It’s a match! Sigma Tau Delta hosts blind date with a book sale


Members of Sigma Tau Delta welcomed students to take a chance on a mystery read.

Natalie Harrington

The week of Sept. 24 to Sept. 28 celebrated Banned Books Week, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society on campus, finished off its festivities with the kind of speed dating guaranteed to end in a match.

Books were wrapped in parchment paper and decorated with general synopses. Patrons were courted by the mysterious stories, drawn in by the vivid, condensed descriptions. Books were sold at $2 each, including a range of hardcovers and paperbacks, classics and new novels, banned books and perennially beloved stories, all from a pool of books donated to the English Department.

Descriptions ranged from “Oh, whale!” with a drawn whale smiling at its potential new date to “Type, Forrest, Type!” to even “Man in the Friendzone Sees Green Light.” Though some of the “dating pool” was rather easy to see through, the majority of the prospectives offered unique and intriguing “biographies.”

The sale bookends a week of activities hosted by Sigma Tau Delta themed on Banned Books. Monday featured a whiteboard where passersby could write about why they read banned books, and on Thursday Dr. Jonathan Allison gave a lecture on the much-scrutinized Ulysses. On Friday, Sept. 28, there was a special showing of the film A Wrinkle In Time, a film based off a continually banned book of the same name.

Held at the Jacobs Science Building, the Blind Date With a Book Sale attracted students of all majors and years and ended up selling out of all the eligible books. Hosts Kaitlyn Solan and Haley Powell were delighted by the success of their club’s book sale.

Powell is an English and political science sophomore who spoke about the importance of banned books. 

“[They] display that words truly are revolutionary and that writers’ impact on the world is powerful enough that governments and religious organizations seek to restrict them,” she said. “Although it’s disappointing that censorship is a long-standing issue, it also proves to us that literature matters.”

Solan, a senior studying secondary English education, concurred with Powell’s sentiments.

“…It seems a little archaic to be banning books for their content in 2018, a time where so many people are open-minded,” Solan said. “I think that celebrating Banned Books Week means that we are spreading the word about the importance of literature as well as showing that words have power.”

Sigma Tau Delta takes donations of books all year-round. If you’re looking for a good read without all the hassel of “dating,” Solan and Powell recommend classics like Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kate Chopin, and Harry Potter, as well as books like All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque, which is another frequently banned book.