After this, you're on your own

There is no truth to the rumor that the building at the corner of Swanston and LaTrobe Streets in Melbourne, Australia, has been renamed the Victoria State Library and Matchmaking Service . But it easily could be. The institution, whose website says it has more than 2 million volumes in its collection and has logged almost 1 million visitors since opening its doors 150 years ago, recently held a party for its staff. And out of it came a – you should pardon the expression – novel idea : Why not invite lovers (of classic literature, that is) to a series of "nights" at which they could, maybe, meet others who shared their, ahem, passion? But libraries are known to be quiet places, and since most of the attendees presumably wouldn't know one another, it would not do to have everyone sit around in awkward silence. So each would be required to bring along a book that he or she particularly liked – or didn't like, as the case may be – as a conversation starter. One of the nights now is, as they say, in the books. How did it go? Well, 52 people showed up and at least 13 couples arranged to see each other again. Not necessarily at the library, though.

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