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11 Bookstore Date Ideas (for a Cheap & Fun Date)

What can you do in a bookstore together? You’ll never know, unless you check out these bookstore date ideas.

My husband and I have tons of bookstore date ideas because we used to go on bookstore dates all the time (before our little one came around).

couple smiling while looking at a book in bookstore, text overlay "The BEST date ideas at the bookstore"

We would mostly go to a Half-Priced book shop, and hang out for an hour or longer.

Not only did we have a really fun experience together, but we usually walked out with two new books (which were half-priced or from the clearance section – keeping the date really cheap).

It was a win-win.

Bookstore Date Ideas

Alright – you’re in a bookstore, with the guy or girl you love…what do you do now?

One of these fun bookstore date ideas.

Hint: you can use several of these for a lovely library date night, too. 

1. Do a Childhood Book Swap

One of my favorite date nights at the bookstore with my husband, Paul, was when we found our most memorable childhood books and read them to each other.

We even bought mine (The Monster at the End of This Book – a classic).

Psst: I get tears in my eyes thinking about how this book we bought together like 8 or 9 years ago from my own childhood is now on our own child’s night stand. We read it to him probably once a week!

2. Go on a Pokémon Go Hunting Expedition in the Book Aisles

Bookstores have lots of aisles, and corners.

Download the Pokémon Go free app, and have fun battling the little guys wherever they pop up as you peruse books.

You’ll want to be in AR (Augmented Reality) mode, as that will overlay the Pokémon onto your actual location (the bookstore).

Here’s the Android version, and the iOS version.

Psst: I did this once at the grocery store for a Tuesday evening thrill – and I have to tell you that it’s totally hilarious to battle Pokémon in the produce aisle. You will, of course, need to pay attention to others around you so that you don’t interrupt them.  

3. Play Book Title Mad Libs

Welllll…this isn’t exactly Mad Libs – but the title sounds cool, so I’ll run with it.

Set a timer for 10 – 15 minutes. Each of you are tasked with finding a book title that is mysterious enough or is a twist from what the actual book is about.

Bring the book with you and meet up somewhere in the bookstore.

Take turns telling the title to the other person and, based off of the title alone, they have to guess what the book is about. You each can guess the genre only, or a one-sentence summary of what you think the book is about.

This can be really fun.

4. Take a Selfie with a “Story of My Life” Book

Some books have hilarious titles. Or ironic ones. Or ones that seem like they speak right to a particular part of your life.

Take turns finding the perfect book title that “says it all” about your life, and take a selfie with it.

Have fun with this – you could try out the romance aisle, and take a couple’s selfie with a book and its title, too! (Hint: You might want to keep that one as a private joke between the two of you…). 

5. Complete a Bookstore Scavenger Hunt

Check out these cute printables for a bookstore scavenger hunt! Print them out, set a timer, and meet each other back at a spot with your findings.

OR, complete the scavenger hunt together.

You’ll be given tasks for certain things to find, like jokes, a recipe, etc.

You also get a super cute Bookworm Date Invite to leave for your partner.

6. Play a Game in their Café

Some big-name and even smaller bookstores have cafes attached to them. Bring along a deck of cards, check out these 2-player card games, and have some fun while sipping your lattes.

Hint: you’ll also want to check out my article on 17 coffee shop date ideas for couples.

7. Blindly Choose a Country to Visit

When was the last time you dreamed with your partner? Like, fantasized together about something you could do in the future, or some way your futures together could be?

That’s what this next date idea is all about.

Go to the travel book section, close your eyes, and run your finger along all the books until you decide to stop. What country did you land on?

Have your partner do the same.

When the two of you get home, research your countries together. What would you do if you went there? What’s the history like? What kind of cultural differences are there from where you’re from?

What time of year would you want to go?

Just have fun with it. Explore it, together, without ever leaving on a plane.

Who knows…you two just might get so inspired that some travel could be in your near future.

Psst: this makes for great conversation, if nothing else.

8. Meet Up for a Bookstore Event

Bookstores are a fantastic resource for events. Events that you can go to as a couple!

Search for “bookstore events near me”, and go through the events at your local independent booksellers.

I’ve seen author readings, discussion groups, celebrations…I’ve even seen music and appetizers!

9. Research a Pet to Get Together

Back to fantasyland here (which can be quite fun with someone you love).

Head on over to the animal and pet area of the bookstore, and have fun picking out a pet you (theoretically) would like to own together.

Do you both want the same pet? A different one?

Does one of you choose a pet that is wildly outside of what the other person would be comfortable with?

Learn more about chinchillas, goats, hamsters, dogs, snakes…and choose one you might want to own one day.

10. Look Up Local Ghost Folklore

Many bookstores – even the big chain ones – like to highlight local books that have either been written by an author living in the area, or is about the area.

I have been in many bookstores that highlight local books detailing places you can go to together that are supposedly “haunted”.

It’s kind of fun to learn new facts AND suspicions about places you both know dearly.

Psst: like spooky activities together? Then you’ll want to check out these 19 Halloween activities for adults.

And if you feel inspired? Buy one of the books and set a future date to read and see these places right around the corner.

11. Pick Out Your “Desert Island” Book

You know that game people play to get to know each other better and spark interesting conversation – when they ask what three books would you bring with you if you knew you’d be stranded on a deserted island for the rest of your life?

Well, you’re in a bookstore.

You can actually look through and make a decision on this one.

Could spark some fun conversation!

One of my favorite date ideas for book lovers and sometimes-readers alike? Is to go to the bookstore together. But you can take that up a notch with one of these bookstore date ideas.

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Amanda L Grossman

Personal Finance Writer and CEO at Frugal Confessions, LLC
Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 13 years, her money work has helped people with how to save money and how to manage money. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here or on LinkedIn.