The Mountains of Instead

Championing fiction as an escape from pandemics, politics and bad TV.

The Art of Matchmaking

Ah, matchmaking - beloved by many from Mrs Bennett to Blair Waldorf it can be a rocky road for the Matcher, leading down the mountain of friendship into the ravine of resentment.  Or at least the swamp of sheepishness.  And that’s just when you’re matching PEOPLE.  Here, we are here to talk of a Match of greater gravitas, further reaching repercussions and deep, deep sadness.  Yes, we’re going to the art of the Book Match. A Match that, when it goes right leads to a life time of joy, but should it go wrong, could lead (whisper it) to a life lived bereft of books.

Making a perfect Book Match might seem like an easy task – and sometimes it is. Sometimes, it is so utterly clear what your Matchee needs in terms of a story that it seems entirely plausible that, if left long enough, the tome will trip of the shelf and launch itself into the arms of its future beloved (BTW, this perhaps WON’T happen so it’s always best to place said volume in said hands oneself).  However, just as with love you will find sometimes that the Matchee hasn’t found happiness with a book before or – EVEN WORSE – has attempted a relationship and been badly, badly burned.  May we all just take a minutes silence for those poor, lost souls.

So, how do we as avid Book Pushers… I mean, er, Match Makers, find the perfect books?  Well, it’s all about asking the right questions.  Find out what book burnt them, find out what they like to watch on TV or what film they liked last.  In fact, ask friend of mine, who rarely reads, saw and loved The Hunger Games.  I hopefully passed on the last two books of the trilogy which he amazed himself by racing through in record time even by my speedy-reader standards.  And because he liked The Hunger Games, I shall be passing on Divergent (Veronica Roth). From Divergent you could then move to, say, The Enemy by Charlie Higson – a little different, but also familiar enough to not scare of the wary reader and then perhaps from that to The Passage by Justin Cronin. Matching books can sometimes be like this – a sort of literary six degrees of separation where one title leads effortlessly to another but you have to just find out what someone is into and bombard them with ALL THE BOOKS you can think of on that subject.  Here are some suggestions:

Interest: Travel
No traveler could possibly deny the lure of the ROAD TRIP!  Road trip books are awesome.  And they are also plentiful so for your book-shy adventurer try any of these.

On the RoadSaving JunePaper TownsAmy and Roger's Epic Detour

Interest: Dungeons and Dragons (or, y'know, just Aragon because he's hot in LOTR)

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)ChimeSeraphina (Seraphina, #1)

Interest: Buffy (because everyone, deep down, loves Buffy)

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)Carnival of Souls

Interest: Colin Firth (in wet shirt, in Pride and Prejudice)

JaneAnna and the French KissThe Jane Austen Book ClubRebecca

Basically any book that you could cast CF in in your head - tell me a younger incarnation wouldn't make an excellent St. Clair, oui? This tactic works equally well for Richard Armitage, as I explain here.

Interest: Any reality tv/true story movie/gritty documentary

Dead FamousJenna & Jonah's FauxmanceThe Fault in Our StarsHow I Live Now

Interest: Horror films

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarI Hunt KillersHenry Franks: A NovelHouse of Leaves

House of Leaves should be gifted with a health warning - it broke the brain of poor Cannonball Jones

Interest: Manly manliness 
There’s been much talk of books for boys recently on the interwebs and how they do/don’t exist. Personally, I think that most books are for people regardless of what they have in their pants but if I were to choose specifically for a reluctant boy/bloke then I’d go for:

The Deathday LetterThere is No DogThe Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)Only Forward

Interest: Girly Girlyness  
Equally, if you have a particularly girly girl in your life then these may be the way forward:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1)Ballet ShoesLola and the Boy Next Door

I could go on with the interests and with the books but you get the jist. Once you start Book Matching it can become addictive because when you get it right, you get it RIGHT. So, people, off you go – get going! It’s Christmas and Christmas (as well as birthdays, public holidays, private holidays, most Saturdays and alternate and non-alternate days of the week) is an excellent time to try your hand at finding that special someone and their suspicion of books the perfect story. Do it for them, do it for you, do it for me, DO IT FOR LITERATURE! Below, you’ll see a vlog that will hopefully pave the way for me personally to Match on an even wider scale (from my BOOK FORT) but regardless, build your own bridges with the books that you love – changing the world one new reader at a time.


This is what I do for the pupils in the library. as soon as you find that one book that they like its simple to keep them going.
Best part of my job
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