Today I went to a bookshop in West Hampstead and bought two "blind date" books for my friend's birthday. Wrapped in brown paper with a description of the book written on the outside, the customer does not know which book they are purchasing until they take it home and open it. This was the perfect gift to get someone I do not know well, an old work acquaintance who recently moved to London. I think this idea is so smart because it is not necessarily selling a book based on its merit, but rather selling the element of surprise. Suzy did not know what story awaited her, and neither did I! The experience of putting fate into the hands of the bookshop is an experience of trust, and in doing so, the customer lets themselves be swept away by whichever story is underneath the wrapping.
A site-specific children's show in a bookshop, the audience does not know which classic story they will see until they arrive. Hosted by an old, wise bookseller, the emcee guides the children through the process of choosing the story (not based on its cover, but rather by the story's essence) and then tells the story only to have the story come alive in the space through special effects, puppetry, and projections.