Sure, Valentine’s Day can be awful. There’s the endless barrage of pictures on social media — no matter where you turn, you’re bombarded by Instagrams of flowers and date nights. If you’re not in the spirit, it can be rough.
Me, however? I say whatever. I love Valentine’s Day. You’re no more single on February 14 than you are any other day, and if you’re not, your significant other loves you just as much as the day before. It’s just a fun holiday, and has been since kindergarten. I love the cardsand the entire section of Target that becomes dedicated to candy, baking, and all things pink and red. Who has anything against candy and baking? No one.
So, if you’re going to go full-speed-ahead with Valentine’s Day, you’re going to need to pick out a good gift. And you, bookish person, know that you’re going to give a read. Because obviously. Here are 14 books that go beyond tear-inducing romances like The Fault in Our Stars and Pride and Prejudice. These titles about life and love are perfect to give your bookish Valentine this year.
My Favorite Things by Maira Kalman
Though not a particularly “romantic” book in the literal sense, Kalman’s hand painted book explores all the little things in life that we come to love. Objects, lamps, photographs, nothing is too small to be included. This will make your Valentine reflect on how much he or she loves the little things in life, too. You included!
Lullabies by Lang Leav
Lang Leav writes love poems that speak to the souls of anyone who has ever been in love. Both deeply personal while still being entirely relatable, this collection is an ideal way to tell someone you love him. Leav also enables her readers to send personalized poems from her collections, which would make for an extra thoughtful gift.
How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer
The love story of two astronomers, George and Irene, How to Tell Toledo From the Night Skyis about the power of love, fate, and how some things seem to be written in the stars.
14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With the Universe by Yumi Sukugawa
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney
Second Star to the Right by Mary Alice Monroe
The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories by Joseph Gordon Levitt
Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead
I Don’t Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned From Romantic Disappointments by Julie Klausner
A personal account of Julie Klausner’s misadventures in dating, I Don’t Care About Your Bandis the book about love and life — no matter where you are in it.
Us by David Nicholls
Douglas and Connie have been married forever, it seems, but when their marriage takes a turn for the worst, a family trip to Europe could be just what they need to save them. A stand in for a romantic getaway, David Nicholls writes the perfect Valentine’s Day vacation.
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
The third in a series of books about the love and bond a lifelong friendship can hold, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay is a fantastic book to help you appreciate all the friends in your life, and the things you’ve faced together.