Never build a relationship on books | Books | guardian.co.uk
Not content with trying to flog us DVDs, coffee, fluffy toys, wrapping paper and greetings cards on top of the traditional books, Borders, it seems, is now intent on selling us happiness, too – with the launch of its very own dating service for bibliophiles.
"Unlike other dating services," trumpeted the email bidding to woo me with an offer of joining up for just a quid, "Borders dating is a great place to meet fellow book-lovers." It continues: "In all the best fairytales, girl meets boy and frog turns into prince. If only real life was so simple! Sometimes fate needs a nudge in the right direction."
On the face of it, if you're a singleton given to lonely walks on blasted heaths with a copy of a suitably impressive paperback poking eye-catchingly out of your jacket pocket, this might sound like just what you need. But to be honest, you'd be better off hanging out in the Sainsbury's vegetable aisle than on a dating website aimed at book-lovers: a shared appreciation of baby sweetcorn is a far more solid foundation for lasting love than a shared appreciation of Nabokov. In fact, that way madness lies.
With bookish tweeness, Borders is calling its service "Happily Ever After" – which betrays a certain naivety about just how nasty book lovers can get when challenged by someone who professes to love a book more than they do. That's why book groups are festering middens of resentment and petty point-scoring. . . .