You should probably just pick up some chocolates, flowers and go out for dinner.
While my fiance would be tickled with that (and I tease him mercilessly about it), book lovers are a different breed. Our expectations are both simpler and more complex. We appreciate the little things because it means someone noticed a tiny little detail that most would overlook! But we’re also well-read and nothing short of rescuing our horrid little sister from an ill-fated elopement with your arch-enemy will warm our hearts.
That said, here are some of the most memorable or sought-after Valentine’s Day gifts from authors/writers/readers to help you celebrate with the one(s) you love.
“You know, the best gift I ever received for Valentine’s Day was a car. I really needed it too! And it was so sweet because my husband told me we were shopping for a truck for him, but he was really buying me a car. It was very thoughtful, for sure. And, I just told my hubby a couple of days ago that what I would love for Valentine’s Day this year is a bottle of wine, a good book, and a day to myself to simply read. That is a luxury I rarely get anymore—an entire day just to simply relax and read.” – Lee Ann Ward, author of See and Glimpses of Wilderness
“My husband doesn’t have a scratch on his body. He grew up in a family who said he’d be disowned if he ever showed up with a tattoo or any permanent marring to his body. Then he shared that honestly he never cared about anything enough to tattoo it on his body because he’s changed and grown so much over the years. He was thankful he’d never adorned his body with anything. Then about two years ago, he took a day off work on Valentine’s Day so we could hang out while the kids were at school. But he had a brief business appointment in the morning that came up and then we could hang out. When he came back he had the biggest grin. I was like, “What?” He took off his shirt, and showed me he’d just had a tattoo done. It was of the same tattoo turtle my main character got to remember the love of his life. It was the turtle that had become my trademark, and from the book that launched my writing career. It was large across his bicep. I don’t care how people feel about tattoos , whether they love them or hate them. But when someone decides, after great thought and deliberation, to permanently mark their body with a symbol of you and what you stand for and what you’ve worked for. It’s … wow. I never doubt how proud and supportive he is of me on my author journey.” – Natasha Boyd, author of The Indigo Girl and Eversea
“My husband & I tend to keep Valentine’s Day pretty low-key these days, since our wedding anniversary is in late January – and we (mostly me) get fed up with how restaurants, etc. overprice EVERYTHING for Valentine’s Day. It just seems silly to me. Also crowds annoy me. So I’m going to cheat a little and tell you about the best anniversary gift/experience he’s gotten me to date, and it was actually just this year! Derek researched used/antique book stores in our area, and planned a whole day around visiting these shops (he mapped it out) and just browsing for hidden gems. Later, he took me out for a fancy dress dinner and drinks in downtown Portland, and then we ended the night at Powell’s Books, which is open until 11 pm. Just spending the day searching through the crowded shelves of little hidden-away book stores with him was a real treat. He even helped me track down some cool editions of The Wind & the Willows, which is a classic children’s book I collect.” – Sara Gundell, Novel Novice
“The best Valentine’s Day of my life was completely unplanned. Spontaneity has never been my strong suit; I’m a planner and organizer extraordinaire. But it was new and we were falling in the same direction at a bit of a reckless pace. I surprised him (and myself) with an unexpected visit, (it was a “long distance” thing).
Our impromptu Valentine’s date involved a quick trip to the grocery, making homemade chocolate covered strawberries together, a plate full of crackers, cheese, pistachios, aforementioned yummy strawberries, and a bottle of cheap wine on the couch watching Star Wars.
I’m a geeky Sci-fi kind of gal, (and please let’s not debate whether or not Star Wars is Sci-fi or Fantasy – Lucas even contradicts himself claiming it’s a fantasy space opera, not Sci-fi; yet space opera is considered soft Sci-fi), a little cheesy romance, snarky droids, a bad ass villain and an epic space battle were the perfect compliment to our low-key, laughter filled, absolutely perfect Valentine’s Day.
Fast-forward a couple years, we’re now married and a star map of the night sky that night hangs over our bed. It reads: A New Hope “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.”
The best celebrations of love, just beginning or ever growing, are about doing things you love with people you love, just being yourselves. It’s different for everyone. Not all of us love poetry, but for those of us who do, here’s some romantic haiku:
It’s Valentine’s Day,
A Star Wars quote counts bonus.
“I love you. I know.”
– Taylor Kirby, academic librarian
The best dates I ever had were in college when “cheap” was an imperative. We’d grab dinner at Wendy’s, then head over to the bookstore across the parking lot. We’d browse for at least an hour, usually hitting up the bargain section but venturing among the stacks to see what was new and popular. The smell alone – paper and coffee – was a gift. After that, we usually caught a second-run movie and took advantage of the bargain popcorn. All told, the date cost maybe $30 total. But you know what? I’d take that over some trinket any day of the year.