As an avid book-lover, there is no occasion that I wouldn't find a book gift the most perfectly appropriate gift to give. Weddings, baby showers, and Christmas are great excuses to give and get new reading material, but it's Valentine's Day that makes the perfect opportunity to give a book as a present. Books are timeless, personal, and can say everything a cheesy card can say and more, which makes them the ultimate gift for every kind of Valentine in your life.
Everyone loves chocolates and flowers, but after a week, all those amount to are an empty box willed with wrappers and a pile of wilted petals. Books, on the other hand, are the kind of Valentine's Day gift that is everlasting, just like your love. Whether you want to remind your serious partner of how much you care for them, or let your best friend know that she'll always be your favorite Galentine, choosing a book as your gift covers all of your bases. From romantic love stories to silly, sexy instruction manuals, there's nothing you can't say with the help of a book.
Here are nine books perfect all your Valentines, because the ones you love deserve a great book to read while they gobble down chocolate.
1. For Your Nerdy Partner: Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss
If you want to give your partner a love story this Valentine's Day, but you know they're not romance readers, Radioactive is the perfect selection. It's the story of Marie and Pierre Curie, two brilliant scientists whose love for science was only surpassed by their love of each other. Well researched, Radioactive links the Curies past into our present to create a mix of science, wonder, and romance that any nerdy partner will appreciate.
2. For Your Single Friend: Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick
For the friend who is sick and tired of being asked when she'll get married and have kids, Spinster is better than a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. Both a memoir and a cultural study, Kate Bolick's recent book looks at her own life choices as well as the history and culture of women who chose to stay unmarried and childless, in an attempt to celebrate spinsterhood. As Kate puts it, "spinster can be code for remembering to take time out for yourself,” and isn't that sentiment better than any lame Valentine's Day card you could give your own spinster BFF?
3. For A New Or Casual Partner: Sexy Book of Sexy Sex by Kristen Schaal and Rich Blomquist
When you're in a new or not yet serious relationship, gift giving on Valentine's Day can be complicated. You don't want to get something that's too romantic or too serious, but you don't want to skip the holiday all together. That's where The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex comes in. Comedians and IRL couple Kristen Schaal and Rich Blomquist collaboratedto bring you a sex advice like you've never seen, complete with full-color illustrations. For the Valentine who doesn't take the holiday too seriously, give them this riotous, arousing read.
4. For Your Mom: The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Amy Tan proved she knows a thing or two about mother-daughter relationships with her breathtaking bestseller The Joy Luck Club, and in The Valley of Amazement, the author does it again. This sweeping novel that spans not only time but several continents is a compelling story of three generations of women and the bonds of blood and fate that tie them together. A powerful and emotionally riveting novel, your mom will love it even more if you read it together for Valentine's Day.
5. For Your Work Wife: Harry Potter Magical Creatures Coloring Book by Scholastic
Work can be a drag, and no one knows that better than your loyal work wife, who regularly talks about annoying bosses and boring meetings next to you at the bar after work. Give your work one-and-only a Valentine's Day gift that says, "I love you — now here, avoid doing work" in the form of the newest Harry Potter coloring book. Page after page of mythical creatures and fantastic beasts will keep your work beau happy and stress free as she hides away in her cubicle with a pack of colored pencils and your Valentine's Day gift.
6. For The Little One In Your Life: I Haiku You by Betsy Snyder
Whether you have a kid of your own or just a niece or nephew you love to spoil, hold off on the box of candy hearts this year and instead treat them to an adorable picture book. Betsy Snyder's I Haiku You uses wonderful multimedia illustrations and the Japanese tradition of poetry, haiku, to create a sweet, fun read that kids and adults will love reading together — especially for Valentine's Day.
7. For Your Feminist Friend: Feminist Ryan Gosling: Feminist Theory (as Imagined) from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude by Danielle Henderson
Despite popular belief, Valentine's Day can be a feminist friendly holiday, especially when you ditch the flowers and candy and swap books about feminist theory instead. No matter who your feminist friend is, she'll get a kick out of Feminist Ryan Gosling, a hilarious book of sexy, adorable, and downright gorgeous photos of Gosling accompanied by feminist theories (and pillow talk) inspired text in the best "Hey girl" memes ever created. This book is funny, sexy, and feminist friendly — what more could your Valentine need?
8. For Your Roommate: Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
A deeply personal collection of letters from award-winning actress-turned-author, Mary-Louise Parker, to all the men in her life — the good, the bad, the real, and the imagined — Dear Mr. You is the perfect Valentine's Day gift. It's filled with love and laughter, heartbreak and bitterness — a full range of emotional experiences told through intimate, unabashed letters. Get this for your roommate for Valentine's Day, that way, you can read it too.
9. Your Long-Distance Partner: A Song of Fire and Ice Leather-Cloth Boxed Set by George R. R. Martin
Long distance relationships are hard, and they're filled with lonely nights and long, empty hours. Give your long-distance lover something to keep him or her busy between visits with this beautiful set of the books that inspired Game of Thrones books. There's plenty of reading material to keep your beau distracted from missing you, and when you finally do see each other, you can binge watch the show together. How romantic.
Images: Leah Flores/Stocksy