Spring has officially arrived, and if you choose to believe the hype, love is in the air. Truth be told, however, the springtime air is also filled with pollen, mold, bees, and countless other love-inhibiting allergens and insects. So, if you’d rather not trust your love connection to a seasonal weather change, allow me to suggest a matchmaking option you may have missed: the London Review of Books.
Established in 1979, the London Review of Books is best known for its highly-regarded commentary on literature, film, art, and politics from such distinguished contributors as Martin Amis, John Ashbery, Julian Barnes, Christopher Hitchens, Hilary Mantel, and Susan Sontag. But make no mistake, the LRB isn’t all business. When advertising director David Rose joined the magazine in 1998, he spearheaded the creation of a personal ads column to help LRB readers with “similar literary and cultural tastes get together.” Rose envisioned “a sort of 84 Charing Cross Road endeavour, with readers providing their own versions of Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft finding love among the bookshelves.” The ads Rose received, however, were anything but expected.