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Penguin launches online dating for bookworms

LONDON - Book publisher Penguin is targeting all those singles whose hobbies include reading with a new dating website.

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Penguin is launching the PenguinDating site in conjunction with Match.com. Singles who sign up to the service will be asked to write about the last book they read in their profile. It will also let them search the Match.com database of singles' profiles for their favourite authors and books.

The company argues that you can tell more about a person by the books that they read, be it a turn-off or something that causes you to become intrigued.

It is also trying to argue that online dating is actually restoring the importance of the written word in modern romance, rather than moving it ever further away from the ideals of novels like 'Pride & Prejudice'.

Penguin will be alerting readers to the new site by placing ads in 2m of its most popular fiction titles, and promoting it across all of its websites.

Anna Rafferty, digital marketing director at Penguin, said: "'What are you reading, what did you last read, who's your favourite author?' are all standard first-date questions and what better way to find your life partner than over a shared love for Lawrence or a passion for Pynchon?

"We knew there was an opportunity for this type of service for our audience, and the Penguin community provides the perfect forum to meet a likeminded special someone.

However, to create this new service successfully, we wanted to partner with the world leaders in online dating to ensure we could provide the best quality of experience."

Among the UK publishers, Penguin is more of the more innovative when it comes to online marketing. It has launched a site called spinebreakers.co.uk, aimed and, uniquely, run by teenagers, and has experimented with making its audiobooks available online without the use of piracy technology.

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