Coyote Indie Books owner Dan Rothon and Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy representative Erin Perkins are wrapping up a variety of books to entice readers to a Nov. 14 fundraiser. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Grand Forks bookstore and literacy rep offer ‘blind date with a book’

Attendees will receive a wrapped book, loosely described by organizers

Here’s the plot: a local bookstore owner and a literacy advocate have joined forces to mystify and delight readers – what readers will find is very much anyone’s guess.

On Nov. 14 the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) Boundary office and Coyote Indie Books are hosting a fundraiser called Blind Date with a Book.

The books – all hand selected by bookstore owner and publisher Dan Rothon – will be wrapped so no one knows the name of the book or the author. What they will know is the basic plot, which will be attached to the outside of the wrapping paper.

“I thought this fundraiser might be a great way for Grand Forks to kick off the holiday season over a shared passion for books!,” said CBAL Community Literacy Coordinator, Erin Perkins. “And who doesn’t love to be pleasantly surprised when discovering a book they may never have chosen for themselves but enjoyed anyway?”

“I am supporting this fundraiser because I am an advocate for literacy and want to put good books in people’s hands,” said Rothon. “There are whole worlds in books but they stay the same as they were written, we on the other hand can make ours better, by promoting literacy!”

While deciding which plot line and not which cover looks best, participants can nibble on savoury appetizers, sweet desserts and sip mugs of gourmet hot cocoa from the hot chocolate bar. Everyone gets to take a book home, but attendees get to choose when to unwrap it.

The book selection will include everything from horror to fantasy, science fiction to Pulitzer Prize-winning literary novels and classics.

“These books can be anything from the masterpieces of yesterday to the trending novels of this year,” Rothon said. “Hopefully there should be something for every type of reader.”

CBAL will also be selling its popular Blue Sky Clothing merino wool and bamboo socks, which flew out their baskets during the Reach a Reader event last month

Proceeds from the event will be used to fund family literacy programs in the Boundary like the Afterschool Homework Clubs at Perley and Hutton Elementary Schools, as well as the Together to Learn program.

Tickets are $40 each and space is limited to 30 people. Tickets can be purchased at Coyote Indie Books and the CBAL office at Selkirk College. The event runs Thursday, Nov. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Coyote Indie Books in Grand Forks.

For more information, contact Erin Perkins at 250-442-2704 ext. 6 or by email at

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