9 Reasons Books Are Better Than Chocolate

The store shelves are filled with stuffed bears, heart-shaped balloons, and boxes and boxes of confections — yes, it's already that time of year again, so you better start thinking of your Valentine's Day gift for your sweetheart. You could go the typical card, flowers, and candy, but I'm telling you that books make the best Valentine's Day gifts, even better than chocolate. Before you and your sweet tooth tell me I'm crazy, hear me out.

Every year, over 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold for Valentines day. That's more than 35 million people who continually buy each other the same old gift year after year. Sure, everyone loves chocolate — it's sweet, puts you in a good mood, and comes in a variety of flavors — but after years of getting and giving the same old thing each February, it's time to break the chocolate mold and create a new holiday gift giving tradition. Whether you are celebrating with your significant other, your galentines, or your family, Valentine's make 2016 the year you ditch the chocolates and put a more personal touch on Cupid's favorite holiday.

Make this Valentine's Day extra special with a book for your sweetheart, and if you don't believe that they'll like it better than candy, here are nine reasons why books are better than chocolate.

1. Unlike a Box of Chocolates, You Can Use a Book More Than Once

A box of chocolates is sweet and all, but once you eat the treats inside, the gift is gone. You can't use chocolates more than once, but a book can be used over and over again. It's a gift that never gets emptied, never gets worn out, and never goes out of style.

2. You Don't Mind Sharing a Book as Much as You Do Your Sweet Treats

When you get a box of chocolates, chances are you want to savor every last bite on your own. When someone asks you for some, you find your inner Gollum voice and get protective of your precious sweets. There are only so many in the box, how could you possibly share?! Books are a different story, though. Not only do you not mind sharing your book (to a responsible reader who will return it, of course), but you're actually excited to pass it on to someone else, even if it's just so you have someone to talk to about it.

3. You Can Binge on a Book, Guilt Free

Eat an entire jumbo sized box of chocolates? That's a stomachache. Binge read a new book and finish it all in one sitting? That's something worth bragging about.

4. A Box of Chocolate Has an Expiration Date, But Books Are Timeless

Does anyone have chocolate around long enough to expire? It's doubtful, but possible. While chocolates can spoil and make you sick, books never go bad. Whether it was written 100 years ago or a couple months ago, books are timeless treasures that don't come with sell by dates.

5. No One Has a Book Allergy

Chocolates come in all shapes, sizes, flavors, and fillings, which is both wonderful and terrifying all at once. If you have a nut, soy, or dairy allergy, you have to check the ingredients of everything you eat, including a box of chocolates from your Valentine. Books, on the other hand, will never give you an allergic reaction. Even if you think you can only stomach science fiction or romance, experiencing a new genre can't kill you. Anaphylactic shock, on the other hand, absolutely can.

6. Reading is Good For Your Health

Research has proved the many health benefits of reading, including its memory-enhancing powers and stress-reducing abilities. Books are actually good for you, but refined sugar? Not so much. No matter how many times you tell yourself chocolate is good for you, it will never be as healthy as reading a great book.

7. Books Last Longer Than Any Box of Chocolates

At least, that is the case in my house. Give me a box of chocolates, and that sucker is empty before the night is over. A book, on the other hand, keeps me company at bedtime and on my commute to work, and usually lasts a minimum of a few days.

8. Books Are More Personal Than Chocolate

Sure, your sweetheart might know that you prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate, but really, how personal can a box of chocolates really be? Books, however, can show how well your Valentine knows you and your interests. Whether it's a novel by your favorite author, the next installment in a series your into, or a story about true love, a book as a Valentine's Day gift speaks volumes — literally.

9. A Book Is a Gift and Card, All in One

If you get chocolates for Valentine's Day, chances are it will come with a card expressing some kind of cheesy, insincere sentiment (sorry, card companies, but it's true). The card will inevitably end up in your junk drawer or, more likely, in the trash to never be read again. A book, however, is a great Valentine's present and card, all in one package. The title page or inside cover is like a blank card, waiting to be filled with a personal expression of love. Does it get any sweeter than that?

Trust me, this year skip the chocolate — or better yet, get the chocolate, but make sure it comes with a great book, too. You and your Valentine will love it.

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