The Most Iconic Valentine's Day Moments In Books

by Julia Seales
Warner Bros

If your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day date is a book, you’re in luck: there are tons of great heroes and heroines to hang out with on Feb. 14. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, you can have a million Valentine's Day dates just by reading through some of your favorite books.

So many iconic book scenes involve holidays. After all, everyone remembers the haunting Christmas Eve and merry Christmas Day scenes from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The Hogwarts Halloween feast (and the troll dungeon break-in) has both tricks and treats in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New Year’s Day is the perfect setting for George Eliot’s Middlemarch, as well as Helen Fielding’s hilarious, resolution-filled Bridget Jones’s Diary. But what about Valentine's Day? The holiday seems like the perfect setting for a rom-com novel.

From classics to contemporary fiction, YA to bestsellers, there are plenty of books with iconic holiday moments. Valentine’s Day is the perfect setting for many of these moments, so grab a glass of red wine and some chocolates and settle down for the perfect date with the following novels.


'Bridget Jones's Diary': The Late Valentine Card

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In Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget insists that Valentine's Day is a "purely commercial, cynical enterprise," but she still hopes for something. Her card comes the next day, complete with an inside joke. Of course, we all know that it's from the wrong person (it's from Daniel, and she needs to end up with Mark Darcy), but it's an entertaining Valentine's Day all the same.


'Hamlet': Ophelia's Valentine Poem

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Ophelia recites this suggestive poem in Shakespeare's Hamlet as an ode to Valentine's Day:

"Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donned his clothes,
And dupped the chamber door.
Let in the maid that out a maid
Never departed more."


'Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix': Harry And Cho's Date

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Who could forget Harry and Cho's awkward Valentine's Day date in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? They go to Madam Puddifoot’s, a tea shop filled with couples, frilly decorations, and cherubs tossing confetti. Cho ends up crying and walking out — not exactly romantic.


'Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets': Ginny's Valentine For Harry

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Harry and Cho's date was memorable for all the wrong reasons. But in book two, a young Ginny sent Harry a singing valentine he'll never forget:

"His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,
His hair is as dark as a blackboard.
I wish he was mine, he's really divine,
The hero who conquered the Dark Lord."


Mr. Hatch's Candy Heart

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You probably remember this picture book, because your grade school teacher probably read it to you on Valentine's Day: Mr. Hatch leads a relatively boring life until a Valentine's Day heart filled with chocolate arrives on his doorstep. It says "somebody loves you." Turns out it was delivered by mistake, but it changes Mr. Hatch's life for the better when he realizes that he has many friends and neighbors who do love him.


Junie B. Jones's Secret Admirer

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Speaking of throwbacks to your childhood Valentine's Days, how about some Junie B. Jones? Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime was a grade-school staple. Junie B. receives a card from a secret admirer and has to track down the sender. TBT to all those awesome grade school Valentine's Days when you sent and received foil valentines full of candy.