Hat (an icon all males should aspire to) said, “it is fun to have fun but you have to know how.”

So come to Housing Works, have a drink, buy that copy of A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, make fun of Knausgaard despite having not read him, and meet the best eligible ladies that the city has.

And save money by entering promo code “WOOLF” at checkout. Spelled like the author, not like this:


…but flirting is fun. Especially when you have shared interests. Like, say, for instance, books.

So if you’re a lady who dates ladies, come to housingworksbookstore this Wednesday (4/29) for a celebration of three things: flirting, books, and alcohol (aka the Holy Trinity), courtesy of coverspy!

Discount tickets are available for a limited time HERE, and they don’t just allow access to a room of intelligent, gorgeous single women: they also put you in the running to win a copy of THE GHOST NETWORK, aka the book that will make you miss your stop on the train because you just just can’t stop reading it.

Dating sucks. Books are great. So are ladies. This is a no-brainer. See you Wednesday at Housing Works!

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.


I Like Your Glasses! Literary Speed Dating with CoverSpy, co-presented by Catapult & Harper Perennial
Tuesday, November 3 at 7pm / $15 registration includes 1 free drink

A night of speed dating for those who’d rather be judged by their book cover (glasses not required). 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.

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, @harperperennial, & @catapultstory. Registration required, so we can make sure there’s someone for everyone to check out (library pun intended). Open to ages 21–39 and all literary tastes.

Remember, book lovers never go to bed alone.


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.)

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.) 

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!


Attention, ladies and gentlemen of the New York lit scene! Do you love fiction books? Are you looking for someone special who also loves fiction books?

(And if we’re getting really wild, we can even talk about non-fiction books.)

Well, we have the deal of a lifetime for you: on Tuesday, 11/3, you can join us at @housingworksbookstore​ for I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating. With our partners @catapultstory​ and @harperperennial​, we’re thrilled to offer you ten six-minute dates, 10% off of books all night, and a drink of choice - as well as the opportunity to meet your new literary squeeze!

Get your tickets now and we’ll spy you there!


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.

Hey literary lads! Looking for a gal who gets wrapped up in a good read? Boy do we have a deal for you! It’s time for I Like Your Glasses Literary Speed Dating with @harperperennial at @housingworksbookstore. Get a ticket here, and we’ll see you at 7pm on 3/2 for bookish speed dating and fun.

Ladies, if you’re interested in this event, you can use the above link to sign up for the waitlist! 

Ready to meet someone who won’t roll their eyes when you pull a book out of your bag every chance you get?

Join us at @housingworksbookstore on Wednesday, 3/2, for I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating. With our partners @harperperennial and @catapultstory​, we want to help you meet some amazing people. (Formal attire not required!)

For just $15, you receive ten six-minute dates, a free drink (beer or wine), and 10% off books all night. Plus, you get into a pretty rad after-party at nearby bar Botanica. For more info, click here!

Click here to buy your ticket, and we’ll spy you there!

Ladies’ tickets are currently sold out, but the quickest way to get one is to sign up for the waitlist for this event.

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!


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!

Howya, night book (wanna-be) lovers? Does dating make you feel like you’re interpreting a series of signals and, well, nonsense? Would you rather just talk about your latest used book find and regale a date with a story about how much better the indie bookstore experience is?

Well, we here at CoverSpy, along with housingworksbookstore, have the answer for you! Next Tuesday 2/18, we’re co-hosting I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating, for all you dudes and ladies who love to talk about all things books. For just $15, you get ten six-minute mini dates, one free drink, and 10% off books all night. Plus, there’s a bomb after-party at the nearby Botanica Bar with drink specials just for this crowd.

Click here to check out all the details and sign up! Tickets go fast, so you’d better grab yours now!

Unfortunately, ladies’ tickets are sold out for this event right now, but in case we are able to open up more tickets and/or to find out about our next event, be sure to sign up for the waitlist at the link.

Looking for a less binary speed dating experience? We have to alternate due to scheduling, but keep one eye here (or on our mailing list!) for future information.