At this point in the year, most WCHS students, if not all, feel tired, overwhelmed and completely stressed out. A solution to this can be found at a somewhat unlikely location: the media center.
At the media center, you can make your way over to the “Blind Date With a Book” section, where you can find a brand new book to read. It’s a simple and easy way to take a break and unwind for a moment, especially since there is no pressure to choose a book for yourself.
“Our blind date books are wrapped in colored paper with a few keywords or a review on the outside to indicate the character and content of the book,” media center specialist Paige Pagley said. “It can be a fun way to discover something new or read outside your comfort zone, something you would have never picked up before, but might really enjoy.”
The books are not just for avid readers, either. Any student can participate and pick up a book to read.
“We do have students who don’t usually check out books, checking out books with this display,” Pagley said.
“Blind Date With a Book” is a program that has existed at the WCHS media center for several years as a way to get more students reading. There have been different variations over the years including “double dates,” where two books are wrapped together so that two friends can read the same book with each other. Another variation is “blind dates unwrapped,” where the books used for blind dates were revealed on a display after “Blind Date With a Book” had ended.
“This year we added dinner to the mix by putting in coupons for free food inside a random sampling of our blind date books so that not only was it a date, but it was dinner too,” Pagley said.
The books chosen for “Blind Date With a Book” are carefully selected, so students who want to participate can be sure that they are getting a good book.
“I try to buy newly published books for our blind dates,” Pagley said. “Books that have gotten great reviews either in professional journals or through word of mouth on a website like GoodReads are also top on our list of dates.”
“Blind Date With a Book” is not the only display that the media center does. Students can look forward to future displays in the springtime that can help them find new books to read.
“I like the display in the media center because it’s really cute and aesthetically pleasing,” junior Lulu Chang said.
Even though not all WCHS students read, “Blind Date With a Book” is the perfect opportunity to step out of one’s comfort zone and try something new.
“I know there are students who struggle with reading because they don’t like it,” Pagley said. “So, when we can help them forget for a moment that they don’t like it, and get them excited about a story instead, we just might get a student to read a book.”