Love me, love my books

For bibliophiles, books are relationship brokers. Whether discovering a mutual passion for Potter on a first date, bonding over the sensuality of 18th-century Japanese yomihon, or placing a suitably literary lonely hearts ad in the London Review of Books, our romantic encounters are often dominated by the books we love. And hate.

Opposite reading tastes certainly do attract. My boyfriend may think that Dostoyevsky plays baseball for the Mets, but as an eclectic reader, equally interested in Dick Francis as DeLillo, I relish challenges to my reading preferences and predilections. Rifts over books give partners a chance to redefine (and refine) what we like, and to explore personal differences. A little game of intellectual and aesthetic one-upmanship can be a very sexy thing.

However, I do believe in the dealbreaker book. This book so deeply resonates with your soul that if a potential partner finds it risible, any meeting of minds (or body) is all but impossible. Most of us have one or two books that encapsulate all we believe to be skilful and admirable in art and in life. And while we don't necessarily expect everyone to enjoy them, we do expect our soulmate to.