For Valentine’s Day, the Naples High Media Center has set up a display of blind date books for students to enjoy and read this time of year.

With the seemingly endless options of books to read at the Media Center, it can be tricky narrowing down searches to just one selection or stepping out of the comfort zone to venture to a new book genre. The blind-date books are an opportunity to check out a book blindly, without seeing the cover, to get a surprise read! 

These festive, Valentine’s Day-decorated, mystery books are an exciting way for students to branch out and read a book that they may have not been traditionally inclined to choose. With an exception to last year, the blind date books are an NHS Media Center tradition.

“It’s completely wrapped like a present and we do a little decorating on them,” Media Assistant Julie Hayford said. “And these books will just be ones that we selected.” 

So what exactly is the purpose of choosing a book without knowing the title or seeing the cover?

“We’re trying to prevent someone from looking at a book and judging it based on the cover art or the title,” Hayford said. “We want them to actually judge the book based on the content inside the book.”

In years past, students have found great reads that they typically wouldn’t have chosen off the shelves, and ended up loving the books and have even found a new genre or author. 

The exciting aspect of the blind date books is the surprise effect of not knowing which genre the book will be. The media center has done a fantastic job of including a wide-array of selections, not limiting any options.

“We really try to reach out to all genres,” Hayford said. “And we want to make sure that there are books available that would be of high interest to any student, no matter if the character is younger or older, male or female.” 

The selection of books included as a blind date book are fresh reads that have been recently published and/or new to the NHS Media Center, meaning students don’t have to worry about having already read their mystery selection.

“All of the books that are going to be initially put out, are brand new to the media center and new to us,” Hayford said. “So they’re not even books I have read yet, their recommendations are extremely high.” 

To ensure the books would be appealing to any student, the reading selections have been carefully selected to peak just about every student’s interest. 

There are barcodes on the outside wrapping, so the surprise selections will scan like any other library book. Students can return the blind date books when due.