The Bookstore Date

Bookstore Date

A Fun and Free Date Night at Your Local Bookstore 

I love, love, love to read!! My husband, on the other hand, would rather do anything else instead of reading!  Reading is definitely not something he would choose to do for fun. Most of the dates I have posted so far have been pretty crazy… meaning, you would have to have an *extrovert* type of personality to do them.  These dates are perfect for us because we are both such extreme extroverts ourselves.  I decided I would like to tone things down a notch, plan a more calm and relaxing date, and take my husband to one of MY favorite places… a bookstore!  Of course, I would have to add some creative touches to make sure he enjoyed the date as much as I would.

The Bookstore Date Night

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 With me being such a bookworm, I even made a particular book my inspiration for one of my previous dates, the “Choose Your Own Date Adventure” Date. When I was planning what to do for this date, I wanted something that was fun, free and easy to put together and I’m telling ya, this date has all of that! Seriously, with these amazing printables designed by Courtney at Paperelli, you can just print and go. Easy-peasy!

Here is what we did for our bookstore date. We started off by eating at a super-friendly-to-the-budget eatery.

Afterward, I handed him this:

Date At The Bookstore

We then headed off to a bookstore – I chose Barnes & Noble mainly because they have wooden chairs, armchairs, & couches scattered around the store. When choosing a bookstore for your OWN bookstore date – I would suggest keeping that in mind! Those little nooks are perfect meeting spots for this date!Bookstore Date Task Card

Once we were there, we found a cozy little spot and I presented him with the FIRST of two “Task Cards.” There were three tasks that we both needed to complete before meeting back at our cozy spot.

  1. Visit the COOKING section & chose a recipe that you would like to make for your spouse.
  2. Visit the MAGAZINE section & find a quiz in a magazine that you and your spouse could do together.
  3. Visit the CHILDREN’S section & find a book that was a favorite when you were a child or that holds a special memory for you… and read them to each other when you meet back up.

Now, you can do this two different ways! You can give each other 30 minutes and split up… meeting back at the designated spot when the time limit is over… OR you can just go together to each section, find the different books/magazines, and meet back at the spot. We chose to do the second option.

Good thing we did… since we could barely hold in our laughter when we discovered that our rival universities had COOKBOOKS!! I am a BYU alumni and Jamie is a HUGE Ute fan….

Bookstore Date Cookbook Rivals

Here is the recipe that Jamie picked out:

Bookstore Date Cookbook

Next stop… the Magazine section! This was a tricky one! It was harder than I thought to find quizzes in the magazines. If you also have a hard time, you can adjust that task to just finding a great article to share with each other. I found plenty of sizzling articles to share with him in Cosmopolitan and he found awesome photography tips to show me in Popular Photography.

(BTW – notice how AMAZING the pictures are in this post!?! My birthday was this month and Jamie picked up on the million and one hints and bought me a FABULOUS camera… thus his sudden interest in photography!! He wanted to make sure his investment was the best option out there. LOL)

Bookstore Date Magazines

And then on to the Children’s section… SO much fun! Here are our picks! Mine is “Where the Wild Things Are” and his favorite was “The Berenstain Bears – In The Dark”.

Bookstore Date Kid Books

Now, confession time! We had SOOOO much fun doing this, that we ran out of time to do the other task card! We spent SO much time at each section having fun talking, sharing articles/finds, and laughing, that we completely lost track of time! It was such a hit with my husband that he insisted that we return the next day to finish the date. Remember… this is the husband that does not like to pick up a book and read for fun!  🙂

Bookstore Date Tasks

Day TWO:

The tasks on the second card were…

  1. Visit the JOKE section and pick out a HI-LA-RI-OUS joke to share with your spouse.
  2. Visit the TRAVEL section and find a picture or information on a place you would like to visit someday.
  3. Visit the POEM section and find a poem that describes the way you feel about your spouse.

The “Joke Task” took us for-ev-er! We could not stop sharing jokes with each other and laughing!! One joke each was just not enough for us!

Bookstore Date Joke Books

The dream vacation task was really neat! I learned something NEW about Jamie! I always knew he had a thing for history and ruins, but I never knew he wanted to travel to Peru!! If you zoom in on the picture below, you may be able to see the breathtaking picture he is holding up of an ancient civilization in Peru.

Where do I want to vacation?  HAWAII!!!!

Dream Vacations at the Bookstore

Our last task ended the date on a super romantic note! Sharing lovey-dovey poems out of some poem books we found. Great way to top off a wonderful date!

The actual date cost us absolutely NOTHING! Free entertainment for two nights in a row! Jamie actually told me afterward that he would love to go to our local library and just sit in the children’s section and take turns reading our favorite books!  (WOW! Have I converted him to believe in the wonders of reading?)  

Bookstore Date Blank Tasks

 Jaime thought it might be fun for others who do this date to have a “WILD CARD” task, meaning that the person planning it could ask their spouse to make up a task on the spot that the spouse would really enjoy. Like something sports, self-help, fishing-related, etc. If you want to do something like that – we included a blank task card just for you! 

One more nice thing about doing a date in a bookstore… well, a BIG bookstore, is that you can grab a cup of cocoa and a pastry at their in-house eatery to snack on during your date!

If you decide to go on this date, make sure you plan on it taking at LEAST 3-4 hours!! I promise you will have plenty to do… even if you are not a reader! {Wink, Wink}

Bookstore Date Idea Printables

About the Author: Tara

I am an outgoing and fun-lovin’ gal who was lucky enough to marry the man of my dreams! You could probably say I am an “extreme extrovert” as I LOVE to talk and be around people! I love ANYTHING creative and am not a fan of the “norm.” My favorite things in life are my family… especially my HOT husband, my friends, and my faith! We recently had a miracle baby boy after years of struggling with infertility. I have a passion for life and I am having a BLAST running this website with some of my closest friends. Life just keeps getting better and better!

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86 Responses to The Bookstore Date

  1. That sounds like an awesome idea! My hubby and I are big readers so we'd have to make it an all day trip if we did this. But we'll definitely have to try it out. It would be a ton of fun!

  2. This is a GREAT date idea!!
    I especially love that it is FREE!
    Like you, I LOVE to read. My hubby…not so much! But, I know this is something that he would enjoy doing with me.
    I am printing out the invite as well as the task cards right now!
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. LOL…good question, Aly! I can only speak for myself….but yes – he does plan dates and they are fantastic! I usually just highlight the presents, cute notes, etc. he does.

  4. Tara, Awesome date! We LOVE, love, love, [can I say LOVE one more time!lol] Barnes & Noble. My man's a fan of the magazine secion and I'm just a fan of the whole store.

    @ Aly, I'm with Tara. My husband does plan dates, but his are lower key and don't require much planning. But I'm hoping that he's going to plan a super fun one in the next couple of weeks that I can hightlight on here. So keep checking in with us and hopefully I'll have that one up soon!

  5. Lots more things to do in the bookstore…like pick out a calendar for the home or office,pick a CD your spouse would love and listen to samples in the headphones,pick out a card that expresses your love,find a game you can play together,find a book on the sale table your spouse would like,and on and on

  6. Tara, my neighbor came running over today to tell me my books (I'm the author of the BYU and U Cookbooks) were featured on Studio 5. How exciting! Thank you for picking out a few recipes from my books to try on your date night with your hubby. I love your site and that you are promoting strengthening marriage. I will be linking my website to yours to share your ideas with everyone that I know. My website is: I teach how to make freezer meals to save time and money. Thank you for the fun ideas! You are so wonderful to take time to share then with the rest of us that want to keep the love alive. 😉

  7. Hi there! I'm visiting from Seeds of Encouragement (she linked to this post). This is a date that I would LOVE, but I don't know about my hubby. You say yours doesn't like to read…well, mine really doesn't like to read. I can count maybe 2 books he's read in 9 years of marriage. :s

    So…what do you do when your husband (sweet as he is!) is tired after long days at work and doesn't really want to go anywhere or do anything. :s

  8. Hi Amanda! Were you wanting sweet ideas to do for him after a long day OR were you asking what I do if I planned something fun and he doesn't want to go out? If you planned something awesome….and he is usually tired after work – I would let him know ahead of time that you have a surprise for him and decide together when a great time would be to go do it…so he will be alert and fully enjoy it.

    As far as sweet things to do for him…

    We have a LOT of ideas listed under "Show HIM The Love". You can always do something simple like rent some RedBox movies – HIS fav, of course, make some of his FAV treats, etc. You could also do a relaxing SPA night together. You could make his fav meal….but eat it by candlelight. There are SO many simple things you can do that wouldn't require a lot of effort on his part…if he is super tired.

    If he NEVER wants to do anything and just wants to "veg" after getting home….maybe have a chat to figure out when you guys can have some time to connect and do these things….since that is what would make YOU happy and there needs to be some sort of a balance.

    Hopefully this is what you were looking for. Those are just my humble thoughts. Good Luck! 🙂

  9. We did this date last week and it was SO MUCH FUN!!! I wasn't exactly sure how it would go over but my hubby and I had a really great time! Thanks for the idea!!! Love your site!

  10. Tara, I just recently found this site and loved this idea. My husband and I love the bookstore. We did this date just Saturday in the morning. Only time we had. It was so much fun! I made one last task at the end of ours, we each had to find a book that we thought the other person would want or like. And then of course purchase them. That was fun and interesting. I took pictures just like you did too. So much fun! I will definitely be back for more.

  11. @The Little Mrs. – I am SO glad you liked this date! I think your last task is darling! My husband probably wouldn't go for it…being the non-reader he is….but I am glad yours did! 🙂

  12. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea! My husband & I used this fun date to help us celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary this past weekend. We added a couple more tasks to the mix to. We had so much fun just being together! It’s been too long since we’ve done anything like that! Sure beats the heck out of “dinner & a movie”! You can check out my blog post about our date @ if you’d like.
    Thanks again, Tara! 🙂

  13. What a fun idea! My husband and I actually have a date night every Saturday. After cheap Mexican food (just because we love it) we head to Barnes and Noble, grab a drink and head out. I like this because we would have to connect back with each other. I think my husband would like this, although he does get lost in perusing the books.

  14. I love this idea! I can spend hours in the bookstore & so can my husband. I want to do this on Friday but I can’t get the link to download. Maybe I just don’t know how. 🙁 Help please!!

    1. Hi, Kasi, I am a real blonde. Don’t feel bad.

      I didn’t get Tara’s part about, “Oh – and we are gonna do them all, or at least six!” I thought, what??? There are only six tasks.

      When I printed the pages, I re-read, “There’s a million and one things….”

      Duh! Doh! Duh! 😉

  15. This is such a good idea! My hubby doesn’t like reading either unless I’m reading to him and its a very captivating book…I’m so excited to try this!

  16. I downloaded the 4 share software and when I clicked on the link to download the invite and list for the Bookworm date (great idea!) I receive this message ” The file link that you requested is not valid.” Is there another place I can get copies of these? Thanks for all of your hard work!! 🙂

  17. This is the cutest idea ever!! My husband actually love going to the bookstore, but I am thinking that going with an objective would be really cool too. I got the same thing though that Amy got with the whole “The file link that you requested is not valid.” Is there any another way to get a copy of these cards? Thanks!

    1. Hey Heather! All of the files are saved on my desktop at my home in Vegas. I am in California for three more weeks. When I get back home….I will upload those files to our website again. Sorry about the delay. 🙂 Glad you like the idea!

      1. Hi Tara,

        Thank you for sharing this date! I would love to do this for my wife! Could you please let me know when you upload those task cards again? I’m excited to share this with her. Thanks again!!

  18. Very fun twist on a bookstore date — I love it. Unfortunately we don’t live close to a B&N anymore but we used to do this date every once in awhile, although we didn’t chose things to compare which sounds fun! Normally we just would go, wander together a bit and then separately (I hate Sci Fi and that’s hubby’s section) then have coffee and cheesecake! …. can’t wait to see if I can tweak this to a smaller store …

  19. Thank you so much! This date sounds like a bunch of fun! I’m giving my husband a bunch of preplanned dates for the year for a Christmas gift, and your post just made it so much easier for me. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I set this date up last night. We had BBQ for dinner, then afterwards I gave him the card to start off the date. But when we arrived at the bookstore, we discovered it had recently closed. So instead we found a comfy-ish couch nearby and decided to do all of the tasks using our phones. We had so much fun sharing recipes, jokes, poems and all of the other things. It was a great alternative since bookstores are becoming rare finds with the invention of the ebooks. Can’t wait to try another date! i already have printed off some printables for future dates, and am making them on cardstock to share with my girlfriends, with the link to the various posts here to get the directions!

    1. I was wondering about your task cards. What program were they written in? Is there anyway I can have the original file to make some more with different tasks? We have loved this date, and would love to make some other tasks on the cards. Thanks so much for your wonderful site and for strengthening marriages around the world.

      1. Hi Cari! I used Photoshop & with this date being from so long ago, I don’t think I have the original jpegs that I used to create the printables. I would suggest downloading my printable & then erasing the tasks in a photoshop program so you can put in your own. Good luck! {BTW – I bet if you just wrote the new tasks on a piece of paper, your husband would love it just as much!} XOXO

  21. My husband and I used to go to Borders on date nights before they closed. This would be awesome to do to get that old familiar date night back!

    We have done something a little similar. In the book “Songs in the Key of Solomon” by Anita Renfroe, she has an activity to find the most quirky classified ad in the Sunday paper. We had TONS of fun with this, and it was a great afternoon activity that brought lots of laughter!

  22. I’m going to do this for our anniversary! So meaningful and can be repeated with additional ideas! I’m going to add: find a fashion magazine and pick out your favourite “look” for you AND your spouse 🙂

  23. What a GREAT date night idea!!

    BUT just to let you know that Barnes & Noble no longer provides those comfy chairs in the random areas you talked about 🙁 so the date has to be done on your feet or sitting on the floor…and yes I have sat on the floor to look at a magazine before 😀

  24. […] watch us, ya creepsters).  He has no idea what he’s about to be in store for (there is one date specifically designed for a bookstore.  The writer mentions that her hubby hates to read and […]

  25. This sounds so fun! My hubby and I actually both LOVE the bookstore already. (Usually for our anniversary, we go out to eat – and then to Books-a-Million.) But these task cards sound like a great way to get some added interaction going on.

  26. I just wanted to tell you that I love that this is with the January Love Calendar! Instead of a book store, because we are in a small town… we are going to use the Public Library!!! So there is that option for small town gals!!

  27. I have to say that I really enjoyed this date with my husband. My husband is not a reader but he really did have a good time reading through things. Instead of us going to a bookstore we went to our library.

  28. Just came across this while looking for inspiration on what to do for my boyfriend’s bday-I love this! Thank you for posting a fun date that would work well for us introverts too! I know about the love languages and both my boyfriend and I have quality time as ours, but I am not good at thinking of ways to do this creatively, we have the same ol’ dinner-and-a-movie date nights. My bf loves reading, so I think this will be awesome! Thank you!

  29. Thanks for the idea! My new BF and I are introverted nerds so hopefully this date will be a perfect fit for our personalities and for getting to know each other better. 🙂 I’m going to try it tomorrow — wish me luck!

  30. I definitely need to try this! Luckily my husband is game for anything I want to do. He isn’t a reader but it would still be fun for both of us. Thank you!