Basehor teens were invited to a kind of “speed dating” exercise recently at the Basehor Community Library. The session wasn’t aimed at finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. It was created to open their eyes to different types of books they might otherwise not consider reading.

Attendees were invited to read the first few pages of books selected by Teen Services Librarian Amy Schaffer before moving to the next book. Schaffer chose about 30 different books that might appeal to teens to help them expand their literary horizons.

“I wanted them to at least try reading something outside of their chosen favorite genre,” Schaffer said. “I got a selection of fantasy, drama, romance, dystopia and humor for the teens to try. I wanted them to read a few pages to see if there was something that was out of their comfort zone that they might actually enjoy reading.”

The teens were seated and a three-minute timer was set. Books were randomly distributed and the first few pages of a book were read. Each person filled out an evaluation form based on their individual taste and impression of the book before they passed it along to another attendee to preview and evaluate.  

By spending just a few minutes reading a couple of pages, most felt that they could tell if it would be a book they would enjoy reading. While it may not have been the type of book the teen thought they would have been drawn to, several found books they enjoyed and planned to add those titles to their individual reading list.

Zoey Roberts was glad to find some new books to enjoy.

“I usually like funny books and mysteries,” she said. “I hadn’t seen this book though. I am going to check it out from the library and read it.”

Schaffer was pleased with the results and happy that several of the teens were ready to try reading different types of books in the near future.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com