THE BLOG
10/29/2010 11:48 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Fifty First (J)Dates: Alikewise: The Online Dating Equivalent to Wearing Glasses

We're continuing on the journey/search for the expansive online dating saga, from JDate to Match to....books? I tried "Alikewise" (the name is sort of weird and it seems like it makes sense but it really doesn't) which matches you based on books you like.

It's an interesting premise, and one that has gotten a fair amount of press. So, you create a username (it's freee!) and you start to list the books you enjoy with your opinions of them. I'm primarily a humor and nonfiction sloot, so I began with I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Portrait Of An Addict as a Young Man, and How I Became a Famous Novelist.

Please read all three.

We can create a virtual book clurb where we drink lowfat hot chocolate, whine that our jeggings are cutting off our circulation, and just wind up talking about how we're sick of doing laundry all day and driving the kids to soccer practice and how Vanessa Williams is only meh on the Desperate Housewives while also simultaneously cutting orange slices to bring to the next Red Lightning Bolt game.

Now, what is a book?

I know, this is a somewhat backwards premise for a dating site. Because I'm mostly just surprised that people read. I like to read books. Which is great. You flip the pages, and sometimes if you're really enthusiastic about something you can underline it, then write it in an email to a friend, and then tweet it. Which basically is destroying the entire premise of literature and reducing it to 140-character form, but potato potahto.

When you choose the book you want to upload, it shows you a picture of the cover. I think 3/4 of the people on the site read from a Kindle, in which case it should just show a jumble of 000's and 111's.

I wonder how much of this is just playing intellectual. Like wearing glasses that resemble Brad Goreski to make yourself look smarter, chicer, or more like Daria.

I remember back when I first was making my Facebook profile (when it was only available to college students) I made sure to list lots of books that made me seem smartypants. And then you could search by a book, so then I'd know I wanted to hook up with the boy in the next building over who liked The Sun Also Rises (as I linked that, I noticed that the SparkNotes pops up first before the book. Depressing.) I used to think to myself, "he must be so smarttttttt to list books on a little electronic homepage that will turn into a daemon for tagging blackout drunk pictures."

I was so naive.

But then again, I'm sitting here trolling for boys who like Sedaris. And then realizing that the ones I've found might not like girls. Sigh.

So you can hunt around based on book or author, and "suggest" books to potential suitors, which is mostly just code for "let's go to a quiet place and take off our TOMs, put down our STRAND bag, and pretend to talk about the motifs in Franzen's Freedom. In the nude."

I mostly just ended up scanning for cute boys, which basically defeats the entire purpose of the site. So again, superficiality prevails.

The real question is, can you poke me with your copy of The Alchemist?

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