Atlantic Canada — Any app that allows one to direct message a stranger is a dating app whether it’s acknowledged or not. Does this rule extend to our sanctuary of nerdom, Goodreads? As Carl Sagan said, where life is possible it is inevitable.
Dating apps claim to have thought through every possible contingency, saying things like: “Our algorithms are guaranteed to find someone just for you!”
Sure, the analog practice of introducing yourself to someone at the laundromat has found a more efficient digital counterpart. But what of the analog practice of walking into a cafe just to: a) look at people’s faces, then b) glance at the book they are reading?
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for such a miracle. It’s already here.
Finding that special someone on Goodreads can be easy. Best place to start is reviews.
Don’t search a book you want to read, look for a book you’ve read and know very well. Find a review that you think sums up your own thoughts but with better, or, if you want to be the alpha in the coming relationship, worse language. As for specific advice on this point, its all up to you. Personally, I’m OK with meeting anyone who doesn’t try to remember every book they’ve ever read just so they can find one that has an average rating of below 4 stars, giving them, in their minds, an excuse to use the word “derivative.”
Find as many candidates as you can with this method. Go through a dozen or so of your favourite books.
As for weeding through candidates, a user’s Goodreads “reading challenge” can be very revealing. Is their goal of 75 books ambitious or foolhardy? What have they read so far? Are they chopping through novellas just to reach their goal?
I think in addition to a reading challenge, we should all have a Goodreads reading-challenge dating-challenge. My challenge for 2017 is to sleep with someone outside my preferred genre. I currently have my eye on someone who only reads biographies. There are worse things than hearing a Winston Churchill quote after sex. Who knows? I might learn something.
Next, set up a date. There are two ways to go about this.
If your interests are purely physical and you want to meet a crowd of “like-minded” people, set up something in the Events section and direct people to your apartment. Make sure to give your app access to “location services” in your phone.
There. Now your Goodreads app can be a Tinder for people who want to take their fandom for (insert current popular YA fantasy trilogy) to the next level.
If, on the other hand, you want to meet one person, and build a relationship with them, send them a direct message. Don’t bother checking to see where they live. Lets face it: if you’ve followed all of the above steps, you’re also the sort of person who loves to have a reason to take road trips and snap photos of the World’s Largest etc.
Wherever you agree to meet, make sure you can be spotted by holding a copy of whatever you have listed under “currently reading.”
The great thing about Goodreads dating is it has a function that allows you to passively expression frustration with a tardy date. Here are the rules. If they are five minutes late, update your progress in your current book, every two pages. Notifications will pour into your newsfeed and folks will know something is up. After ten minutes, shoot out updates for every page. Your friends will know what’s going on and your date will have to face the fact that they are already making a bad impression.
There are drawbacks to Goodreads dating. They haven’t worked out the kinks yet (only allowing one profile photo, for instance). A part of the problem is that they don’t realize the kinks are kinks.
If Goodreads wants to survive in Silicon Valley, it ought to acknowledge its dual purpose. If it doesn’t learn to adapt, another app called Reading and Perhaps Fucking will come along in no time.
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