Chiara Atik


Smooches in the Stacks: Why the Public Library is a First Date Homerun

Need a first date idea? This roundup of the world's best libraries will give you plenty of inspiration.

Looking for a cool new date spot that’s versatile, affordable, and just the right amount of quirky? Presenting: your local library.

Granted, this date works best for people who love books (and if you’re one of those people, you’re already sort of sold, aren’t you?) But you don’t have to be a bookworm to enjoy a random afternoon at the library. In fact, it can even be romantic.

Start With The Children’s Section

People love to revisit their childhood, and few things bring out nostalgia like picture books. Even the coolest, most composed adult will usually revert to child-like excitement upon seeing a long-forgotten book, and date conversation will be consumed with “OMG, remember this one?”

This is why a library is so great: books that have long gone out of fashion since we were children, and therefore impossible to find at Barnes and Noble, are still preserved in the stacks at libraries. And you can plop down and gigglingly revisit your past, without having to feel bad about reading and not paying, or ruining pristine pages.

Try to plan your visit for when the Children’s section will be relatively empty (i.e. at night or at naptime—definitely not at story time.)

Head To The Music Section Next

Anyone who likes to boast on the obscurity of their music taste should definitely take a trip to the Public Library–that’s where they keep the stuff that won’t even get on iTunes. They have record players there so you can listen to albums as they were meant to be heard. Best part? Library record players have two headset plugs. It’s the loveably dorky music equivalent to two straws in a milkshake.

Separate For A Bit

Give yourselves twenty minutes to look around solo, and then meet back at a table with a stack of books. What sections did you guys head for? Gardening? Old-school knitting patterns? Dusty biographies of silent movie stars? Fiction? Compare books, and then sit down and actually read for a bit. There’s something a little illicitly romantic about sitting together in a room where talking is frowned upon. Will you pass notes? Play footsie? Or just be content to sit together reading in each other’s company?

Kiss In The Stacks

No one in history has ever graduated college without fantasies of a prolonged, secret make-out session in the stacks. It is not too late to make this happen!

For The Card-Carrying Nerds

The one thing libraries still have that the Internet doesn’t is Microfiches. No one has gotten around to putting newspapers online in their entirety, and seeing what they looked like 100 years ago, advertisements and all, is the closest approximation to time travel available to us.

Pick a decade that interests both of you (or an event, a murder, or an election), and spend a hot summer’s afternoon tucked away in a cool, dark, microfiche room.

Check Something Out, And Go Read It In The Park

Or a coffee shop, or at home, or wherever. You don’t have to stay in the library all day, you can use it as a springboard. But think about how much more you will know about your date after an afternoon perusing books together!

Pick The Right Library

Not all libraries are created equal. Sure, your local community library might have its charm, but if you’re going on a date, might as well pick the cream of the crop.

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