With Valentine’s Day (or its far superior sister holiday, Galentine’s Day) just around the corner and the world in dire need of more words of affirmation, compassion, and love these days, now is a great time to revisit what some of your favorite writers have to say about love: the good, the bad, the confusing, the totally relatable, and the downright necessary. If you’re a lover of literature, you don’t need me to tell you that love stories have featured prominently in books since practically the beginning of books themselves — that’s thousands of years’ worth of words penned to page (or papyrus, or clay) dedicated to that irresistible little feeling that continues to allure and elude humans: love. In all it’s mystery, complexity, devastation, and beauty.
Even the oldest known written literary work, The Epic of Gilgamesh — an ancient text written (and then buried, lost, and found again) in Babylonia more than 3,000 years ago — tells a story that is filled with sex and love. Suffice it to say, humans, and writers, have been working out these issues of love for a while. Your favorite writers, and some of their best book quotes about love, are simply a few more voices added to a conversation humans will likely be having forever — and any sucker for a good love story wouldn’t have it any other way.