Our Picks for Blind Date with a Book

Have you gone on a blind date with a book? A perfect premise for Valentine's Day, the set-up for the display is simple: just wrap books in paper to hide their covers — hence the "blind date" — and decorate the wrapping with enticing facts, hints about the plotline, or our favorite, the books' first lines.

Of course, to get patrons to want to pick up these blind dates, you need books with attention-grabbing first lines. Here are 15 of our favorites for adult readers. Do you have others? Share them in the comments.

The cover of Big Machine by Victor LaValle

1.  "Big Machine" by Victor LaValle  

Spiegel and Grau, 2009

“Don’t look for dignity in public bathrooms.” 

Cover of City of Glass by Paul Auster

2. "City of Glass" by Paul Auster

Penguin Books, 1987

“It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.”

Cover of The Crow Road by Iain Banks

3. "The Crow Road" by Iain Banks

Abacus, 1993

“It was the day grandmother exploded.”

Cover of Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

4. "Cat’s Eye" by Margaret Atwood

Anchor Books, 1998

“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.”

Cover of Eureka Street by Robert McLiam

5. "Eureka Street" by Robert McLiam Wilson

Ballentine Books, 1999

“All stories are love stories.” 

Cover of A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

6. "A Certain Slant of Light" Laura Whitcomb

HMH Books For Young Readers, 2005

"Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you’re dead."

Cover of Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

7.  "Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk

Anchor Books, 2002

“If you’re going to read this, don’t bother.”

Cover of Catch 22 by Josh Heller

8. "Catch 22" by Josh Heller

Simon & Schuster, 2004

“It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.”

The cover of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

9.  "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath

Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

10.  "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston

Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1937

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” 

The cover of The One by John Marrs

11. "The One" by John Marrs 

Hanover Square Press, 2015

“Mandy stared at the photo on her computer screen and held her breath.” 

Cover of Sad Girls by Lang Leav

12.  "Sad Girls" by Lang Leav

Andrew McMeel Publishing, 2017

“I was three weeks shy of eighteen when I was struck with the cruel affliction of anxiety.” 

Cover of Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

13. "Call Me By Your Name" by André Aciman

Atlantic Books, 2007

“'Later!' The word, the voice, the attitude.” 

Cover of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

14. "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel 

Mariner Books, 2006

“Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed on for a spot of ‘airplane.’” 

Cover of Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin

15. "Go Tell It On The Mountain" by James Bladwin

Penguin, 2001

“Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father.”