When I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature, I left college with one skill: the ability to talk about books. No, I'm kidding - I also learned how to make $20 last for a month, how to flirt your way to the front of a line and how to appreciate the value of a strong cup of coffee, but let's get back to books.(image courtesy of www.blogs.dal.ca)
Within the hallowed, ivy-covered walls of my university's classrooms and lecture halls, I was free to talk at length about all things literary. Campus was a bubble where everyone around me was constantly reading, writing and talking about books. Literature was a state of mind that everyone perpetually seemed to be in and me and my English major butt were more than happy to be there too.
But then I was introduced to the Real World where it wasn't quite as easy to strike up a conversation about The Canterbury Tales with the tattoo-covered barista or discuss the character development in a Tolstoy tale with the woman sitting next to me on the downtown 1 train.
I knew people around me were reading - it became painfully clear when a man slammed into me on the sidewalk one day because he was buried nose-deep in a paperback - but no one was talking about it anymore, at least not to strangers.
So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a dating site that "allows you to find people based on their book tastes." It got even better as the site's tagline continued: "anything from cooking to politics to yoga - we think we can find others who would like to talk to you." I love books and I want to talk about them!(image courtesy of www.treehugger.com)
Sites like Match and eHarmony are broad in nature and ask users to fill out seemingly endless sets of questions to gauge personal interest and specifications. While I'm sure there's a science behind these e-analyses that will ultimately lead users to find the perfect mate, I got bored after page three.
At Alikewise, the work is already done for you. Users are asked to set up a profile and create a list of their favorite authors and books. They can then search for other literary-minded users who share their passion for Tolkien, Sappho, Capote, Austen, Salinger, Plato or Blume - no judgements here. Alikewise is nerd love at its best.Unfortunately, Alikewise doesn't provide statistics and success rates, so there's no way to know how many of their users end up living happily ever after. But the diversity of book and author interests on the homepage alone suggest there's something for everyone who's ever picked up a novel before. With just three clicks of the "refresh button," the home page displayed Franzen, The Little Prince, Rowling and Animal Farm, among others.
I am well aware that relationships are built on more than a shared interest in Shakespeare sonnets, but Alikewise capitalizes on an emerging trend in dating websites: the niche. While Alikewise focuses on book lovers, a quick online search revealed countless other dot-coms catering to all - and I mean ALL - possible interests and qualities one might seek in a significant other.
At first I giggled at sites like SuggarDaddie.com, FarmersOnly.com and TrekPassions.com. But let's be honest, I was about to register for a dating site that matched users based on book preference. I was in no position to make fun of the members of StachePassions.com - the site for men with mustaches and the women who want a man with a mustache. Everyone needs to make that initial connection over something they enjoy, regardless of whether it's a novel, a UFO or a mustache.What book do you wish your partner loved as much as you do? Tell us in the comments below, on our Facebook page or tweet us @YahooShine.