Between the Covers matchmaking mixer

Word bookstore's latest event may just amp up your love life. Before you go, check out two well-read singles and one newly matched, literary couple.

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  • Russ Marshalek, a.k.a. DJ RussComm, 27; Astoria, Queens and Marley Magaziner, 27; Greenpoint, Brooklyn

  • Sherry Wasserman, 23; Greenpoint, Brooklyn

  • Billy Parker, 29; Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Russ Marshalek, a.k.a. DJ RussComm, 27; Astoria, Queens and Marley Magaziner, 27; Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Since most New Yorkers judge potential dates on everything from Facebook status updates to how quickly they can score a table at Momofuku, it’s perfectly acceptable, if not more important, to appraise them based on their bookshelves. That’s the premise of Between the Covers: A Matchmaking Service for Book Lovers, launched by indie bookstore Word (126 Franklin St at Milton St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-383-0096, wordbrooklyn.com). It started this past July, when customer Sherry Wasserman inquired about the relationship status of a certain gent who put two books she was fond of on the hold shelf. (Alas, that fellow was married; Wasserman’s still looking, see below.) Sensing an opportunity, Word’s manager, Stephanie Anderson, put together a bulletin board where patrons could post personal ads and commence a quest for a bookish love-match. “A lot of young, single professionals shop at our store, so it made sense to give people an opportunity to mingle in a literary environment,” says Kelly Amabile, Word’s events coordinator.

The board is now overflowing with more than 50 ads, and on Thursday 21, the bookshop will host a mixer (for everyone, whether you’ve posted or not) at nearby bar the Diamond (43 Franklin St at Calyer St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-383-5030, thediamondbrooklyn.com; 8--11pm, free). “We’re setting the scene so that more literary love connections can be made,” Amabile schemes. Discuss the latest Alice Munro short-story collection over a game of shuffleboard, or grope one another while quoting Anas Nin poems as DJ RussComm’s ’80s tunes waft through the air. (The deck-wrecker and his lady friend were brought together by the board too, see below.) You might even take home a highbrow goodie from the event’s giveaway, like a copy of Smith magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak or Andy Selsberg’s Dear Old Love: Anonymous Notes to Former Crushes, Sweethearts, Husbands, Wives, & Ones That Got Away. But neither tome will keep you warm at night, so check out our preview of four folks who’ll be attending—two found each other through the board, and two are still looking for bibliophile dreamboats.


Sherry Wasserman

, 23; Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Favorite books and authors: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman; Mary Roach; Frans de Waal
The author who knows her type: “Charlotte Bront. I’m looking for the Mr. Rochester for my Jane Eyre. Their relationship is one of equals; they’re two well-educated people who debate and spar, and their differences in opinion bring them closer together. If we’re a match of wits, I’ll most likely forgive the skeletons in your closet—or the mad wife in your attic.”
What her guy should read: “Cookbooks, so he could have me over and wow me with his culinary skills. I’d like to meet someone who admits to reading young-adult books, as some YA can be just as racy as adult books.”
Why she wants to meet someone through Word: “If I meet the right person, he’ll get a card from my catalog, and hopefully won’t let the good times expire.”


Billy Parker

, 29; Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Favorite books and authors: Sarah Vowell; Lorrie Moore; Route 666: On the Road to Nirvana, by Gina Arnold
His favorite literary love story: “Lorrie Moore’s Anagrams. The relationship’s far from ideal: It’s about two best friends in love with each other, but things never actually take off.”
His literary pickup spot of choice: “The Greenpoint Brooklyn Public Library branch. I have a big crush on one of the librarians and regularly ask her about YA books.”
What he likes best about Word’s board: “How many women have a distaste for Kerouac and Bukowski. It sounds like they may have been burned by dudes who read them in the past.”
He’d be weirded out if a date hadn’t read:The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High series, or a Judy Blume novel.”


Russ Marshalek

, a.k.a. DJ RussComm, 27; Astoria, Queens
His literary deal-breakers: “Junot Daz—he’s incredibly overrated and will come between us in bed. I don’t like Michael Chabon, and more importantly, I don’t like the self-important hipster girls that think Chabon created literature. If you refuse to read Bret Easton Ellis because you got halfway through American Psycho and were 'offended,’ um...to the left, to the left.”
His literary soulmate: “A girl with the whip smarts of Marisha Pessl.”
The most surprising thing he saw on the board: “People think that you can actually get laid posting a personals ad on a bookstore match board if you misuse there. Craigslist is one thing, but when you’re looking for a literary hookup, watch your spelling.”
Russ on his girlfriend, Marley: “It took us quite some time to go from friends who’d drunkenly flirt-text to actual dating, but the fact that there was a Word board comminqu wrapped up in there sort of makes me swoon and giggle when I think about her.”

Marley Magaziner

, 27; Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The one book a hookup must read:Slaughterhouse-Five—history, aliens, drawings...it’s an amazing story without any flowery blah-blah that authors like to throw in to show off.”
Her advice on finding a literary lover: “Book events—signings, lectures and launches—are good because there’s wine, and people are looking to schmooze.”
Marley on her boyfriend, Russ: “Russ and I had met through the Tank and became friends while working on a couple of events there over the summer. He told me he’d posted a personal on the Word board and convinced me to do it. About a month after I had left my info and had totally forgotten about it, I received this: 'Saw your Word board posting... Love your literary taste. Hi, I’m Russ.’ I thought he was messing with me. Then I realized I’d left an ambiguous e-mail address. Still, didn’t he know that I was the girl who hates Joyce Carol Oates and authors named Chuck? As it turns out, no. Instead of letting it play out like some tired rom-com with a giggly blind date, I wrote back saying it was me. Cute, right? Seriously, I might puke.”

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